Sisters Under the Rising Sun: A Novel (Hardcover)
A phenomenal novel of resilience and survival from bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris.
In the midst of World War II, an English musician, Norah Chambers, places her eight-year-old daughter Sally on a ship leaving Singapore, desperate to keep her safe from the Japanese army as they move down through the Pacific. Norah remains to care for her husband and elderly parents, knowing she may never see her child again.
Sister Nesta James, a Welsh Australian nurse, has enlisted to tend to Allied troops. But as Singapore falls to the Japanese she joins the terrified cargo of people, including the heartbroken Norah, crammed aboard the Vyner Brooke merchant ship. Only two days later, they are bombarded from the air off the coast of Indonesia, and in a matter of hours, the Vyner Brooke lies broken on the seabed.
After surviving a brutal 24 hours in the sea, Nesta and Norah reach the beaches of a remote island, only to be captured by the Japanese and held in one of their notorious POW camps. The camps are places of starvation and brutality, where disease runs rampant. Sisters in arms, Norah and Nesta fight side by side every day, helping whoever they can, and discovering in themselves and each other extraordinary reserves of courage, resourcefulness and determination.
Sisters under the Rising Sun is a story of women in war: a novel of sisterhood, bravery and friendship in the darkest of circumstances, from the multimillion-copy bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Cilka's Journey and Three Sisters.
About the Author
HEATHER MORRIS is a native of New Zealand, now resident in Australia. For several years, while working in a large public hospital in Melbourne, she studied and wrote screenplays, one of which was optioned by an Academy Award-winning screenwriter in the US. In 2003, Heather was introduced to an elderly gentleman who ‘might just have a story worth telling’. The day she met Lale Sokolov changed both their lives. Their friendship grew and Lale embarked on a journey of self-scrutiny, entrusting the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust to her. Heather originally wrote Lale’s story as a screenplay – which ranked high in international competitions – before reshaping it into her debut novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
“Livia, Cibi, and Magda promise their dying father they’ll stick together—a vow later tested at Auschwitz, on a so-called death march and in the postwar era. A stunning novel based on the true story of sisters acquainted with the real-life subjects of Morris’s 2018 bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.” —PEOPLE
“Three Sisters . . . takes readers on an emotional roller coaster. . . . As fascinating as the novel is, the story of how Morris came to discover the women whom she based her plot around is equally compelling.” —HADASSAH MAGAZINE
“Morris (The Tattooist of Auschwitz) follows the real-life Meller sisters, who all survived imprisonment at Auschwitz-Birkenau and a winter death march during WWII, in her extraordinary latest. Morris skillfully chronicles the lives of the sisters from childhood to old age, balancing fictional invention with extensive research and immersion into the Mellers’ lives. Readers will be greatly inspired by this story of resilience.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW)