Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Sisters of Belfast: A Novel by Melanie Maure


In the spirit of Heather Morris, Kate Quinn, and Pam Jenoff, an enthralling and deeply moving story that begins during World War II, about orphaned twin sisters in Ireland whose lives diverge for decades, until fate—and faith—reunite them in the twilight of their lives.

Orphaned during the Second World War, Aelish and Isabel McGuire—known as the twins of Belfast—are given over to the austere care of the Sisters of Bethlehem. Though they are each all the other has, the girls are propelled in opposite directions as they grow up. Rebellious Isabel turns her back on the church and Ireland, traveling to Newfoundland where she pursues a perilous yet independent life. Devout Aelish chooses to remain in Northern Ireland and takes the veil, burying painful truths beneath years of silence. For decades the two are separated, each unaware of the other’s life. But after years of isolation Aelish is unexpectedly summoned to Newfoundland, where she and her estranged sister begin to bridge the chasm between them.

Reunion brings to light the painful secrets and seismic deceptions that have kept these sisters apart, leaving the McGuire twins to begin reconstructing their understanding about themselves as women and as family–what they know of love, hope, and above all, forgiveness.

A story of faith—in religion, in the world, and in one another—Sisters of Belfast is a heartbreaking, tragic, and deeply moving novel about survival and the enduring power of sisterhood.



About The Author

 Melanie Maure is, above all else, a woman who values self-determination and reverence for the female Irish ancestors upon whose shoulders she now stands, free to express herself as a debut novelist, psychotherapist, and a Life Coach. Whether obtaining a master’s in psychology in 2010, driving McLaren race cars on icy racetracks in Finland in 2016, travelling solo through Vietnam in 2018, and Ireland in 2010 and 2023 Melanie has and continues to live life with a clear, albeit troubled understanding that these experiences are precious for women. And so, she uses her freedom, her voice, and the wisdom of her ancestors to tell stories of perplexing injustices that need to be exposed and brought to healing. Melanie can be found skiing, biking or hiking with her partner and her dog in the mountainous Kootenay Region of British Columbia, Canada when she is not writing or coaching. This is her home, her playground, her inspiration.


My Review


This book starts out during WWII with the evil of Europe bombing and killing twin girls parents, thus they end up in a Catholic orphanage. Should have a good life, right?
Although, this is a fictional read, it is based on fact and makes me cringe, the covered up atrocities. We have Aelish and Isabel McGuire growing up here under such harsh conditions, and we follow their lives separately, one escapes, and the other ends up taking vows.
We are there as they reunite, and follow them as adults and secrets start to fall. Be sure to read the author's notes, so so sad.
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Harper Paperback, and was not required to give a positive review.

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