The Sisterhood

  • by Helen Bryan
  • Narrated by Laura Roppe
  • 14 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Reeling from a broken engagement, adopted 19-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 16th-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 best-selling author Helen Bryan comes The Sisterhood, an epic adventure filled with history, passion, and intrigue.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Implausible & schoolgirlish

What would have made The Sisterhood better?

Deeper and more inventive writing, including thorough character development, suspense and a plausible storyline that makes you feel something.

And then, parts of the research were rather alarming for an historical novel. To avoid spoilers, they can't all be listed. But the silliest is a junior college grad, who couldn't pick up Spanish conversation in the modern day, being able to translate a miraculously well-preserved medieval Spanish text and, with the aid of a dictionary, vulgar Latin too!


Would you ever listen to anything by Helen Bryan again?

Probably not. The unabashed Catholic bashing coupled with the good girl focus of this book was off-putting - though I am neither a Catholic or a bad girl. It struck me as a book appealing to christian evangelicals, who mistake dabbling for rigorous study.


How did the narrator detract from the book?

The nasal quality and repetitive lilt of the Spanish voices grew increasingly irritating. Made every female Hispanic character succumb to the Speedy Gonzales drawl from Looney Tunes. The frequent slips into American English and inconsistent application of Castilan were notable as well.


Any additional comments?

The trite situations, stereotyped characters and neat endings that drive this book make the positive reviews from Amazon baffling. Good girls get their rewards after a struggle or two; bad girls see the error of their ways, etc. Epiphanies abound, yet never scratch the surface of social norms. "Just awful" things are placed where they belong: out of reach of the storyline. Convenient plot devices implode reality. Coincidences. Visions. Miracles too. Rather nauseating overall.

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- Kafwood

Boring Flat Characters; Terrible Narration

The characters were all stereotypes; Menina - the good girl, her parents - the hayseeds from GA, the nuns, ah the nuns! - all old lady nun stereotypes. And the narration. My first irritation was the adoptive parents' fake-y southern accents. If I'd been the Mother Superior at the orphanage, I wouldn't have approved the adoption, not because the they were Southern Baptists, though I think that would have given most Catholic nuns pause, but because they didn't seem quite bright.

Lots of things happen to Menina that don't make sense - first of all, her name, which if I remember correctly was the middle name of some relative of her parents. Menina....really? I live in GA and I've never heard it as a given name.

The narration also included lots of fake-y Spanish accents, some Castillian, some not. And everyone could always seem to speak another language if it moved the story along and be unable to if it didn't. Menina particularly, who apparently knew Spanish well but at one point was too tired to speak it.

I guess I understand the use of a Spanish-y accent for people when they are speaking Spanish in the book, but I don't understand using it for the 3rd person narrative parts. It's an English book written for people who speak English.

I also found jumping back and forth in time an annoyance - sometimes I didn't know which time I was in because the characters in both times were similar - young women and nuns in the same rickety old convent.

All in all, it was a slow-go for me. I read about 2/3 of it and skipped to the (predictable) end and don't feel I missed anything.

And what's up with the swallow?
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- SamanthaG "SamanthaG"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-30-2013
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio