Zaffre, the adult fiction imprint of Zaffre Publishing Group at Bonnier Books UK, today announces that award-winning actress Laura Carmichael will narrate Sisters under the Rising Sun, the phenomenal new novel of resilience and survival from internationally bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris.
Sisters Under the Rising Sun is based on the incredible true story of a group of Australian nurses who were captured by the Japanese army during WW2 and sent to their notorious prisoner of war camps in and around Indonesia. While in the camps, a British woman named Norah Chambers, who was a brilliant musician, collaborated with Margaret Dryburgh, a missionary teacher with an infallible memory for both music and words. Together they wrote music and trained a choir – an orchestra of voices that brought joy and hope to the women in the toughest of circumstances.
This unique audio edition of Sisters Under the Rising Sun will feature special content designed to bring the book to life, including two musical pieces: The Captives’ Hymn, composed and written by Margaret Dryburgh, and Norah Chambers’ arrangement of Maurice Ravel’s Bolero for vocal orchestra. Both pieces are included within the narrative and in full at the end of the audiobook and have been performed by the Sydney Women’s Vocal Orchestra.
Additionally, Morris will personally read her Author’s note and Afterwords, a testament to the connection she feels with the novel and the special relationships that she has established with the families of the women featured in the book.
Laura Carmichael said: ‘I’m delighted to be narrating Heather Morris’ captivating new book, Sisters Under the Rising Sun. We rarely hear about the impact war has on women’s lives, but Heather’s writing gives a voice to these often-overlooked narratives. Its themes of female solidarity and courage in desperate times are so important, and it’s an honour to be a part of bringing these incredible women’s stories to life.’
Laura Makela, head of audio, Zaffre Publishing Group & Children’s said: ‘Heather’s books always provide such wonderful opportunities for a creative approach to the audio edition. The foundation, of course, lies in finding the right voice and we could not be happier to have Laura Carmichael narrating. We’re also incredibly honoured to be including music written by a few of the real-life women that have inspired the novel, as well as Heather’s own telling of all their histories and her experience of writing about them.’
Laura Carmichael is an English film and television actress, most widely known for her performance as Lady Edith Crawley in the ITV and PBS television period drama series Downton Abbey. Her other work includes television series Marcella, and the feature film A United Kingdom.
Sisters under the Rising Sun will be published on 28 September 2023 in hardback, trade paperback, eBook and audio.