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The Sisterhood

The Sisterhood

Написано Helen Bryan

Озвучено Laura Roppe


The Sisterhood

Написано Helen Bryan

Озвучено Laura Roppe

оценки:
4/5 (13 оценки)
Длина:
14 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Apr 30, 2013
ISBN:
9781469291239
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

Reeling from a broken engagement, adopted nineteen-year-old Menina Walker flees to Spain to bury her misery by writing her overdue college thesis-and soon finds herself on an unexpected journey into the past. The subject of her study is Tristan Mendoza, an obscure sixteenth-century artist whose signature includes a tiny swallow-the same swallow depicted on a medal that is Menina's only link to her birth family.

Hoping her research will reveal the swallow's significance and clue her in to her origins, Menina discovers the ancient chronicle of a Spanish convent, containing the stories of five orphaned girls hidden from the Spanish Inquisition before they escaped to the New World. Learning about the girls' adventures, the nuns who sheltered them, and Mendoza, Menina wonders if accident or destiny led her to Spain-and the discovery of a lifetime.

From bestselling author Helen Bryan comes The Sisterhood, an epic adventure filled with history, passion, and intrigue.

Издатель:
Издано:
Apr 30, 2013
ISBN:
9781469291239
Формат:
Аудиокнига


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3.8
13 оценки / 16 Обзоры
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  • (3/5)
    Going back and forth in time, this is an epic tale spanning centuries, continents, and lives. It was gripping from the first chapter, and very easy to get lost in the story. However, as the past was explored and a number of characters were introduced, I found myself getting a little confused by the number of nuns, orphans, sea voyages, and nunneries. While the story of Menina started the tale, I felt that it quickly took a backseat to the events in the 1500s, including the Spanish Inquisition. I was left with many questions about Menina's life, whether or not she returned to the United States, and the possible estrangement from her adopted family. On the other hand, I knew all I wanted to know about several nuns and novitiates, and young girls living under the protection of them. Without giving too much away, I felt a little cheated at the end, where time lept to the future, sharing what had become of Menina with little description of how she had traveled much of the path to get there. There were also questions about the suspicious people looking for Menina. What happened to them? What happened to Theo and his family? Did he ever get his comeuppance? While this was an entertaining historical fiction tale, it left me less than satisfied. I will read one more by Bryan before recommending.
  • (3/5)
    Maybe I'm getting old but I had a hard time remembering the backstory for each nun & orphan.Didn't love it; didn't hate it. It held my attention so I kept reading it.
  • (4/5)
    Spain and the expulsion of the Moors, Catholicism and the inquisition, these were very dangerous times, not only in Spain but in other countries as well. Even convents and monasteries were not safe from the long reach and the power that the church wielded. Everyone and anyone was suspect, friends and neighbors reported on each other, and the sentence was death by fire. The authors strength definitely lie in the historical portion of this novel and consequentially that is the part of liked the best. In modern times, Menina, is rescued from a horrendous storm, the medal she is found with is what ties the future to the past. Menina, however, was not a very interesting character, she is almost like a wooden caricature and so I did not enjoy the modern day part of this book as much. So read it for the history, to learn about the power and might of the early church and the consequences of the Moors banishment from Spain.
  • (4/5)
    Since the publication of The Da Vinvi Code it could have been expected that similar 'what if'- questions would pull a few new surprises out of the hats of history, and this book is no exception. In the Da Vinci Code, the question was asked 'What if Jesus was married or had a family?'. In this book the question is asked ' What if Jesus had sisters or brothers, and Mary did not remain a virgin forever? ' Throw in the theories presented in another recent book 'The Kabbalist' around the true history of Jesus as seen from a Jewish viewpoint, as well as yet another possibility in 'The Shack' of God being a woman, and I can safely declare myself ready to drown my sorrowful confusion in a casket of ancient Roman Posca!This long and complex tale centers around a history of women and their fate in the Catholic church during and after the Spanish Inquisition in which people from other faiths were forced to convert to Christianity with bloody prosecutions and killings by the thousands for those who still practiced their own religions in secret. The Gospel of the Foundress of the Las Golondrinas Convent, Andalusia, Spain, ultimately reveals much more than her own history. It solves the mystery behind the badge around the little girl's neck who was found in a fishing boat by sailors and delivered to a convent in Spanish South America.This is her, Menina Walker's story, going back centuries and involving the fates of five orphan girls: Esperanza, Pia, Sanchia, Marisol, and Luz. Menina Walker, the little Spanish girl who was adopted and given a new name by American Baptists, was given the medal and The Chronicle for save keeping by the nuns of the South American convent. She grew up in America, decided to study Art History and visit Spain for her college thesis. A traumatic experience drives her to go sooner than later.As fate would have it, she misses her bus to Madrid and unbeknownst to her, she lands up in the convent where her story begun, centuries ago . The reader is immediately pulled deep into the narrative, totally losing a sense of reality, completely vanishing into the in-depth history of the Spanish Inquisition, the fate of the Jewish, Muslim and other converts who were prosecuted by the Spanish authorities and the destiny of the nuns who had to take care, in utmost poverty, of the sufferers of the prosecutions. Two story lines are intertwined. The one begins in 1552 in Spain and the second one in 2000 with Menina Walker starting her life as young student.At first I was mesmerized. The information is so well presented that the reader taste, feel, hear, and smell every single detail. From moldy dark, dilapidated convents, to the barbaric, 'uncivilized' Incas, the taste of stale bread, and the stinky breaths of rotten teeth - it was vividly presented. The story is a riveting depiction of the terrible lives of so many people in that period of history. But by the 50% mark of the kindle version I had enough of the endless historical detail and the endless repeat of horror and hardship in the different story lines of the five girls, their families and the nuns. I just had enough of the never-ending stream of new characters constantly being added with their stories. The superficial, light-weight inclusion of the modern, and romantic, American girl's participation in the story almost derailed it for me. It did not quite fit into the narrative at all! What a pity! It would have been more convincing, to me personally, if she was from South America, or not present at all! But! The Sisterhood was a learning curve. Informative, thrilling, suspenseful, masterfully presented. I would have loved to rate it five stars, but one stars goes awol for: 1 ) the tedious nature of the information dump. 2) Menina, with her tasteless, money-driven, mass-market, tourist-trap solution just blew it for me! Menina was too obvious an added character to make the book more of a commercially palatable chic lit target. The dignity in the tale of the nuns and the orphans was destroyed. It cheapens the story. No, she was not the heroine in this book at all, sorry! The humble, devoted, dedicated, compassionate nuns unintentionally overshadowed her in every aspect of what it means to be human and to sacrifice everything for the good of fellow human beings.There were just too many protagonists, a too detailed information overload and intense descriptions of the surroundings. However, the historical aspects of the story, with the nuns as protagonists, saved the book. Their stories were the magnificence this tale needed to make it an extraordinary read!I recommend it to anyone who is interested in this part of history and can appreciate the immense wealth of research being presented in this narrative. The story contains many elements of the Greek comedy, Lysistrata, written by Aristophanes, which was performed in 411 BC. in Athens. This aspect provides another enchanting dimension to the book. And then there is the sub-story of the swallows........! Amazing!All in all though, a really, really good read! I love this author's writing style and way with words. I will read her again.
  • (4/5)
    When I started this one, I had no idea what it was about. A chapter or two in, I though, "Oh, joy, another re-fictionalization of Holy Blood, Holy Grail!" and almost put it down. Instead, I decided to give it another chapter or two, since I'd just gotten to the first of the medieval sections, and I'm really glad I did. Yes, yes, it is, broadly speaking, another re-fictionalization of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, or at least in that genre, but it quickly diverges from that track and goes in a somewhat different, and more interesting direction. For one thing, it's a women's story when, even though Mary Magdalene (who, thankfully, does not appear in this novel in any form) is central to their plots, most of the others in this vein (I'm looking at you, Dan Brown) are distinctly men's stories. Additionally, excepting a few scenes from the central gospel upon which the story hinges, there is very little of the supernatural on display -- it's quite believable, even if one discounts The Hand of God as an invisible character. Most of the story could simply have...just happened. There's a small, polite nod to the international intrigue trope that is the meat of most HB/HG progeny, but it's kept peripheral, letting the real story, the lives of the women (and men) doing good work in the world, shine!
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this book. I do agree with other reviewers that the historical fiction largely overwhelms the present story. But I did enjoy the historical part of this story. I also agree with one reviewer who stated that too many characters were included in this story. It seemed like we were constantly being introduced to yet another person. This caused the book to run on when it didn't have to. I wanted the present day story to have more detail and the "discovery" part of the present day ending to be further delved into. It seemed like we spent so much time on that past that when it came back to the present to wrap things up it all too quickly and truly wrapped it up while leaving a gaping hole in the present day story. Even though I have my detraction's about this book, it is still a good story. I am glad that it caught my attention and that I had the chance to read it.
  • (4/5)
    In this story, time warps between Spain in the sixteenth century and the present, around the end of the twentieth century. There are two related story lines both which become fully developed by the end of the book. In one era the nuns raise young girls to trying to keep them safe during the when on another a small girl is washed to shore during a hurricane and adopted by a young couple. When she goes to Spain an a young adult she discovers much of her personal history relating back to the 16th century. The story moved slowly for me and it took me a bit of time to finish it but it is well written and focuses upon the Catholic Church,a cherished old book, “the Chronicle”, and the complexity of history and the church.
  • (5/5)
    A Circular and Heartfelt Story of Women's Strength

    Ahh! That is the sound of satisfaction after reading a superb novel. The Sisterhood is very circuitous in its plot, weaving back and forth in time from the 16th century, to modern times, to as early as 37AD. All the text has to do with the Convent of the Swallows or las Gollondrinas. We switch back and forth between sixteenth century Spanish nuns, sixteenth century South American nuns in the same order, and a modern girl named Menina, who was found with the symbol of the Convent on a chain wrapped around her three year old neck in miracle save by sailors after a hurricane. She is later adopted by Americans and given not only the swallow, but a very old chronicle that the parents must promise to give to her on her sixteenth birthday. These stories interweave with that of a prominent but little-known Spanish portrait artist, who gets himself in the middle of things.

    This is a big broad canvas that Helen Bryan uses to paint her masterpiece, with a fantastic amount of players. Each one that enters the picture is fully formed and quite human. Epic in scope, we cross three continents and three centuries to find that we've come full circle and are home again.

    This book has adventure, humor, it has mystery, it has religious tolerance, it has romance, but primarily it's a story about being true to yourself and your sisters all through history. The Inquisition is involved, an alternate Gospel, a hidden sister, a missing royal heir, Inquisitors through the centuries hunting the girls, heretical paintings, Incan nobleman and a famous dancing sister. I highly recommend this novel to all women and girls who want to read something intelligent about women through history and not just the "Chick Lit" Lite reading. This is not hard to read, it is just wonderfully satisfying - like a hot bowl of stew on a cold winter's night versus sugar-water.

    This book is a keeper, and I will definitely read this multiple times over the years to come. Bravo Helen! They should make all high school girls read this before they graduate.
  • (2/5)
    Except for the present day part of the story, it was very hard to follow, and tended to go on and on. It was an interesting story though.
  • (5/5)
    I was given a free copy of The Sisterhood in return for my honest opinion. This is a stunning work of historical fiction. The author, Helen Bryan has beautifully intertwined the story of a modern day young woman dealing with her orphan past and the grief of a broken engagement. As she travels to Spain to immerse herself in her thesis on the Spanish Inquisition and is based on authentic historical accounts of Spain during the tumultuous 16th century. As she researches the past, Melina finds links to her own family and her own origins. I loved this book and struggled to stop myself from flicking to the back prematurely to find out how it was going to finish.
  • (4/5)
    This book is really two stories: one set in the 21st century, and one in the sixteenth-century Spanish Empire. The historical narrative focuses on a reclusive convent committed to protecting women from violence. In the midst of the midst of the Inquisition, the convent, Las Golondrinas, takes in girls whose families and histories have led them afoul of the authorities. As the Inquisition closes in, some of the girls will be forced into exile in the American colonies.The historical narrative is fascinating and well-done. Bryan provides an intimate look at the life of an early modern convent. Her story shows how vulnerable women were in early modern Spain. At all socio-economic levels women's very safety depended upon the whims of men, whims that often turned deadly. The portrayal of this precariousness and dependence, countered with the relative freedoms of the nuns, is perhaps the highlight of the book. I loved the historical portion of this book. Were I rating on that alone I would definitely give the book five stars.The modern portion of the story is far less interesting. Menina Walker, who is at the center of the modern story, is a young woman who is perfect in every way. After breaking her engagement she runs off to Spain to work on a research project. By a ridiculous series of coincidences she finds herself at the Golondrinas convent. The entirety of the modern story operates on the basis of this series of absurd consequences. Menina is also too perfect to be real. I found much of the modern story to be unbelievable and schmaltzy. It's a shame that Bryan encumbered what is a really interesting historical fiction novel with a modern tale that is often unbelievable. There's a sort of odd ending, too. Let's just say that it goes Da Vinci Code.
  • (4/5)
    When a hurricane hits the Pacific Coast of South America, the damage from flooding and mudslides, kills people tearing apart families; and in its aftermath a tiny girl around 3 years old, is found floating alive in the ocean amidst the storm debris. She is taken to a convent in the shadow of the Andes and cared for by the nuns; soon she is adopted by a Baptist couple from North America. As she grows up, all she knows about where she came from is from a Medal that was hanging around her neck when she was found, depicting a Swallow, and an ancient manuscript written in Spanish and Latin that the nuns gave her adoptive parents. As a young adult, on a trip to study art in Spain, she accidentally gets separated from the other students and ends up in a convent in Andalusia named Las Golondrinas, The Swallows. The convent is full of decaying art and mysterious stories of young girls brought to the nuns centuries ago. Personally, I had mixed feelings about this book, the story is a grand adventure, and a mystery with a sprinkling of love stories spanning multiple centuries, but it is also controversial from a religious perspective. The first chapter begins during the Inquisition, and at the end the author makes doctrinal leaps that are inaccurate; somewhat like Dan Brown does suggesting in The Da Vinci Code that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had a child. The ending left one question unanswered so it didn’t feel complete. I can give this advanced readers copy 4 stars for the story, and the courageous nuns.
  • (3/5)
    Decent medical thriller. I prefer Robin Cook's writing. I did manage to read this one quickly.
  • (3/5)
    Eh....I'm lukewarm on this one. The storyline was interesting enough, but something didn't sit well with me to make this one memorable. I think it was a combination of things: the reader (too formal), the abridgement, and the writing in general. It wasn't enough to put me off of medical thrillers, but not one of my favorites.
  • (3/5)
    This book examines the sensitive topic of euthanasia. Dr. David Shelton, a little brash, easy to dislike, and recovering from a personal crisis that has caused a career setback, gets his chance to advance when he's asked to cover for another surgeon scheduled to go out of town. Unfortunately for David, this brings him into contact with the Sisterhood of Life, a shadowy group of nurses who take it upon themselves to decide who should live and who should die; and their even more frightening corollary group The Garden, a subset of The Sisterhood that's gotten into euthanasia for profit. When one of the patients David is caring for is "helped" by the Sisterhood, David is accused of the crime and the plot takes off.The book moves well and has some interesting and surprising twists. It's a little cliche, which isn't unusual for a first novel, and reading it in 2010 it's really quite dated - you could almost see the lava lamps and hear Laugh-In on the TV (only 3 stations, of course!) in the background. Sill, it's a good read and worth picking up if you like medical mysteries.
  • (4/5)
    I haven't read a Palmer in several years, and going back to his earlier works did not disappoint.