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  Historical Fiction Review   

 

Sisters Forever
by Sharon D. Martin
Publish America, Inc., 2001
$ 19.95  (210pp)
ISBN: 1-58851-589-3
 
 

Sharon Martin tells a heartrending story of two women raised from birth as sisters Ė one the daughter of a plantation owner and the other a slave.  Set in the Antebellum South, Martinís research is told through the eyes of the women giving a human connection to plantation life, the road to freedom, the War Between the States, and the aftermath. 

Sisters Forever begins in 1822 with the birth of April Cothran on the Cothran Plantation near Charleston, South Carolina.  When her mother learns that she canít have more children, she goes to the slave cabins for a wet nurse with a new baby girl.  She names the baby ďMayĒ, hoping for the girls to be raised as sisters. 

April and May are inseparable as they grow.  They share the same bedroom and are treated as sisters by all. Though technically a slave, May does not know hard labor and the hardships of other slaves.  While in Charleston, April makes a scene about May being her sister, and the rumors spread about her fatherís slave baby.  To put the rumors to rest, he decides to separate the girls, which causes his daughter to fall ill to the point of being at deathís door.  To save his daughter, he promises that May will come back to the big house as Aprilís sister. 

However, as the girls become young women, hard times cause David Cothran to reconsider his protection of the beautiful slave who has been raised as his daughter.  That event sets the course of the novel. 

April and May face trials that test their sisterhood, but their love holds strong.  As they mature into women with families of their own, they touch each other through letters.  The most moving are those from the battlefields. 

Sharon Martin is a natural storyteller as her story of oppression and freedom is weaved through the culture and events of that era.  The cast of characters who waltz through the pages create scenes that touch all of the emotions.  The reader will cry for the sisters hardships and cheer their victories. 

 

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews

 

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