Betty B. (Irving, TX)
Sisterhood Through The Ages
The Sisterhood tells a beautiful story of women caring for the abused and neglected through the ages. If you can accept that artifacts from an ancient convent in the mountains of Spain find their way to a convent in South America in the 1500's, then to a 19 year old Southern Baptist college student in Georgia in 2000, you will enjoy this book. It may take a leap of imagination (or faith) at times, but you will enjoy the journey. I thought both the writing and characterizations in the 1500's stronger than the contemporary events or this would have earned 5 stars from me.
Mary Lou F. (Naples, FL)
Exchange of historical events
Excellent back and forth details of Spanish Inquisition and modern day times. Historical religious beliefs interwoven with modern times make for a wonderful piece of work.
Mary S. (Hilton Head Island, SC)
Too Much, Too Little
As I read this book, I found myself wondering why so many present day authors feel that they have to cover a multitude of "issues" to tell an otherwise good story. In "The Sisterhood" by Helen Bryan, feminism, theology, politics, mythology and numerous other topics are discussed by way of the overriding story. None of the topics reflect good research. The women's issues reek of 1970 and early 1980s thinking. As a woman with a degree in Theology, I found both the historic and present day research flawed and poorly presented. What would have been a good, simple story is ruined by poor, unfocused writing. The worst book I have read in a long time.
Linda M. (Windsor, CA)
Review of The Sisterhood
The author of The Sisterhood does a very good job at blending two stories set almost 500 years apart in two different countries on two continents. She brings everything together in a very believable way. Her characters are beautifully crafted as are the settings in the book. She uses art very skillfully to interpret Bible stories which do present interpretations not accepted by the Catholic faith, but seems to do so in a non-challenging way with an historical basis for those interpretations. The historic and current stories unfold slowly so that the culmination is well-explained. I thought this was an enjoyable read and well-researched.
Nona F. (Evanston, IL)
I very much enjoyed The Sisterhood, which I found to be a real page-turner. The author is skilled at creating individual characters (and there are a lot of them in this book), and I think she was successful in managing her dual narrative structure. This would be a good book for book clubs with its non-preachy examination of women's rights and religious tolerance through the ages. Be warned that there are a few logical disjuncts and at least one mighty fortuitous coincidence as well as some quibbling caveats such as why does the Spanish police officer who attended an university and a police academy in America for five years speak in pidgin English? On the whole, a very enjoyable and fast read.
Mary M. (Dallas, TX)
I really wanted to love this book because the portal through which we glimpse the lives of 16th upper class Spanish women whose lives are intertwined with the convent "Las Golondrinas" is fascinating. However the author flips clumsily between the present and the past while weaving a predictable plot so while the book is interesting it is not one that I can recommend without reservations.