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The Churchill Sisters

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The Churchill Sisters
by Dr. Rachel Tretheway
Publish Date: December 7, 2021 
St. Martin's Press 

As complex in their own way as their Mitford cousins, Winston and Clementine Churchill’s daughters each had a unique relationship with their famous father. Rachel Trethewey's biography, The Churchill Sisters, tells their story.
I recommend this for readers who enjoy a good historical book. This was a well-researched biography-type book.  Dr. Rachel Trethewey kept me engaged all the way to the end with her engrossing narrative about the unknown lives of the Churchill sisters and their father, Winston Churchill.
I found myself laughing through some of it as well.  Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC. 
5 star
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I love History and memoirs and biographies and family drama. GIVE IT ALL TO ME to Read and I WIll. 
I was over the moon to get to read an early release of THe Churchill Sisters. In America, we have our dynasties. The Kennedys, The Rockafeller's. and the Kardashians. JUST KIDDING.  But in England, there was the Churchill Family. The sisters were all magnificent on their own. and until I read this I only came across them in passing when reading about their much more famous father and even brother. As in history, we are well aware that the lives of men come before that of women. We need more biographies like this that shine a light on additional powerhouses of history....the women, the daughters, sisters, and leaders.
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The Churchill Sisters is the first book I've read devoted solely to the daughters of Winston Churchill, where they are the focus instead of mentioned on the sides, as in Lynne Olson's fabulous books Citizens of London and Erik Larson's The Splendid and the Vile. Diana, Sarah, and Mary Churchill each lived in a world where women were, at least initially, considered second to men- and as a man of his era Winston thought this way too.  It was exposure to strong women like his wife Clementine and his daughters that made Winston change his mind. But also in the Churchill house, Winston came first always. Everyone believed his career and his work came first. This, combined with being the children of a great man and being children in a time when their class rarely were raised by their parents, and the childhood the younger generation of Churchills had was quite different from one we would recognize today. Their mother, Clementine, was like many others of her generation and class and was distant from her children, especially when they were young, which all of them came to regret later in life.  

I was a little disappointed with the first half of the book, as it didn't tell me anything particularly new. Anyone who has read The Splendid and the Vile or Citizens of London will know most of the early stories of the girls, particularly the war years as they came into their own helping in the war effort. Author Tretheway lingers a bit on each daughter's psychological need to live up to their parent's expectations but beyond that I didn't learn anything new. The second half, post World War II, however, I found more interesting because that was uncharted territory for me. The tragic stories of Diana and Sarah- each trying to find fulfillment in their own ways and never quite reaching their goals or happiness- were heartbreaking. Sarah and Mary taking turns being the one the others leaned on as the others fell apart, the mental illnesses and emotional collapses each sister experienced but tried to keep from their parents . . . the Churchills seems to be a family ahead of their time in accepting the idea of mental illness and treating it as an illness, one to be handled by doctors and not ignored with a 'stiff upper lip', which I was impressed by. 

Each daughter tried to live up to the father their worshipped as a hero and wanted to have look proudly on them, each wanted to make their mother's life a bit easier in caring for that father. Yet they also wanted to be their own person, and went in separate ways to discover who they were and what they might do with their lives. Although constrained at times by the society they grew up in and by the shadow of their father, they each faced life's challenges head on- whether that became constructive or destructive. 

While the writing wasn't always top level and was occasionally repetitive, I would certainly recommend The Churchill Sisters to anyone interested in women's lives over the course of the twentieth century, history buffs, and, of course, Churchill fans. A good new addition to the library, using archives newly opened to researchers.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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BRIEF SUMMARY
There’s that saying “Behind every successful man, there is a strong woman.”  Or in this case, daughters.   Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister, and his wife, Clementine, had 5 children: Diana, Randolph, Sarah, Marigold (died at the age of 2) and Mary.  The surviving daughters were known to be Churchill’s backbone during his term and England’s key historical events.

Through personal correspondences and interviews from close acquaintances, the book recounts the lives of Winston Churchill daughters, specifically their relationship with their parents, with each other, the highs and lows of being a Churchill. 

My Thoughts:
This is a wonderful read.  I enjoyed the correspondences between the sisters.  It showed their true admiration for each other without a jealousy or competition.   They were beautiful, smart, and well-connected.  They supported each other both happy and dark times in their lives.  It was sad that the older sisters felt like a disappointment after failed marriages or career choices and that they didn’t live up to their parents expectations.  The oldest, Diana, didn’t have a close relationship with her mother.  Sarah was a successful actress until alcohol took over.  The youngest, Mary, faired better than all her siblings including her brother.   She tributes her success to the wide age gap between her siblings and being brought up as an only child.

I didn’t know much about Winston Churchill aside from his position during World War II.  The book does showed him in a different light.  He was very involved in his children’s lives and as devoted to them as they were with him.  He was a better parent than his wife was.  Whenever Clementine was indisposed, one of the daughters took her place as Churchill’s travel companion.  And she plays favorites but she had come to terms as to where she failed as a mother and tried to make amends at the end.

Thank you @netgalley and @stmartinspress for an advanced copy of the book and the opportunity to review it.
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Churchill's daughters - Mary, Sarah, and Diana- have been well served in this interesting biography of women who have been overshadowed by their famous family members.  Left largely to themselves and their father by their mother Clementine, they grew to adulthood in an environment like no other.  All three served important roles during WWII, with Sarah even accompanying her father to Tehran and Yalta.  No less vital was Diana's service in a munitions factory, something which might have once seemed unimaginable..  Then there's Mary, who worked first for the Red Cross and then in anti-aircraft batteries; she also travelled with her father to Potsdam, Sarah and Diana both struggled with mental health issues while Mary's life was less difficult.  She's possibly the best well known of the three, thanks to her marriage to Christopher Soames but more importantly due to her writing, which brought her into her own.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  A good read.
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I love history and thought this might be an interesting book to read. Unfortunately (at least for me), this particular story did not fit with what I normally enjoy.

Author Rachel Trethewey achieved what a good historian should do, crafting her story with a huge amount of facts to back up her book. Those who desire to read more can find a large bibliography, and each chapter has many instances in the Notes section to support each revelation. On the other hand, there are countless notations of tiny habits and idiosyncrasies supported by a single footnote that one is sometimes left to question if these were isolated incidents rather than character flaws. In the entire scheme of things, at times they seem trivial without a future incident tied to them.

For those who are looking for more of a tell-all type feel to their reading, this is the perfect book for you. Ms. Trethewey’s work at diving deep into the tragedies and scandals of the three sisters earns the book a five-star rating. Readers who yearn for more historical events tied directly to their individual actions might only offer three-and-a-half. Taking the book as a whole and attempting to stand in both corners,  I can recommend four stars.

My thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance electronic copy of this book.
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“The Churchill Sisters” holds a wealth of insight  into the lives of Winston and Clementine Churchill’s daughters, with a strong correlation to varying resources from the individuals themselves.

While I enjoyed this book, often I felt the author was merely restating information, rather than descriptively placing the reader into the time period. As such, it felt monotone while lacking energy.

A sincere thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me an advance copy (ARC) of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to read this story and leave my review voluntarily
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Who knew??  This is a thoroughly researched, well-written fascinating book about Winston Churchill’s daughters. I love books like this that combine a famous person in history with the events happening during  the time while adding interesting added information. These women led lives in a harsh, complicated time in history and I enjoyed learning so much more - rounding out - the picture of Churchill. I would have liked the book to be more integrative between the sisters instead of singular portrayals. I love a book with tons of notes and endnotes - which this has in abundance. This would be a good non fiction book club choice - tons to discuss and learn. Heartfelt thanks to St Martin’s Press for the copy. I’m grateful.
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I wanted to read "The Churchill Sisters" because I'm interested in Winston Churchill and wanted more information about him during the war years. As such, I hoped the bulk of this book would focus on that period and expected that that portion of it would be the most riveting part. But it turned out that the war years section, although certainly interesting, contained a lot of information I already knew, while the parts detailing the Churchill girls' childhoods and post-war lives were fascinating and surprising and earned "The Churchill Sisters" a place in the crowded field of Churchill books. At times I wished the book was organized in a more cohesive way that intermixed the sisters' lives a bit more fluidly rather than dealing with them one at a time, and I also felt that Randolph Churchill was conspicuously absent--almost as if he wasn't part of the family which, even in a book entitled "The Churchill Sisters," seemed a bit odd. Overall, though, this was an entertaining and informative look at a lesser-known part of Winston Churchill's legacy.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with an ARC of this title in return for my honest review.
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This was an interesting, well researched history of the Churchill sisters. 

The book is packed full of facts, but it left me wanting to know more about them. I know this is difficult where there are three sisters to fit into one book.  However, I could have done without the information about the Mitford cousins. I know they are infamous, but that is material for a different book.

I especially enjoyed learning about a different aspect of Winston Churchill’s life through his interactions with his daughters.

An informative read for history buffs and readers who want to learn more about Winston Churchill's private life.
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I knew a little bit about Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, prior to reading the book, but I was delighted to learn so much about his extraordinary daughters!!   

The Churchill sisters, Diana, Sarah, and Mary Churchill each very different in personalities but all devoted to their father.  Mrs. Churchill, Clemintine, often took vacations away from the family in the early years due to the overwhelming stress of life in the public’s eye.  Therefore, Winston was the constant in his daughter’s lives.  It was fascinating to learn about each daughter individually; their achievements and also their trials and tribulations.  I was captivated by the stories of the daughter’s active role in Winston’s life, even traveling with him during the war era.  I found myself laughing out loud at some of the stories shared about their travels together.  The book really allowed me to get to know the daughters of Winston Churchill, but also made Churchill more personable for me rather than only a historical figure. 

I highly recommend this book if you like well-researched biography-type books and/or if you are a history buff.  Dr. Rachel Trethewey kept me engaged all the way to the end with her engrossing narrative about the unknown lives of the Churchill sisters and their father, Winston Churchill.
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I have been a fan of Winston Churchill for a long time. However, I really never gave much thought to his family, surprisingly since social history is one of my fortes. The Churchill sisters filled in the gaps nicely. It focuses in the daughters And their lives. The family was exceedingly close, almost to the point of being codependent. Their father was their sun and they orbited around him until his death. I found this read to be very informative and sympathetic, especially as two of the daughters grappled  with struggles.
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The Churchill Sisters is a fascinating and well researched account into the daughters of Clementine and Winston.

Growing up as Winston Churchill's children could not have been an easy feat yet they all along with their Mother stood behind, beside and always with their famous father through his career and long after.

The girls are all so different and yet the bond between Diana, Sara and Mary was unbreakable.

They did indeed live an extraordinary life as the title says. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Rachel Trethewey's book on the girls and I realized how little I knew of Winston and Clementine and their family.

This book will stay with me for quite some time and has got me curious to go read more on the Churchill's.

Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin's Press for an informative and gripping read.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an e ARC of this book.
A glimpse into the lives of the Churchill daughters. Appears to be thoroughly researched with an extensive bibliography. Lots of interesting information presented in a readable story.
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I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I knew hardly anything about Winston Churchill and therefore knew absolutely nothing about his daughters. I actually really enjoyed this book. Dr. Rachel Trethewey did a great job telling about the whole family with focus on Diana, Sarah and Mary. Winston was very family oriented and his daughters absolutely doted on him and followed in his footsteps. They did not have easy lives, but they really gave it their all. They helped in wars, they were there for each other, involved in many political aspects and were really there for their parents. I'm not one to read a lot of nonfiction, but Dr. Rachel Trethewey did a great job telling this story.
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The number of books out there about Winston Churchill may at this point be innumerable, and while I have read a number of them, Churchill's daughters have always either been virtually erased, or mere background players in rooms or at tables filled with great men, invisible in the midst of "more important" people on the world stage. This book brings them into the foreground, shines a light, and makes them whole. These women were important figures in their own right. They have stories, and they lived lives, worth telling. This is a refreshing, heartfelt, and honest read. It follows the daughters throughout childhood, early adulthood, the war years, through to the end of their lives. They grappled with finding their own path in life, while finding themselves at some of the most significant political and diplomatic meetings before, during, and after World War II. They struggled with love, motherhood, service to their country, careers, and mental health like all women did in their age, and continue to in ours. I thoroughly enjoyed getting this perspective, and dare I say, the focus on Churchill's daughters further illuminates what the man himself was like in a way that other biographers have failed to achieve. I highly recommend this book.
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I enjoyed this insight into the lives of the Churchill women, although I will say that the end of the book dragged a bit for me. There were a lot of interesting stories and many things I had never heard about the Churchills, including Winston. I would recommend it for anyone looking for a good read about modern British history.
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Over the years I have read a few biographies about Winston Churchill but sadly none of them have ever gone into any depth of the lives of his daughters. So I was thrilled when NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press  approved me to read this book in exchange for a fair review.

This book is well researched and covers their lives in great detail. From their  childhoods marked by the cold and detached parenting of their mother to their beloved but often absent fatherhood, to  the later successes and mental illness they experienced as adults,  Trethaway does a fantastic job of portraying the breadth of their lives.
 The Churchill sisters are removed from the  overwhelming shadow of one of the great leaders of modern history and are allowed to shine as individuals. I highly recommend this book for fans of nonfiction and history.
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I received an advance reading copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for a fair review. I started this book with high hopes, wanting to get to know the daughters of Winston Churchill: Diana, Sarah, and Mary. The fourth sister, Marigold, sadly died when she was only two. Although I did learn a few things, I felt that the author did not provide enough detail. These were fascinating women for sure, but often times Trethewey just gives an opinion. She mentions their mother's upbringing, but doesn't really go into any detail-just surmises that Clementine was a distant mother because of the way she was raised. How so? Same with Winston. For all purposes, he appeared to a good father--although sometimes an absent one. His daughters doted on him and were very proud of all he accomplished. But how can you explain the family dynamics without delving into his childhood? In her later years, Diana suffered from mental illness, which was never really thoroughly addressed while Sarah, the actress, lived through tragedy after tragedy. Mary, who always supported her sisters, seemed to live with a semblance of normalcy. Not only were these ladies eyewitnesses to history, but they had unique relationship with one of the greatest political figures of modern times. I just felt there should have been more to their story.
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4 stars
The Churchill Sisters
by Dr. Rachel Trethewey 
This is a very in-depth and highly researched book regarding Winston Churchill's daughters. I had honestly never knew much about them so this was quite a fascinating look into their lives. 
Dr. Trethewey has done an absolutely remarkable job of showing each sister as an indivual who struggled with the legacy of being the child of Winston Churchill in their own unique way.
History buffs will enjoy this book a great deal.  The sisters mother Clementine and brother Randolph are also featured within this book.



I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley.
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