Meet bestselling author Martha Hall Kelly at library benefit


Martha Hall Kelly is at it again with her intriguing new book “Sunflower Sisters,” her second prequel novel following her bestselling historical fiction, “Lilac Girls.” Kelly will speak about the book on Thursday, August 5, at 5 pm at a special fundraising event at the West Chop Club Casino for the Vineyard Haven library’s new program room project.

Kelly grew up in Massachusetts, and now splits her time between Connecticut, New York City, and Martha’s Vineyard. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years while researching and writing “Lilac Girls,” which became a New York Times bestseller the week it was published in April 2016. “Lilac Girls,” which takes place during World War II, introduced the real-life heroine, Caroline Ferriday. Her engaging new historical fiction is about a Union nurse during the Civil War who crosses paths with both an enslaved girl and a Southern plantation mistress — and are all written with the complexity of Kelly’s female characters in both “Lilac Girls” and her second novel “Lost Roses,” set during the Russian Revolution. Inspired by true accounts, “Sunflower Sisters” is an interwoven story of women caught in a country on the brink of collapse, in a society grappling with nationalism, and unthinkable racial cruelty.

Kelly says about the upcoming event, “I’m going to talk about the true story behind “Lilac Girls” and about my new one as well, which continues on where ‘Lilac Girls’ left off . . . it’s been so much fun writing a novel set in the 1950s.”

Those attending will also have an opportunity to hear a brief update about the Vineyard Haven Library Building Fund’s capital campaign to enhance the library building with the addition of a multipurpose meeting room. Afterwards, there will be refreshments outdoors and Kelly will be signing books, which will be on sale at the event from Bunch of Grapes bookstore.

Tickets for this limited-capacity event are $10 and may be purchased online at

Face masks are not required for fully vaccinated attendees.