I currently have 5 book reviews to do. And, yet, I am putting all of them on hold to review the book I finished today - yes, today. It's called The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan. I loved this book. I hovered between a 3.5 and 4 (out of 4) and finally settled on a 3.5. But it was close. There was a little bit of drag in the middle, enough to swing it to a 3.5. But make no mistake. This is a really good book.
The book rotates between the early-to-mid 1500's in Spain and the Pacific coast of South America and the year 2000 in a small town in Georgia. It is 17 years since Menina Walker, an Hispanic, has been adopted by a well-to-do caucasian couple (these designations are important, as you will see). At 19, she is well-assimilated into American society and, in fact, is engaged to be married to the son of a prominent family that is preparing him for a life in politics. Circumstances change, and Menina finds herself on the way to Seville to search out a painter from the 1500's who (even if it's "whom," I'm not using it!) she has studied in school.
That's enough of that. Except, the story revolves around 2 very old convents, one in Spain and one in South America, and a medallion and a chronicle. There are religious overtones throughout the book but only as background. This book is about people, mostly women, from both time periods. And I have to say that I REALLY cared about these people, all of them (sounds a little like Mr. Hyde in the musical, Jekyll and Hyde, doesn't it?). Although this won't shock any of you regular Book Sage readers, I cried in the year 2000, and I cried in the years 1552, 1553, 1554, et al. And even though I didn't cry in the years 1504 and 1505, I was fascinated by, and totally engrossed in, the characters.
The book is 402 pages long. My 1st major tear-up was on page 284. I was completely surprised that I cared so much about any of these women. I not only teared-up, I also got chills. I was pretty much a blubbering mess the rest of the way, with a few pages of respite in between.
I'm not exactly sure what genre this is. It's not religious fiction, historical fiction, a murder mystery, or a romance, although it has elements of all of these genres. I'm just going to call it a darn fine novel with something to please any and every reader. I do believe that this will be in Volume VI of Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader. It's earned its spot.