CAROL STREAM, IL — Driven by a shameful past and perilous future, Maureen O’Reilly and her sister flee Ireland (1910) in search of safety, liberty, and opportunity. But after surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor has died, and his family — refusing to own his Civil War debt — casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to find employment in a prominent Manhattan department store, only to discover the elegant facade hides a dangerous secret.
Despite her family’s disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father’s debt but can’t find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, who Olivia dares hope will become more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he’s hiding.
As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But will they be too late, and in the midst of a world gone mad can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring?
Two-time Christy Award winner Cathy Gohlke ignites a passion to end modern-day slavery in her new novel, Band of Sisters, which releases from Tyndale House Publishers this September. The story was born out of Gohlke’s desire to help raise awareness about human trafficking.
“Band of Sisters is a mild story in the world of human trafficking and modern-day slavery,” says Gohlke. “The realities are far more grim — at the time the story took place and certainly today. But I pray this is a voice — one voice — that evokes a platform for discussion.”
The novel also explores the question “What would Jesus do?,” based on the nineteenth century novel In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, and the change that can come from breaking social class barriers.