Band of Sisters, but Cathy Gohlke takes place in 1910 in New York City. When their mother dies, Maureen O'Reilly's aunt makes Maureen and her sister Katie Rose leave Ireland to travel to Ellis Island. Their father has a friend that sent a letter and money years ago for him to move there. Katie Rose is ill when they reach the USA and is hospitalized. Maureen goes to her father's friends home to find out he has past away and his family is not honoring his debt. Maureen accepts money from a man and uses that to set up an apartment for them. She gives false recommendations to obtain a job at a local department store. Maureen quickly realizes the department store is a front for a totally different type of business.
Women began disappearing from the store and Maureen eventually tells others. She works together with a man who also traveled from Ireland and his employer to try to find the women.
This is a great adventure to read. I really enjoyed the suspense that is written in the story. I wanted to just keep reading this story to see what was going to happen next. The parts in the story that really stand out for me are what it was like for immigrants who arrived in the United States and how the women from church got together to try to help the women immigrants.
I feel anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction based on immigration will really enjoy this story.
I am becoming a fan of Cathy Gohlke's books. I have previously read her Promise Me Thisand Secrets She Kept. She seems to have a deeper plot than some other authors, and something else I can't put my finger on.
This book is set in the 1910's, about the immigration of Maureen and her sister from Ireland. Determined to make it on her own after her father's friend is found to have passed away, Maureen takes a position in a department store, narrowly surviving a tragic mistake. Forced to live in less-than-desirable circumstances, Maureen's sister starts to pull away and blame Maureen for their troubles in Ireland. Meanwhile Maureen stubbornly refuses help from those who would be friends.
I was reminded as I read this book of the difficulties facing immigrants, especially women on their own. The city is unforgiving and treacherous to those who don't know it, and filled with preditors.
Two things I was impressed with in the book are, first, the effort a group of first-class women put into helping those who needed it. They called themselves a Band of Sisters. And second, Maureen's efforts in helping both her friends and those in the same dire circumstance. She could have turned a blind eye and remained in ignorant "safety", but she chose to help those who didn't have anyone else to care about them. It truly is an inspiration.
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.
If you're looking for a page-turner, look no further.
I love books that involve sisters, especially stories full of emotion and angst. I sympathized with Maureen O'Reilly when she was treated unfair and was rooting for her and her sister as they escaped Ireland...to only find new problems.
This story is historical fiction at its best. I felt that it took a long time for the story line to explain the title, but it fell into place. I was disturbed by the actions of the main character when she made questionable choices, but I feel that this was intentional, so we would be warmed by the resolution of the events. I sympathized with Maureen and her good intentions, and Olivia as well. The descriptions were wonderful. I could picture the city, and the factory, and the night-lit streets. I have a somewhat limited knowledge of 1910 New York City, but it felt accurate and believable to me. The plot had some gritty aspects and also a tender treatment of faith and grace. I am very grateful for a clean story with likeable characters.