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Sarah N. (Corte Madera, CA)
Great Story Line...
It was the "voices" of the different characters that I had a hard time distinguishing. I felt that the women from earlier eras in the book would have had a more formal tone. I often found myself having to backtrack to figure out who was "speaking." I was captivated by what was happening and enjoyed how things connected.
Kat F. (Palatine, IL)
I was so looking forward to it...
I've been mulling over this review for a week or so now. I couldn't figure out what the problem was for me.
Laurette A. (Rome, NY)
There are several interesting story lines and the author did a good job telling each story. I really enjoyed reading each story for its own sake.
I couldn't figure it out and then it hit me – none of the stories were completed. The author did not tie up the loose ends of each story, and did not weave them together so the reader saw the whole picture.
The story(s) spanned from 1500's through current date. That's a lot of time to cover and there was only one weak thread that went through all of it. It was kind of like saying I am attached to my female ancestors for the past 400 years because we all had brown hair on our head.
The reader (and the author) would have been better served if each story line had been its own book with a beginning, middle and end. They should have been part of a series that clearly the relationship between the story lines and how each impacted the other. I would have bought them all.
Having recently begun researching my own family tree I was excited to read this book. I liked it, but not as much as I had hoped. While the author put great detail into the background stories of the girls in the convent, I never felt she fleshed out the main character, Menina very well. I would have liked more of her back story and more about her relationship with Alejandro. For such a long book, the ending felt rushed as if the author was tired of writing and wanted to wrap things up quickly. As I said, I liked it and am glad I read it; however, I'm not sure I would recommend it to my friends.
Mary Jane D. (Arlington Heights, IL)
An epic historical read
The Sisterhood covers a long time period alternating between present and past. I enjoyed the historical parts and the interesting characters that were developed. Just as I thought it was bogging down a bit a new character or situation would be introduced. I was a little disappointed in the ending and wanted more detail of the main character's connection. Catholics would disagree with the premise of the "new" Gospel.
Annie P. (Murrells Inlet, SC)
The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan
is no easy book to read. It's long, it's slow in places, and there are so many facts and references there is no way to keep track of them all. Besides, there are a host of characters who must all be acknowledged and remembered that it is a challenge to get through this story. But, the great thing is, it is worth it! I was afraid at times that I was reading heresy and nearly put the book down, but I'm glad I didn't; the story is compelling. I carried my book everywhere I went, a few minutes here, half an hour there, until I finally came to the end, only to decide I need to read it again just because it is such a terrific story. Menina is a perfect protagonist, a regular person who was given a gift of such magnitude, the ability to search out the meaning of her work, and be able to develop it so fully.
Patricia L. (Seward, AK)
Sisters through the ages
Thank you, Ms. Bryan, for this gift.
Sisterhood by Helen Bryan was an entertaining and informative read, especially if one is interested in the history of convents and those who dwell within. The most intriguing aspect of this book was the notion that there were/are non-nuns behind the secure doors and the stories that are told as a result. How women act and help each other as they are rendered powerless by events such as the Spanish Inquisition and into the 21st century with kidnapping and forced prostitution is the premise of this book. Blending history and current events under this theme makes a good read albeit not great literature. Bryan's characters and events sometimes have the feel of a romance/adventure novel. Recommended for summer reading.
Edie M. (Kennett Square, PA)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I thought the characters were compelling and extremely interesting. They kept calling me back.
Rosemary C. (Austin, TX)
Ancient intrigue, modern connections
I would not recommend this book for the younger audience.
Also, if you are interested in religion, you will enjoy this read.
Helen Bryan takes on an ambitious project in weaving a 16th century story over two continents and bringing it to have relevance in the present day. For the most part, she succeeds. I especially enjoyed the portion of the book that dealt primarily with the women of the convents in Spain and America in the 1500's, and I think the writing was more skillful there. I did get engrossed in the book, but it seemed to end very abruptly and just a little on the side of trite.