Band of Sisters
Book With a Message
When I began this book, I honestly had no idea how prevalent the human sex trafficking business was and how long it had been going on. I was horrified to realize that such a thing as the white slavery trade was going on in this country in the late 1800's. I am still reeling from the shock of it all.
The Christian message of this book was fantastically woven into the fabric of the story in a remarkable way. I so appreciate the way that Cathy Gohlke made God and Christianity a real thing rather than just something nice on the side. The characters who were truly committed to the Lord, lived it!
The characters were so well-developed, and I connected with them on a real way. I always find it kind of funny when I actually feel like praying for the characters to make it through this situation or that situation when they are not real. But the author made the characters so alive to me that I wanted to do just that.
I appreciate the way the author wrote fairly realistic fiction. Usually, Christian books avoid great tragedies and even mention the dreaded word "sex" or "prostitution." This book handled the issue in a real way, and it made the story all that more real to me.
I was surprised to see the inclusion of the book "In His Steps." It had been a while since I had read that book, but it certainly made for an interesting turn of events. To see the characters living the philosophy "What Would Jesus Do" really did make me stop and think about the cost of following Christ--especially for those in society. This is a book I can recommend to anyone who wants to learn about a portion of history that is not normally discussed in this country.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100 percent mine, and I was not financially compensated.
December 23, 2013
Band of SistersÃ¢ÂÂA Passionate Voice for the Oppress
TodayÃ¢ÂÂs headlines shout of the unspeakableÃ¢ÂÂrape, human trafficking, and oppression of the vulnerable. ItÃ¢ÂÂs all the more difficult to believe of a country whose constitution and laws were written to protect the innocentÃ¢ÂÂbut is this a new phenomenon?
In award-winning and best-selling author, Cathy GohlkeÃ¢ÂÂs newest novel, Band of Sisters, we learn that todayÃ¢ÂÂs atrocities are not recent events, but are cruelties which have been around for centuries.
Gohlke takes us back in time to tell the story of the OÃ¢ÂÂReilly sisters, Maureen and Katie Rose.
In 1910, Maureen and her younger sister flee Ireland, a place for them that only offers a future of compromising servitude. Maureen places her hope for a better life on a new country and a twenty-year old promise made to her father by a stranger, Colonel Wakefield. Still, the promise is better than her and her sisterÃ¢ÂÂs present reality.
After enduring the challenges and indignities of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor has died. There is a mix-up with Colonel WakefieldÃ¢ÂÂs family, with the end result of the brother-in-law refusing to honor the colonelÃ¢ÂÂs debt.
With her sister ill, and now the threat of deportation looming over her, Maureen hatches a plan to obtain employment in a department store that caters to the affluent. ItÃ¢ÂÂs not long before she stumbles upon an alarming subterfuge at the respectable establishment. Women are disappearing. MaureenÃ¢ÂÂs experience as one oppressed by wealthy men, compels her to questionÃ¢ÂÂtoo aggressivelyÃ¢ÂÂthe disappearances.
Meanwhile, the two sisters struggle to make ends meet as well as to get along. Katie Rose is captivated by the wealthy and is blinded by the frivolous, superficial lifestyles centered on them. She even turns her back on her own sister.
As women continue to disappear, Maureen participates in a dangerous plot headed by her employerÃ¢ÂÂs business partner and her friend who has recently emigrated from IrelandÃ¢ÂÂand who has loved Maureen for many years.
Maureen is swallowed up by the colossal wave of human trafficking. The scope of its cruelty and deviousness is more than she could imagine or handle. What transpires will have the reader sitting long into the night, gripping the pages with anticipation to see what happens next.
For years, Cathy Gohlke has writtenÃ¢ÂÂbeautifully and with great passionÃ¢ÂÂthe stories of the oppressed. In Band of Sisters, she digs even deeper to bring to light the depravities of humanity, yet strives to elevate our hearts with hope for GodÃ¢ÂÂs healing and restoration.
Band of Sisters is also an opportunity to teach us to tune our hearts, minds, and ears to the contemporary problems of human trafficking. By teaching us, we can be like Maureen and not turn away from those in need.
Band of Sisters has become one of my favorite books.
August 24, 2013
Very good read
This book was a fascinating read. ÃÂ While I remained fairly sure that everything was going to work out okay, it was a thrilling read to find out exactly how it all did work out. ÃÂ I will admit to reading ahead a bit just to make sure that ÃÂ Maureen really did escape being captured. ÃÂ I thought Cathy had a really good way of writing and I would definitely be interested in reading more of her books. ÃÂ
August 19, 2013
Poignant story on immigration, love, & evil
Maureen OÃ¢ÂÂReill, raped by her employer nobleman, was determined to rescue her beloved young sister, Katie Rose, from the same fate when their mother died. Her aunt said both girls needed to flee immediately for a ship bound for America, using money an American man had sent her father as well as a letter stating his wish to help the family since her father had saved his life. Her mother had been too foolish to go, and now that both parents were dead, it was up to Maureen to take the money and her sister and flee. A young man, Joshua Keeton, was asked to take them to the ship. Maureen was so scared of men that she tried not to let Joshua do more than that. However, he too left Ireland and it was with his help and the help of Mrs. Melkford, a lady from the American Missionary Aid Society that she cleared immigration at Ellis Island, leaving Katie Rose behind to recover from chicken pox. Since getting a job and a place to live were critical to Katie RoseÃ¢ÂÂs release from Ellis Island when sheÃ¢ÂÂd recovered, Maureen went to Olivia WakefieldÃ¢ÂÂs house with the letter stating Mr. MorrowÃ¢ÂÂs desire for the OÃ¢ÂÂReilly family to come to America and so get help from him. What happened when Maureen showed up at the Wakefield house leaving Maureen crushed but determined? Survival was now at stake. How did she get references for herself at DarcyÃ¢ÂÂs Department Store? Another girl helped her find a place to live and cheap second-hand clothes. But it was not smooth sailing. Katie Rose hated her pox scars and wanted to look better dressed and live in a better place than Maureen had found despite the lack of money. But worse was ahead as people disappeared from work and Maureen was hired to help Joshua find them. Where were the missing women? Why were they missing? Would they be able to capture the guilty ones and free the missing workers in time? Would Olivia forgive Curtis for using her to capture her husband? Would Maureen survive? Would Katie Rose ever love Maureen?
August 7, 2013