FeaturedHistorical Fiction

The Campbell Sisters


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Three independent, headstrong sisters in 1950s New York find romance, love, and drama while living according to their own rules.

The Campbell Sisters by Eileen Joyce Donovan is a romantic historical fiction novel. Helen, Carolyn and Peggy live with their Irish parents in New York city in 1955, so the young women are caught between the traditions of their family and the new outlook of the modern world. We follow the drama and romance in the young women’s lives. Helen is the responsible rule-follower, Carolyn is the wild child and Peggy is the dedicated med student. New men enter the women’s lives, changing them for better or worse, starting with Helen meeting Charlie. From then on, Carolyn gets herself in deeper and deeper trouble while her sisters try to get her to see sense.

All of the characters are fleshed out and develop over the course of the story, more so when they are interacting with each other. Readers can see different versions of the characters depending on who is in the scene with whom.

The story is quite atmospheric. The author has clearly roamed the streets of New York and provides an immersive experience for readers as they follow the young women to work, home, on dates and hot spots around the city. This historical fiction story lives up to readers’ expectations.

The author keeps readers interested by including various problems for the characters, from losing a job to being involved in the Irish mafia to being in a Romeo and Juliet-like situation, (but with a historical context). The story does not have a lot of predictability, which is refreshing. The more dramatic plotlines are evenly balanced with mundane occurrences, such as disagreements and going out on dates.

As a romance story, it generally portrays the characters as falling in love with other characters’ personalities rather than looks, giving it a sense of realism. The age differences between the characters who are engaged may be a little hard for some readers to come to terms with since one couple has over a 20-year gap and the other has a gap of almost 20 years. It’s hard to tell if the author intentionally put this in to show that age doesn’t matter or if it was done to be historically accurate.

Not only did I thoroughly enjoy this book, but I liked the author’s writing style and plan on reading more of their work.

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I am a writer who loves getting lost in stories and analyzing lore, character development, and many other aspects. I'm working on my own novel and understand how much work, determination and bravery goes into writing a book. I want to help people get their story written and read by the world.

About the author

Eileen Joyce Donovan, an award-winning historical novelist, obtained her MA in English from Northern Arizona University and went on to teach writing in colleges on the east and west coasts. Her upcoming novel, The Campbell Sisters, will be released in March 2023. She lives in New York City view profile

Published on March 07, 2023

Published by DX Varos Publishing

100000 words

Genre: Historical Fiction

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