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The Sisterhood

The Sisterhood - Helen Bryan I really enjoyed this book. It is an epic tale spanning 500 years, from the Spanish Inquisition to present day times. The story follows Menina Walker, a child who was rescued off the coast of South America. She was sent to a Catholic convent and was later adopted by an American couple. When she left the convent, her adoptive parents were given a medallion as well as the convent's most prized possession, the Chronicle, which was to be given to Menina on her 16th birthday.Menina led an ordinary life up until she left America to travel to Spain to work on her college art thesis. A number of coincidences led her to the gates of the convent where it all started.What I enjoyed about the book:I enjoyed the writing style. It flowed smoothly and was easy to read. The history of the Spanish Inquisition was fascinating, but horrifying in places.The history of the early convents, and the life of the nuns and the hardships they had to endure, gives the reader an insight into the conditions and circumstances surrounding the convents and their patrons – a real eye opener.The tale of the Spanish nun who escaped with the children and traveled to South America - it was certainly not an easy undertaking in those days, but their harrowing trip and the subsequent establishment of the convent was great to read. What I had a problem with: There were one or two coincidences which seemed too far-fetched to make the whole tale totally believable. I could not get my head around the fact that the convent gave the chronicle to Menina’s non-Catholic adoptive parents for safekeeping. I would have thought that such an important document would be locked away in a vault somewhere.The Catholic Church – there is no way the Vatican would have sat back and allowed the Chronicle to be published. It is as simple as that. The church and their lawyers would have had her tied up in court for decades – and yet, not a whimper from the Vatican? Would I recommend this book? Most definitely Yes. I thoroughly enjoyed the historical part of the story and how it all came together at the end. The book is by no means a religious book, it is a historical story about the lives of the nuns and the women they protected from either the vicious and cruel men in their lives, the vicious and cruel Church, or the vicious and cruel Crown ..........being a woman in the 16th century was certainly no picnic. A truly good read that makes you think ............ which is a good outcome.