#BookReview Sisters Under the Rising Sun by Heather Morris @StMartinsPress #SistersUndertheRisingSun #HeatherMorrisAuthor #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Sisters Under the Rising Sun

Author: Heather Morris

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Oct. 24, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A phenomenal novel of resilience and survival from bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris.

In the midst of World War II, an English musician, Norah Chambers, places her eight-year-old daughter Sally on a ship leaving Singapore, desperate to keep her safe from the Japanese army as they move down through the Pacific. Norah remains to care for her husband and elderly parents, knowing she may never see her child again.

Sister Nesta James, a Welsh Australian nurse, has enlisted to tend to Allied troops. But as Singapore falls to the Japanese she joins the terrified cargo of people, including the heartbroken Norah, crammed aboard the Vyner Brooke merchant ship. Only two days later, they are bombarded from the air off the coast of Indonesia, and in a matter of hours, the Vyner Brooke lies broken on the seabed.

After surviving a brutal 24 hours in the sea, Nesta and Norah reach the beaches of a remote island, only to be captured by the Japanese and held in one of their notorious POW camps. The camps are places of starvation and brutality, where disease runs rampant. Sisters in arms, Norah and Nesta fight side by side every day, helping whoever they can, and discovering in themselves and each other extraordinary reserves of courage, resourcefulness and determination.

Sisters under the Rising Sun is a story of women in war: a novel of sisterhood, bravery and friendship in the darkest of circumstances, from the multimillion-copy bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Cilka’s Journey and Three Sisters.


Immersive, evocative, and affecting!

Sisters Under the Rising Sun is an alluring tale set in Singapore and Indonesia during WWII that follows several women, especially Sister Nesta James, an Australian nurse, and Norah Chambers, a mother and British musician, as they do whatever it takes to help each other survive the horror and hardships of life in a Japanese POW camp in order to one day be able to reunite with the people that have kept their fighting spirits alive and strong.

The prose is vivid and smooth. The characters are dependable, courageous, and resilient. And the plot is a moving tale of life, loss, self-discovery, heartbreak, determination, hope, loyalty, tragedy, survival, love, friendship, sisterhood, and wartime brutalities.

Overall, Sisters Under the Rising Sun is an emotive, rich, absorbing tale that I devoured from start to finish. I’m a huge fan of Heather Morris’ writing, and this novel didn’t disappoint. If you enjoy well-researched WWII novels with a fresh and unique perspective, then I highly recommend it.


This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Heather Morris

HEATHER MORRIS is a native of New Zealand, now resident in Australia. For several years, while working in a large public hospital in Melbourne, she studied and wrote screenplays, one of which was optioned by an Academy Award-winning screenwriter in the US. In 2003, Heather was introduced to an elderly gentleman who ‘might just have a story worth telling’. The day she met Lale Sokolov changed both their lives. Their friendship grew and Lale embarked on a journey of self-scrutiny, entrusting the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust to her. Heather originally wrote Lale’s story as a screenplay – which ranked high in international competitions – before reshaping it into her debut novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

Photo by Tina Smigielski.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email