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CC Book Club: “The Sisterhood” by Helen Bryan


Thanks for joining me again this month, gals! We’ve tackled “The Sisterhood” by Helen Bryan, a popular pick on Amazon that I hope you enjoyed. As always, SPOILER ALERT from here on in.

Menina Walker, our protagonist, is given a mysterious medal and book when she turns 16. These items were given to her parents by a nun at the orphanage Menina was adopted from in South America and, supposedly, the artifacts were found with Menina in a boat after a horrible storm. When we meet Menina she is a precocious 19 year old who’s life appears perfect: she’s a genius and recently engaged to her rich boyfriend. However, her boyfriend rapes her one night and, of course, sends Menina into a tailspin.

She decides to head to Spain on an art trip to research a little known artist that she is focusing on, Tristan Mendoza. Once in Spain, Menina gets separated from the group and ends up in a little town during their festival with no way to get to Barcelona and meet up with her group. The local police officer takes Menina to a nearby convent, where her destiny is revealed. It turns out that Menina’s medallion and book originated at the convent and together, her and the nuns rediscover the history of the convent and the order of nuns who have lived there over the centuries. Her mysterious artist, Tristan Mendoza, is also part of this whole story and one of his lost paintings tells a story of Jesus that no one has heard before. The painting shows Jesus and his sister, once again throwing shade on the idea that the Virgin Mary was in fact a virgin (think “Da Vinci Code”). The story is honestly so complicated that it would impractical to review the whole thing here.

Did you enjoy how the novel flipped between the present and the past? At first, I was supremely confused by that, but eventually Bryan wove the two stories together and characters from one starting popping up in the other. It was quite thoughtful and spoke to how well-planned the story was.

When I read the blurb online, it highlighted the religious part of the story a bit more, and because I’m a big “Da Vinci Code” fan, I was looking forward to that part. Unfortunately, I felt like that part got lost in the rest of the story. What did you think?

Overall, I did enjoy the book and the focus on powerful female characters. There was really only one main male character, being the police officer in Spain, and even he ended up being outsmarted by the females constantly. It definitely had a ‘girl power’ vibe to it and I loved it! Did you find “The Sisterhood” to be an empowering female story?

And for November, we’ll be reading “Tiny, Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed!

I love my little hometown and all that goes with living in the Great White North - snow, skiing, hot chocolate, bulky knit sweaters. I'm passionate about a lot of things, but you'll most often find me writing about books, makeup and fashion. As I like to put it, I've got beauty AND brains.