Cover Image: The Churchill Sisters

The Churchill Sisters

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review. I love deep dives into history like this. The book was written well and I cannot wait to give it as a gift.
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This book seems to be well researched. Winston was very close with all of his daughters.  He valued their opinion and enjoyed their companionship.  This book is very detailed on the lives of all the girls.  As a reader, we discover how the girls lived their lives and the choices they made, along with how they influenced and protected their father.
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Seeing history through the eyes of these women, each known for her own traits and talents, gives us a remarkable view.  Well done and highly recommended!
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This book was such a wonderful, pleasant read. Before this work, I confess, I have not given much thought to Winston Churchill's children. I could tell you plenty about Winston, and many will know that he was one of history's most influential statesman, but I cannot say the same of Diana, Sarah, and Mary Churchill. 

Dr. Trethewey has created a wonderfully accessible book that portrays these women in vivid detail, capturing true insight into their lives and their relationship with their magnanimous father. This will appeal to any lover of history.
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I received this book ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to advance read and review this novel.  I will leave a review on Amazon and Barnes and Noble once the book has been published on Dec 7 2021. 

I have to be honest and state that ordinarily I would not have selected this book out of the myriad of books to choose from as my taste does not usually run to non-fiction. However, on a whim, I applied for this work and boy - am I happy I did!

From the first chapter, I knew I had chosen a winner. The author has really done her homework here and researched not only the lives of the sisters but has also done an outstanding job of conveying the family dynamic and the roles that each family member plays within the family. My view of Winston Churchill was that he was a great man, a man for the ages, but the tenderness and love that he bestowed to his family was truly heartwarming. Not without their flaws, after all, theirs was an Edwardian era family first and foremost, the author conveys the foibles and traits that led the sisters to have such interesting lives.

To me, the mark of a good book, is when I find myself thinking about the characters well after I have completed a novel and this is one of the finer examples of that practice. Well written, the author brought forward varied emotions as I progressed through the book, from pride when reading about the sisters war efforts during Britain's darkest days to sadness reading about their personal tragedy's, this book completely absorbed me. 

I definitely recommend this book. Bravo!
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Everyone knows about Churchill the   Prime Minister who lead England through WWII and his even stronger willed wife Clementine's you'd have to be strong willed to be married to Churchhill. However history doesn't say much about his daughters. I didn't know he had a daughter let alone 4 who were also related to the Mitford sisters.  Fact is is indeed stranger than fiction. I enjoyed this book and now I want to learn more about the Churchill sisters.
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A lot has been written about Winston Churchill. And there are books about the girls and their mother. This book pulls all of them together, using unpublished letters from archives and numerous other sources, the author gives us a complete picture of the private lives of the three girls who lived to adulthood. Diana, serious and fragile, Sarah, a free-spirit, a glamorous, ambitious woman who wanted a career in acting, and Mary, the baby who stayed the course. Their brother, Randolph, did not live up to anyone’s expectations, however.

The girls were smart and very different from each other. Their life goals were different as well. With Winston as their father, they also had a tremendous sense of duty to the country. Each found some way to be a part of the war efforts. They adored their father and were a little less enamored of their mother, who was often cold and distant.

They were Churchills and everything they did was news. While Diana and Mary were careful to be seen as proper ladies, Sarah could have cared less. She lived her life to the fullest.

It was most interesting to see their relationship with their father. Clementine was gone a lot. But to read of the great man himself playing hide and seek in the bushes with his girls was a side I hadn’t seen.

How difficult it must have been to live in a fishbowl and have your every movement scrutinized. To be judged on who your father is rather than who you are.

I thoroughly enjoyed this look at the sisters. And this book was thoroughly researched, listing every source. Beautifully written.

NetGalley/ November 23, 2021, St. Martin’s Press
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I’ve always had a soft spot for Winston Churchill; I remember listening to my grandfather (who served as a Marine in the South Pacific in WWII) telling me about him during my childhood, and I knew that I wanted to read this book mostly due to that soft spot. This title was highly enjoyable and informative in a way that really brings the family to life for the reader. Well researched and well written, I personally found The Churchill Sisters to read more like a novel than history. 
I’d recommend this to my fellow history lovers, Churchill enthusiasts, fans of the BRF, The Crown, and general WWII history.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for an eARC of this title. Opinions shared are influenced only by my reading experience.
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When I received this ARC from Netgalley, I was hoping this would be less non-fictional in style and read like a fiction story. Although it was linear in timeline, it shifted from person to person and sometimes felt like the author was blandly retelling the history rather than bringing it alive. The writing was dry and not overly rich in description.
I did however learn lots about the Churchill's not just the girls, but the relationships between them all. For that reason I will give it 3 stars.
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Winston and Clementine Churchill had 4 girls and one son. This book focuses on Diana, Sarah and Mary. Their third child a girl died at age 2.

These three girls grew up in an era that was changing for women. When WWII started, women roles started changing. Mainly because their was no one else. Falling WWI, which thousands of men died, than also the Flu Pandemic, it left women to hold down the home front when WWII started since most men were at war.

This is a well researched book. Trethewey delved into a lot of letters, books, and libraries to bring these three ladies to life for us. They all were so different, except for the fact that they all adored their father. He was a huge part of their lives, playing with them when they were younger. While their mother was very distant when they were growing up, but they did grow closer to her when they became adults.

If you like WWII books, you should read this one on Wilson's girls. You won't be disappointed. You will also see a side of Winston Churchill not seen before.

Thanks to Netgalley, Trethewey, and the publisher for the Kindle Version of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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A fascinating account of Winston and Clementine Churchill’s remarkable daughters. With information gleaned from hundreds of previously unpublished family letters, the author shares intimate details about these passionate four sisters and their unbreakable bond who would go on support their parents through Winston’s final years as prime minister. 

Clementine always put her husband’s and her own needs above her children and would travel often to escape the demands of her daughters, leaving them with a variety of nannies. It surprised me that the sisters did not become detached from their parents. Quite the opposite is true. They remained caring, responsible and dependable during the growing tumultuous times. I fell in love with these extraordinary and inspiring women and enjoyed learning the softer side of Winston Churchill.

Daughter Sara is quoted as saying that Winston ‘created in his children the same emotions he inspired in people during the war.’ I believe he indeed excelled at this.
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I found this book to be a delightful read. It is presented in a format that would have you thinking the author was sitting with you and telling the story. I was aware that Churchill had a son but not that he also had daughters. Everyone knows that Her Majesty, the Queen served during WWII but how many are aware Churchill's daughters also served. A very informative presentation about a family  before, during, and after the dark days of WWII.

I have rated this book 5 stars. If you are interested in history it should be on your to be read list.

I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.
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I really enjoyed this book about the daughters of Winston and Clementine Churchill. I didn't really know anything about their lives before I read this book, and the author takes you through their lives mostly chronologically, which I appreciated. It is a solid 4 stars maybe 4.5. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes biographies or is interested in Winston Churchill.

It started with a brief overview of Winston and Clemmie's lives and how they met. Then, the book breaks out into each daughter's life in segments of time, so that while you switch from person to person, you are seeing overlapping parts of the others' lives.

It did not feel dry at all. The sisters came to life for me as I learned about their triumphs and tragedies, and how they were such a part of the "great man" himself.

I received an ARC of this book as a reviewer for NetGalley.
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Three beautiful, talented sisters from an illustrious family, The Churchill Sisters Diana, Sarah, and Mary Churchill each had different personalities but shared in common their idolization of their father, Winston.

Winston was a loving and involved father, while Clementine needed distance and often escaped the demands of her life by taking vacations apart from the family. Later in life, she developed better rapport with her girls, but it was Winston who was always the center of the home.

I loved learning about these woman, especially their service during the war and their role supporting their father politically. But I was saddened to know that, like their brother Randolph, who is believed to have suffered from bipolar disease, they did not have happy ever after lives.

Sarah served in photo reconnaissance during WWII. After the war, she resumed her life as an actress. Her commitment to her career resulted in several failed marriages. Then, she suffered the loss of her beloved soul-mate. She struggled with self-esteem issues and alcoholism.

Diana had a career in the Royal Navy Services during the war, but later had two failed marriages and contended with mental health issues.

Mary served during the war in anti-aircraft batteries and accompanied her father on important political missions. She had a successful marriage and children and wrote her parent’s biographies.

This accessible, concise, and moving group biography will appeal to many kinds of readers.

I was given a free egalley from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased.
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A very enjoyable (and quick) read. I never knew much about Churchill beyond basic political accounts. I feel that I learned as much about him as I did about his daughters. As one other reviewer mentioned, it did just skim the surface and didn't;t dive in as much as I would have liked.
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I love history and learning. I have always been fascinated with Mr. Churchill. This was a pleasant read and I enjoyed learning about his daughters. Thank you NetGalley!
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Not only was this an enjoyable read, I learned so much about the political and personal challenges faced by Winston, his wife Clementine, and their daughters, especially in the WWII era. . Son Randolph was mentioned but played a minor role in the book.  The three surviving sisters, Diana, Sarah and Mary ( Marigold having passed tragically as a toddler), had very different interests, personalities and strengths.  All appeared extremely loyal and loving to both parents despite their personal life challenges.  Of the children, Mary appeared the most even-keeled and stable.  I had known nothing at all about Winston’s children so I found the book very informative.  

A fascinating part of the book for me was the degree to which all the daughters traveled with Winston on critical war-era international trips to provide personal and emotional support.  For example, Mary joined Winston on a trip to Hyde Park to meet the Roosevelts, and Sarah accompanied Winston to the November 1943 Tehran Conference which was the first meeting of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. Winston’s political challenges domestically and internationally were well-portrayed.

The author also recounted numerous amusing incidents, such as when the young sisters began giggling at the dining table when Winston’s marmalade cat, seated on his own chair and cushion, was eating pheasant and cream, appearing to bow in reciprocation to his master across the table.  The author also recounts that the grown Mary enjoyed her own cigar while Winston smoked his, and they competed for the longest cigar ash.

Dr. Trethewey did not shy away from the depressive episodes experienced by Sarah and Diana, nor son Randolph and daughter Sarah’s alcohol addiction.  She described the insulin shock treatments used at the time in psychiatric facilities such as one Sara experienced.

This was an excellent and informative read about the era itself and the Churchill family, and I highly recommend it.

My thanks to #netgalley and the publisher for an advance reader’s copy.
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The author draws on previously unpublished letters from the Churchill archives, personal diaries and print media from the time to delve deeply into the lives of the three surviving Churchill sisters (the fourth, Marigold, died before her third birthday).  

Diana (1909-1963) seemed to struggle the most with finding her place in the world.  She married politician Duncan Sandys, part of her father’s cabinet, and they had three children before they divorced.  During World War II, Diana was an officer in the Women’s Royal Naval Service.  After the war, she was active in her husband’s campaigns, as well as her brother’s, and represented Winston.  Her primary focus was on her children though.  Unfortunately, she suffered nervous breakdowns and received electroconvulsive therapy as well as insulin shock therapy, which sounds brutal.  She joined an organization for the prevention of suicide, and felt as if she had found her place and was making her mark on the world.  Sadly, she committed suicide a year later.

Sarah (1914-1982) did find her place and made her mark, unfortunately alcoholism jeopardized her chances of becoming a superstar.  During WWII, Sarah was part of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force and worked in photo reconnaissance, where she reportedly did well although she always doubted herself.  Sarah’s first two marriages ended in divorce, and her third marriage, while ecstatically happy, ended with her husband’s death a year later.  Sarah also had an affair with John Winant, the American ambassador to Britain, and it appears that their break-up contributed to his depression and led to his suicide.  Sarah did well as an actress, but it appears her lack of self-confidence and her alcoholism may have played a part in her static career.  Sarah had drunken bouts leading to her arrest in London as well as Los Angeles.  She later turned to art, and she created lithographic prints of her father, which are really quite good.  Her cause of death was from an undisclosed illness.

Mary (1922-2014) was the youngest, and perhaps the closest to her mother.  It appears that after Marigold’s death, Clementine’s mothering took a turn and she became closer to Mary than she was to her other children.  During WWII, Mary worked for the Red Cross, the Women's Voluntary Service and the Auxiliary Territorial Service, serving in London, Belgium and Germany and achieving the rank of Junior Commander.  She was also Winston’s companion on many of his trips to meet with Truman and Stalin, and she was her father’s confidant.  Mary was married to Christopher Soames, and they had five children.  Soames served in the military during WWII as Assistant Military Attaché in Paris. After his return to London and a parliamentary career, he was appointed ambassador to France, with Mary at his side as hostess of fabulous soirees.  Soames later became the last colonial governor of Rhodesia and is credited with aiding the transition to the government of Zimbabwe.

The author explores the diverse, interesting, and, at times, troubled lives of these three women.  The stories of each is fascinating, affirmed with many excerpts from family letters, and the book is written clearly and concisely.
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This book follows the lives of Winston Churchill's daughters - Diana, Sarah, Marigold, and Mary.  Born into a political family with strong views, the daughter's reacted to the stress and publicity in different ways.  This was a very well written and interesting novel.  The daughter's lives were fascinating in their own right.  The book was well paced and the characters dynamic.  Overall, highly recommended.
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Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the free book.
I don't read many biographies because they don't usually work for me, but that was not the case with this one. I could not stop reading once I started. Trethewey beautifully tells the story of the Churchill sisters' lives in the book. Each one led a different and fascinating life. She explored their childhood and how it affected the sisters as adults. Each problem one of the women faced was described with detail, yet grace. I learned so much, and I liked the glimpse inside the more personal side of Winston Churchill's life. The family, while it had its flaws, really came alive in this book, and I could feel the familial bond between the family members. I also liked how Mary, Diana, and Sarah were able to have their sisterhood shown and documented all in one place. Their connections were admirable to read about.
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