Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton #BookReview

Sunflowers in February def

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Lily wakes up one crisp Sunday morning on the side of the road.

She has no idea how she got there. It is all very peaceful. And very beautiful. It is only when the police car, and then the ambulance, arrive and she sees her own body that she realises that she is in fact . . . dead.

But what is she supposed do now?

Lily has no option but to follow her body and sees her family – her parents and her twin brother – start falling apart. And then her twin brother Ben gives her a once in a deathtime opportunity – to use his own body for a while. But will Lily give Ben his body back? She is beginning to have a rather good time . . .

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star three and a half

It must be karma because while I was finishing this novel, something very sad happened to someone at work. One day he’s there, the next he’s not.. gone in the blink of an eye, much like Lily in this novel.

I’m not one to believe in an afterlife or staying around on earth (although I did really love the movie Ghost) but I actually found some comfort in the story as I imagined my colleague following everyone around and still being near. Sometimes you just find it in unexpected places when you need it. If you are struggling with feelings of grief, having difficulties letting a loved one go, then this is a nice novel to lose yourself into and draw some strength and positive thoughts from in the end.

Sunflowers in February touches subjects as spirituality and life after death but all in a charmingly funny way. It’s a book about trying to hold on – and Lily is quite literally holding on to her old life by claiming her brother’s body – but also about letting go. I had some problems with Lily’s selfish choice to take what wasn’t hers and putting her brother in her own shoes. She also didn’t make much of an effort either acting like a boy. Imagine your brother squeeling over a pair of shoes, ahum. So sometimes she did irritate me a little bit and I thought I would do better (not that I’ve ever tried mind). If it was an effort at being hilariously funny then it was maybe somewhat cheeky and humourous but not in a laughing out loud kind of way but I felt the story didn’t need it really or it was perhaps not something I was looking for in that moment so that’s probably why I also liked the story more towards the ending. In the final part she’s more reflective and appreciative of everybody and you can feel the warmth of her family and her friends even though they don’t know she’s there.

Overall, this was a light and humurous read which started out from a horrific situation but was beautifully turned around and left me with a heart-warming and satisfying feeling.

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

26 thoughts on “Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton #BookReview

  1. First of all, I’m really sorry to hear about your loss. It must have been difficult and I am really glad this book gave you some comfort. ❤️
    Generosity is one of my top values and Respect is high up there as well. Lily’s selfish and disrespectful behaviour would irritate me as well as it would go against my values. I can totally see myself getting all wound up. 😊 It’s interesting that spirituality is being examined as I think our society is slowly drifting away from anything spiritual and I see that as one of big losses. Spirituality provides hope. And could offer another dimension that science may not be able to cover.. I’m not disliking science, I am a scientist myself, but I think it’s important sometimes to have open hearts and minds as there could be more than just science. So happy this book touched on that. 😊👏

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    • Thanks, I can’t tell you what a shock it was. I saw him the day before and he was cheerful as always, the next day he jumped in front of a train. Not even 40 years old.. So it’s not exactly the same but I liked reading the MC was following her loved ones around in the novel. The spirituality gave hope here as well, although the person who introduces them is again a bit of a cliché of a hippie, if you get the type I mean. Thank you so much Vera!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s so critical there is more of mental health awareness around such issues. Depression and many other illnesses are often suffered in silence. I’m so sorry to hear that Inge, it must have been devastating news. ❤️
        I do know what you mean but still really happy it helped!

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  2. I find that stories dealing with the afterlife can be very tricky; you wouldn’t want to upset the masses on what you believe is a possibility, and I know many cultures, including my own, can be very touchy about religion. I’m glad this book brought you comfort, though, which is what I’m hoping the book can bring for others as well. My condolences on your colleague, love.

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  3. So, so sorry to hear about your colleague! 😦 It is always times like these when we start to truly think on the meaning of life and to notice, to live, to change… This is so sad 😦 I have had my fair share of friends lost on untimely deaths and it’s never easy… a lot of what ifs…

    I totally stand behind you on your point about the book where she doesn’t even try to act like her brother (eg, squealing at shoes!).. hehe… it sounds like the brother was being selfless and she selfish?

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    • Thanks love. You hit the nail right on the head there, the brother is the selfless one, even though he had his flaws and she does help him getting out of a bad circle of friends and such but still… I liked her a bit better towards the end :-).

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