Monday, May 6, 2013

The Sisterhood-Helen Bryan

The Sisterhood

Helen Bryan

Amazon Publishing, Apr 30 2013, $14.95

ISBN: 9781611099287

In 1983, Mano del Diablo hurricane hammered the Pacific coast of South America. Many die and the destruction widespread. Miraculously, a naked two year old girl wearing only a religious medal survives by herself in a boat. No one claims her as their child and authorities assume her family died in the torrent so they leave the infant with nuns. Soon afterward Americans adopt her and take her to their home in Laurel Run, Georgia while naming her Menina Walker.

In 2000 Menina falls in love, but her fiancé Theo Bonner III rapes her just before the wedding though he calls it sex. Encouraged by her BFF Becky, she ends their engagement; and soon afterward a traumatized Menina travels to Spain conducting research on artist Tristan Mendoza. She finds the centuries old Las Golondrinas Monastery with resident nuns who know who she is. In the sixteenth century while the Spanish inquisition terrorized everyone but especially Jews and Muslims, nuns risked their lives to try to save five little girls (Esperanza, Marisol, Sanchia, Pia and Isabella) who would have been declared heretics.

The Sisterhood is a great thriller that mostly rotates between Menina in 2000 and what happened in the 1550s in Spain to the female quintet. The storyline is action-packed with a super late twist that shakes the foundation of Christianity (and readers). Although her behavior seems too perfect (the Laurel Run adults use her as the paragon), Menina is a fabulous protagonist who keeps the plot focused as she connects the past and present while learning who she is.

Harriet Klausner

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