In this 40-day series we’ve mainly shared stories that are non-fiction, but sometimes great fiction shares great truth and hope. Cathy Gohlke’s latest novel, Band of Sisters, tackles the very real problem of human trafficking. Read on to see the role hope plays in the lives of her characters — and what they are able to accomplish by trusting God…
Maureen O’Reilly desperately hopes to escape Ireland and the abusive landlord and his son that plague her and her younger sister. She hopes they can begin anew, building a life in the new world with the help of their father’s benefactor. But trouble begins at Ellis Island, and is compounded when they learn that their benefactor has died and his son-in-law refuses to acknowledge the debt. Alone and impoverished in New York City, the dangers for the young immigrant women mount. Meanwhile, a group of Manhattan women, led by the deceased benefactor’s daughter, seek to follow in Christ’s steps by embracing the poor and needy, and helping immigrant women. Despite danger, hurt, doubts and fears, Maureen learns that the source of love and hope is not something she can force or create for herself. Hope is found in Christ Himself—the Christ she comes to know and trust through the ministries of her growing band of sisters. Together, the women—poor and wealthy, immigrant and native born—hope to make a difference for all women by following in His steps.
This book was born of a passion to end modern day slavery, and most of all to ask, what can I do to help in a need so desperate? I hope readers will be inspired to ask this same question, and to follow in Christ’s steps by helping those caught in the web of human trafficking. We can’t solve the problem in our own strength, but through Christ and by His strength and grace we can all do something.
Real life is tough. It’s full of conflict—all fodder for a good story—fiction or non-fiction. Without hope we can so easily despair and quit. But we’re made to do hard things, to take stands, to overcome through Christ. Hope is what spurs us on—hope while we persevere; hope to achieve whatever God has placed on our heart to work toward, or in our hands to accomplish; hope for those we love; hope for peace for all; hope in victory; hope for hearing at the end of our course, “well done,” by the One in whom we live and move and have our being.
Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award–winning author of William Henry is a Fine Name and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award and was listed by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2008. Her book Promise Me This was released in February 2012, and Band of Sisters was released in September 2012.
Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children’s and education ministries. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, make their home on the banks of the Laurel Run in Maryland.