Monday, September 10, 2012

Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke, c2012

My ancestry is 100% Irish grandparents and father! Ready to read Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke. I was wondering what coming through Ellis Island was like? My Norwegian maternal grandmother came with her parents and siblings when she was sixteen. Coming to America, she met my German grandfather. He passed away before I was born. I wonder if her parents were as excited about this. And... were they, in turn, when my musician Irish father wed their debutante daughter? I am named after both grandmothers. My maternal Irish grandmother died too before I was born. Rich heritage. My toes tap when I hear "The Irish Washerwoman." Can't keep them still, nor my clapping hands. My body in motion. My Irish insides are alive!

"Band of Sisters is a unique story. Written with a distinct purpose in mind, it goes out with the prayer that it will inspire, even challenge readers to a new course of action.
In the weeks ahead I’ll share some of my research, insights, my journey and hopes for this book, as well as portions of the story and how this historical (1910-1911) impacts today’s world.  I hope you’ll join me." --

Thank you to Tyndale Blog Network Tour for inviting me to join the Band of Sisters tour. I was sent a paperback copy in exchange for a review in my own words.
Chapter One of Band of Sisters, related photos, and further information on Human Trafficking Resources:
Band of Sisters is a story of turbulent historical enslavement which continues in this modern-day. Broken trust. Upheaval. Fleeing their homeland to the Land of the Free, Maureen and Katie Rose O'Reilly are encumbered far beyond what their earnest searching hopes to find. From Ireland to New York City, to the Home of the Brave they come. Immigrants coming with a purpose only to be striving for their lives. The story opens as their mother is being buried. She is the last link in holding Maureen and Katie Rose to their enslaved life to the landowner. But wait! There is more to the story. Their deceased father gave up his farmland to travel to America. But illness and waiting took all he had. Except his transport money, kept in hiding by Maureen's aunt. She is given the money for passage for herself and her sister. They, too, must wait for passage and most of their money is used up before they can board. They arrive at Ellis Island, with Katie Rose ill within their shared steerage. Is history repeating itself for their family?
   Olivia Wakefield, is the daughter of the man who furnished the transport money to Maureen's father for saving his life while they were soldiers in the American Civil War. Her father took a bullet aimed at Olivia's father. Maureen is turned away from the obligation extended between the now deceased men. Olivia tries to find Maureen to keep his vow. There is underground human trafficking exposed, and people involved from all walks of life. Who can be trusted? Olivia sets out to help as best she can with her friends, reading the challenge in Charles M. Sheldon's book, In His Steps;  “Do not do anything without first asking, ‘What would Jesus do?’”
   Continuing today, traffickers are intimidating and controlling their victims.

   Invisible: Slavery Today is a permanent Slavery Today exhibition at The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
"Slavery Defined:
While definitions differ of what constitutes slavery in contemporary society, these factors are typically present:
* The victim is induced into slave-like exploitation through fraud, force or coercion
* The enslaved are subject to physical abuse and/or psychological intimidation
* Victims are not readily able to free themselves from their situation
"However, there are some crucial differences between historical and modern forms of slavery:
* There's no longer a need for legal ownership
* People can be bought, sold and bartered among "owners" who take temporary possession
* People caught up in slavery today can be purchased and sold for as little as $100 (compared to 10 times that much in the 1850s). As a result, people become "disposable;" i.e., easily replaceable.
* Slavery cuts across nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, age, class, education-level, and other demographic features
* Slavery's business side --- human trafficking --- is a global enterprise that can involve not just criminal gangs, but also corrupt law enforcement, drug dealers, and even families."

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Kathleen, for your review of "Band of Sisters!" It's so interesting to read of your family heritage. I loved the photos and the inspection card you included in your post. What a challenge our forebears faced in carving a new life in this country!

    God's blessings for you!