Scarlet Carnation by Laila Ibrahim #BookReview #LakeUnionPublishing #WunderkindPR #5*

In an early twentieth-century America roiling with racial injustice, class divides, and WWI, two women fight for their dreams in a galvanizing novel by the bestselling author of Golden Poppies.

1915. May and Naomi are extended family, their grandmothers’ lives inseparably entwined on a Virginia plantation in the volatile time leading up to the Civil War.

For both women, the twentieth century promises social transformation and equal opportunity.

May, a young white woman, is on the brink of achieving the independent life she’s dreamed of since childhood. Naomi, a nurse, mother, and leader of the NAACP, has fulfilled her own dearest desire: buying a home for her family. But they both are about to learn that dreams can be destroyed in an instant. May’s future is upended, and she is forced to rely once again on her mother. Meanwhile, the white-majority neighborhood into which Naomi has moved is organizing against her while her sons are away fighting for their country.

In the tumult of a changing nation, these two women—whose grandmothers survived the Civil War—support each other’s quest for liberation and dignity.

Both find the strength to confront injustice and the faith to thrive on their chosen paths.

In this series

  1. Yellow Crocus
  2. Mustard Seed
  3. Golden Crocus
  4. Scarlet Carnation

Absolutely Superb!

Everything I thought it would be – and oh, so much more!

May and Naomi have one thing in common: their grandmothers were raised on a Virginian plantation and, despite the differences in their colour, were firm friends. Both women have personal ambition; May, a young white woman, dreams of independence while Naomi, a nurse with a family longs to find the security that owning their own home would bring to her and her husband. Although things have changed since their grandmothers supported each other through the civil war, there are still barriers for each of them. Will they ever achieve their dreams, despite everything which is against them?

Ever since reading ‘Yellow Crocus’ following the lives of May and Naomi’s grandmothers I have been completely fascinated with this story. Mustard Seed and Golden Poppies continued pulling me in and, I have to say, this is one of the very best sagas I have ever come across. Surely someone will realise that a drama created from these novels would be fantastic viewing, whether on the big or small screen? Laila Ibrahim writes about characters her readers can really care about; I want so much for life to get better for each generation! With such gorgeous writing, it’s so easy to put yourself in the shoes of the characters and my emotions are always to the forefront with each and every one of these books, and I really cannot recommend this series highly enough. I have yet to encounter anyone else who hasn’t been as completely charmed as I have been. I know that, one day, this is a series I shall read again. Absolutely, without a doubt, this is a sparkling five star read.

My thanks to the publisher and to Wunderkind PR for my copy; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: historical fiction

Author Details

Laila Ibrahim spent much of her career as a preschool director, a birth doula, and a religious educator. That work, coupled with her education in developmental psychology and attachment theory, provided ample fodder for the stories in Mustard Seed and Yellow Crocus.

She’s a devout Unitarian Universalist, determined to do her part to add a little more love and justice to our beautiful and painful world. She lives with her wonderful wife, Rinda, in a small cohousing community in Berkeley, California with two other families. Her amazing young adult children, Kalin and Maya, are kind enough to text, FaceTime, and call her on a regular basis.

Laila is blessed to be working full-time as a novelist. When she isn’t writing, she likes to walk with friends, do jigsaw puzzles, play games, work in the garden, travel, cook, and eat all kinds of delicious food.

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