The Secret Life Of Sunflowers: A gripping, inspiring novel based on the true story of Johanna Bonger, Vincent van Gogh's sister-in-law (Light & Life Series)

When Hollywood auctioneer Emsley Wilson finds her famous grandmother's diary while cleaning out her New York brownstone, the pages are full of surprises. The first surprise is, the diary isn't her grandmother's. It belongs to Johanna Bonger, Vincent van Gogh's sister-in-law.

Johanna inherited Vincent van Gogh's paintings. They were all she had, and they weren't worth anything. She was a 28 year old widow with a baby in the 1800s, without any means of supporting herself, living in Paris where she barely spoke the language. Yet she managed to introduce Vincent's legacy to the world.

The inspiration couldn't come at a better time for Emsley. With her business failing, an unexpected love turning up in her life, and family secrets unraveling, can she find answers in the past?

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404 pages

Average rating: 7.03




Community Reviews

sharon grant
May 12, 2024
4/10 stars
I am an artist and was looking froward to reading this book focusing on Johanna Bonger and the Van Gogh brothers Vincent and Theo. This part of the book was very enjoyable. Joanna's speech and writing for 1887 to me was too modern so lacked some Authenticates, although the author brought her to life. The the other half of the book for me was a poorly plotted 21st century romance novel interwoven with some attempt to create a biographical more
Apr 24, 2024
This book found it's way to my hands at a time that I needed it so much! These strong and courageous women didn't give up, they didn't let fear win, and they kept moving forward even when it was hard! The information I learned about van Gogh was an added bonus! Great read!
Feb 19, 2024
8/10 stars
Whether you love historical fiction, impressionist painters, strong women, or a combination, this book is for you. Loved it.
Salem rainbow
Oct 11, 2023
7/10 stars
Interesting premise, but I think it could have been written better. I wouldn’t call it gripping.
Jun 24, 2023
5/10 stars
Started off well, but it got kind of boring about half way through. I liked the character Jo a lot, but not so much Emsley. Basically, I thought there wasn't much subtlety there. When the characters were sad, they were WAY over the top crying. Just too much.

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