Book Review: The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier

LostI’m thrilled to share with you an extended version of one of my first reviews for the Historical Novel Society. And I’m even more excited that it’s this book. Anne Fortier is one of my favorite authors and one you should read, if you haven’t. Her new book, The Lost Sisterhood comes out March 11.

Told in dual time period, The Lost Sisterhood is the story of two very different women who have the courage to defy convention in order to fight for what they believe in.

One is Diana Morgan, an Oxford philologist driven by family lore to prove that the legendary Amazons actually existed. When she’s approached by a stranger who offers her just the opportunity she needs, Diana embarks upon an adventure that takes her around the world in search of the last vestiges of this ancient civilization. But there are those who believe some secrets are meant to be kept, and Diana soon finds herself in grave danger.

Her ancient counterpart is a North African hunter named Myrina. She and her sister, Lilli, are the lone survivors of their village. Taken in by a group of priestesses, their idyllic life quickly becomes one of terror as hostile invaders desecrate all they hold dear. Myrina and the other survivors vow to never be victims again, a resolve tested many times, in many ways throughout the remainder of their lives.

As the narrative flips between the two tales, Fortier interweaves the story lines masterfully, giving just enough hint of what’s to come to keep the pages turning. Initially drawn in by the contemporary adventure, I quickly found myself absorbed by the historical tale, which puts a clever spin on Greek history and myth, making them come to life in fresh, compelling ways. By the end, both story lines had me racing to learn the final outcome, one which artfully marries the two stories in a series of twists that leaves you wondering just who to trust and who will prevail.

I had feeling there would be a love story somewhere in this book, and sure enough, there was (there are two, actually, but I’m referring to the contemporary one). When I first realized who it was going to be, I rolled my eyes and thought, “Oh God, please no.” But I give Fortier full credit for winning me over by the end of the book. Despite my initial resistance, I was cheering for the couple by the last few chapters and was thinking of them long after I finished the book.

If I had any criticism, it was that the ending, while good, wasn’t quite strong enough for me. The book was so exciting, I would have liked to have seen a more definite ending, rather than the general summary that was given. But all in all, that’s forgivable in light of such a strong story.

Fortier’s first novel, Juliet, is one of my favorite books, so this story had large shoes to fill. It did so well. Very highly recommended – 4.5 stars.

Have you read any of Anne Fortier’s books? Do you want to read this one? Why or why not?