The Campbell Sisters by Eileen Joyce Donovan
Publisher: DX Varos Publishing (March 7, 2023)
Category: Literary Fiction, British and Irish Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Available in Print and ebook, 396 pages
Helen Campbell is the eldest and most practical of three sisters, daughters of hard-working Irish emigrants living in New York City in the 1950s. She does what she can to keep the wild-child middle sister, Carolyn, in line and support the youngest, Peggy, as she pursues her dreams of becoming a doctor. Then Helen meets Charlie.
While it’s love at first sight for those two, Carolyn’s antics threatens to derail all the sisters’ future happiness. However, through thick and thin, the three sisters strive to prevail, though not necessarily in the ways they thought they wanted.
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DX Varos Publishing
Guest Review by Sal
A treat for lovers of historical fiction and lovers of the romance genres, ‘The Campbell Sisters,’ by Eileen Joyce Donovan, tells the story of three sisters living and finding love in the sometimes-hectic world of 1950s New York City.
Helen, the eldest Campbell sister, is working at a home for orphans in the city when a random bicycle accident introduces her to Charlie, a local boxer who she finds charming and handsome. Although Helen is unsure about whether or not she should date Charlie, eventually she relents and the two begin seeing each other.
Meanwhile, Helen’s younger sister, Carolyn, becomes embroiled in scandal when Helen discovers that Carolyn is seeing a man who is married. When Carolyn’s relationship is outed to her parents, the consequences will have long-lasting effects on all three of the Campbell sisters, including the youngest, Peggy, whose only wish is to complete medical school and become a doctor.
Despite their initial anger at Carolyn’s mistake, all three sisters will have to come together to help her right her wrong, and their bond will be challenged more than ever before.
All three of the Campbell sisters have very distinct and individual personalities, and Eileen Joyce Donovan pulls that off brilliantly. I was eager to see where each sister’s story went and found myself completely wrapped up in the narrative. Donovan’s writing is fantastic, with just the right amount of world-building versus character-building.
Her view of 1950s New York was both expansive and romantic, and seeing it through the character’s eyes made for a one-of-a-kind reading experience.
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, so I feel pretty qualified to recommend this to fellow lovers of the genre. ‘The Campbell Sisters’ is a gorgeous addition to the genre, and it is begging to be added to your TBR!
About the Author
Eileen Joyce Donovan has been writing her entire life, in one way or another, whether it was imaginative stories for friends, or advertising copy for clients. At the persistent urging of her husband, she finally agreed to seriously edit and revise one of her stories and take the plunge. Years later, her persistence paid off and both her debut historical fiction, Promises, and her second novel, A Lady Newspaperman’s Dilemma, won prestigious awards. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies, and her essays have been included in various Chicken Soup for the Soul editions.
She lives in Manhattan, New York and is a member of Authors Guild, Women’s National Book Association, Women Fiction Writers Association, and The Historical Novel Society.
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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Mar 13 Kickoff & I
Emily Many Thoughts of a Reader Mar 14 Review
Denise Amazon & Goodreads Mar 15 Review
Nora S. Storeybook Reviews Mar 21 Review & Guest Post
Sal Bound 4 Escape Mar 22 Review
DT Amazon & Goodreads Mar 23 Review
Just Another Reader Mar 24 Review & Excerpt
Danielle Urban Book Reviews Mar 27 Review
Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews Mar 29 Review & Guest Post
Amy Locks, Hooks and Books Mar 30 Review & Excerpt
Carole Rae’s Random Rambling Mar 31 Reivew
Jane Amazon & Goodreads Apr 3 Review
Suzie My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews April 4 Review
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Apr 6 Review
Bee Book Pleasures April 7 Review & Interview
Laura Lee Celticlady’s Reviews April 11 Review
Awards & Praise for Eileen Joyce Donovan
2019 Marie M Irvine Award for Promises, 2021
When Word Count competition for A Lady Newspaperman’s Dilemma
“This story is well written and immerses the reader in the period rooting for Alex. At times, I found her decisions a bit rash, but I remembered myself fighting for my career in a male-dominated field. The story is well-researched, and I enjoyed it immensely.”- Carol Amorosi, Author of The MacKay Mysteries, Series
“It was compelling to read of the mores of the time: school teachers couldn’t drink in public, staying at a boarding house came with a set of restrictive rules and trying to get lead stories in a newspaper entailed being part salesperson/part private investigator.
With the role of newspapers and reporters being in the news of late, this depiction of a young woman learning the ropes in a competitive, male dominated field was fascinating in the scope of how tough it is to get a story right.”- Susan Wands, Author of Magician and Fool
“I don’t normally read historical fiction, but I so enjoyed this book set in the 1920’s. The theme is timeless as the main character is determined to make it in a man’s world. Great read!”- Stacy Wilder, Author of A Liz Adams Mystery, Series
“The characters and fast paced plot drew me in and kept me reading. I enjoyed the historical details and the fact that every time I thought I knew how a character would react, I was wrong. The author is too skilled to fall into stereotypes.”- Grammarian, Amazon Review