Last Updated on Monday, 29 October 2012 09:05 Posted by Clash Monday, 29 October 2012 10:30
Reviewed by Katie McCurdy for Legacy of a Writer
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 really enjoyed Cathy Gohlke’s previous release, Promise Me This, and enjoyed Band of Sisters even more!! It was a really unique plot and storyline that kept you glued to the pages as the O’Reilly sisters dealt with first one, then another, dilemma in their new life in America.
Maureen was a pretty stubborn young Irish woman! Though while I thought she was super-stubborn, I did understood why she was so unwilling to reach out to Joshua—and men in general. Her past was painful and she didn’t want to repeat it. Her younger sister, Katie Rose, was a bit hard to like. She seemed really sweet at the beginning, but soon turned into more of a spoiled brat. I felt Maureen’s pain when Katie was angry at her, and the desire to see them reconcile kept me reading.
Not only that, but the storyline with the underground white slavery really had my stuck in the book, unwilling to put it down. Gohlke did her research and brought the struggles of a single immigrant in America to life. Ellis Island sounded terrifying—I can’t imagine being in Maureen’s shoes, determined to keep her sister with her, desperate to get accepted into America, and reluctant to trust anyone.
While Band of Sisters does go into white slavery, Gohlke hands it all very well and doesn’t go into too much detail of what the women who were forced into prostitution experience. One thing I really loved about Band of Sisters was how Gohlke tied in Charles Sheldon’s In His Steps with the book! All in all, throughout all of Band of Sisters you can’t help cheering for Maureen as both she and Katie try their hardest to begin a new life in America.
* I reviewed this book for RadiantLit. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.