Explosion Mystery Unveiled in New Historical Fiction Novel “The Flower Sisters” by Missouri Author Michelle Collins Anderson

West Plains, Missouri – A new historical fiction novel by Missouri author Michelle Collins Anderson delves into the intriguing mystery surrounding a tragic event that shook the West Plains community almost a century ago. “The Flower Sisters,” released on April 23, is Anderson’s debut novel, honoring her roots in West Plains, where she spent her formative years.

The 368-page novel, published by Kensington Publishing Corp. in New York, follows the journey of Daisy Flowers, a 15-year-old girl who embarks on a summer adventure in 1978 with her grandmother Rose in the rural town of Possum Flats, Missouri. Instead of assisting at her grandmother’s funeral home, Daisy finds herself interning at the local newspaper, “The Picayune.” As she delves into the newspaper’s archives, Daisy uncovers the haunting story of a tragic event that occurred 50 years earlier in Possum Flats, inspired by the real-life Bond Dance Hall Explosion in West Plains on April 13, 1928.

Through her quest for answers, Daisy stumbles upon the names of those who perished in the explosion, including her grandmother’s twin, Violet. Despite facing resistance from the community and her grandmother, Daisy, with the help of her friend Joe, sets out to uncover the truth behind the long-buried secrets.

Anderson, a West Plains native, discovered the chilling tale of the Bond Dance Hall Explosion in adulthood, sparking the inspiration for her novel. The historical event, shrouded in mystery with no definitive cause identified, captivated Anderson, leading her to fuse real-life experiences and personal connections into the fabric of “The Flower Sisters.”

Drawing on her friend’s family history and her own upbringing in West Plains, Anderson weaves a tale that intertwines fiction with reality, immortalizing the memories of those affected by the tragic explosion. As the protagonist Daisy navigates her summer in Possum Flats, readers are taken on a poignant journey that pays homage to the resilience of a community scarred by loss and unanswered questions.

The novel, over a decade in the making, embraces the essence of historical fiction as Anderson expertly crafts a narrative that breathes life into the forgotten chapters of West Plains’ history. Through Daisy’s exploration of her town’s past, Anderson invites readers to ponder the lasting impact of tragedies that shape our collective memory.

“The Flower Sisters” stands as a testament to Anderson’s dedication to preserving the legacy of the Bond Dance Hall Explosion, shedding light on a somber piece of West Plains’ past. By intertwining fiction with historical events, Anderson invites readers to embark on a poignant journey of discovery and remembrance.