"Sharing the story of a Ukrainian refugee in the UK, this hard-hitting account of the horrors and impact of war is a stirring ode to empathy and resilience."
February 2024 Book of the Month
“Thursday 24 February 2022. The day the Russians came” was the day everything changed for 15-year-old Kat and her family. Beginning at this fateful moment, and informed by the author and his family having hosted refugees from Ukraine, Malcolm Duffy’s Seven Million Sunflowers is incredibly moving, authentic and perfectly-pitched.
Two months on from the February missile strike on her Kharkiv hometown, Kat lands in the UK with her Mama and brother Marko, while her website designer dad stays behind to fight, his designer shoes replaced with combat boots.
In the UK, Kat finds a friend (and more) in Felix, who’s as reluctant to talk about his family as Kat is about her dad. At the same time, Kat feels guilty about her newfound happiness while her father and compatriots back home are risking everything as they fight for her country.
Conflict, in all its forms, is poignantly evoked when devastating news comes from home just as Kat experiences troubles in her new UK life — the politics of war becomes excruciatingly personal, with all the challenges of being a teenager heightened by the conflict.
Written in attention-grabbing style — a potently direct first-person narrative with poetic impact — Seven Million Sunflowers is charged with empathy and utterly un-put-down-able.