Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke

Maureen and her sister come to America from Ireland after their mother passes away.  They escape their limited choices in Ireland to pursue a new life in America to find that life is not so easy in America either, and there is danger and challenges on every front.  Maureen is determined to protect her sister and acquires a job at a department store, but all is not as it seems.

This is an excellent book!  I couldn’t put it down.  Gohlke does an excellent job with plot structure, character development, and providing descriptive details.  It is frustrating when you know exactly how a book will end up or can figure out where the author is going, but Gohlke keeps readers guessing what is coming next.  The characters are believable, realistic, and true to who they are.  It is suspenseful and full of surprises.  I also really enjoyed the interpersonal relationships of the characters and the emotions behind them.  Love, jealousy, service, sacrifice, and generosity are present throughout the book.

Another aspect I really enjoyed about this book is the historical topic of immigrants coming through Ellis Island and what an uncertain, nerve-racking time it was for them.  Even after paying their fare, arranging for someone to sponsor them and having employment arranged, and surviving the voyage across the ocean, there was no guarantee they would be permitted to enter the country.  It really makes you think about the courage it took for immigrants in the early 1900’s to start a new life in America.

I can’t comment on anything that I didn’t like about the book.  It was the first book I had ever read by this author and I can’t wait to read another one.  I highly recommend Band of Sisters!

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One Response to Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke

  1. courtney says:

    My great grandma came from Ireland and had to be sponsored in the early 1900’s. This would be a great book to really understand what my she had to go through. I will definitely pick up this book.


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