BAND OF SISTERS
Maureen O'Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant facade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.Despite her family's disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father's debt but can't find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, whom Olivia begins to see as more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he's hiding. As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring?
I didn't set out to read this book in one sitting but that's what happened. And it's 400 pages! Gohlke captivated me from the start with the O'Reilly sisters plight. There's real grit and heartache within these pages -- no fairytale with a knight in shining armor riding in to save the day in the nick of time. Maureen's situation is grim from the time we meet her. Escaping Ireland for America is the first step towards freedom, but unfortunately she can't run from her memories.
Gohlke has created an epic and inspiring work that mirrors the lives of women from two very different worlds. But whether they are from society or the working poor, none of them is truly free from the conventions of the time...and of the men who would use them.
It is easy to see why Maureen has trust issues, frustrating as it is to watch her wade through a mire of deceit and danger stoically on her own. And while Olivia's wealth brings her more freedom, it also keeps her under the thumb of her arrogant brother-in-law. Both women battle to find their way as they are caught up in horrific events that will shape their lives for years to come.
You will find a strong inspirational thread within these pages as well. One of the best I have read in Christian Fiction. Gohlke doesn't preach, but she does pose an interesting question that each reader will feel compelled to ponder over and over again by the end of this read. Band of Sisters is a book that has the power to transform if a reader's heart is open to the challenge. Wonderful, riveting, amazing -- a not to be missed book for every TBR pile.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Band of Sisters, please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 7 2012. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!