An historical setting that puts the spotlight on current issues. Two young immigrant women desperate for a new life are thrown into turn-of-the-century New York City's immigrant world. Believing they are coming to a better life, they are shocked to realize how difficult life becomes when the person they thought would sponsor them has died. There is an undercurrent in the story of the two sisters' relationship that explores each perspective and what they each perceive to be their motivation behind their behavior vs what is really going on. While the events escalate into somewhat unbelievable territory, it is still a very compelling read that has a can't-put-it-down quality where the reader is driven to find out how they get out of yet another dire situation. Though neither is specifically depicted, the novel has some mature themes of sex trafficking and rape, putting modern-day issues in a historical setting. A fast-paced, well-written novel worth reading.
Band of Sisters was a bit predictable. I think it is great that the author tackled writing about trafficking, a cause we should all be more aware of. The book just wasn't that well-written, and it had a slow pace. I was a bit disappointed.
Summary: When two sisters flee Ireland after their mother's death, they find themselves struggling to survive in turn of the century New York City. One sister finds a job at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, the other in a department store which is a front for sex-trafficking. As the danger increases and motives become confused, the two sisters grow farther apart.
The story is well written and pulled me in. Gohlke must have sisters, because she perfectly captures the love, hurt, and forgiveness intrinsic to that relationship. Some of the plot is predictable, but some of it caught me completely off guard, which was a nice change for christian fiction. There is a lot of pain in this story, and many people are hurt by those around them. But the story also does a good job showing how perfect love casts out fear, how love covers a multitude of sins, and how love bears no record of wrongs.
I'd give it five stars, but the writing style wasn't quite up to that level. Otherwise, I'd recommend it.
Band of Sisters was not what I expected - and it was much more than I expected. Set in the early 1900s in New York City, this book follows the story of Irish immigrants, Maureen and Katie Rose. They come through Ellis Island determined to make life better on their own. Initially, the O'Reilly sisters do come with the hope of a benefactor, due to an old letter of their Da's. When they find that their benefactor is not what they expected, Maureen is determined to stand on her own and start a new life. However, she quickly and sadly learns that life in America is not all that she expected. What I found most intriguing about this book was the incorporation of white slavery - prostitution. This fiction book challenges you to think about a modern issue just by reading this book. That is what a good book does, and Cathy does it. Band of Sisters was riveting and I read it all over the course of two days, because I had to find out what happened. I highly recommend this book.