The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier
Reviewed by Amanda
Published March 11, 2014 by Random House Publishing Group
The Lost Sisterhood is the new novel from the author of Juliet, an Oprah’s Book Club Pick published in 30 countries which has been picked up by Universal to be made into a feature film. The Lost Sisterhood tells the story of Diana, a young and aspiring–but somewhat aimless–professor at Oxford. Her fascination with the history of the Amazons, the legendary warrior women of ancient Greece, is deeply connected with her own family’s history; her grandmother in particular. When Diana is invited to consult on an archeological excavation, she quickly realizes that here, finally, may be the proof that the Amazons were real.
The Amazons’ “true” story–and Diana’s history–is threaded along with this modern day hunt. This historical back-story focuses on a group of women, and more specifically on two sisters, whose fight to survive takes us through ancient Athens and to Troy, where the novel reinvents our perspective on the famous Trojan War.
The Lost Sisterhood features another group of iconic, legendary characters, another grand adventure–you’ll see in these pages that Fortier understands the kind of audience she has built with Juliet, but also she’s delivering a fresh new story to keep that audience coming back for more.
This was a story of dual perspective. We begin with Diana Morgan, a professor at Oxford, who is trying to leave her mark in academia with her work on the mythical Amazons. We then flash back thousands of years to Myrina and her sister Lilly who are trying to find the temple of the Moon Goddess where they are sure they will be accepted as sisters.
A mysterious man makes Diana an offer she cannot refuse, a chance to see try to translate a newly discovered written language and hints at the Amazons and she’s off out of England to take her chance. She finds herself examining an unearthed temple in Algeria and believes she has found her opportunity to prove herself in academia with the Amazons. Before Diana quite knows what is happening she is following the trail through Europe. She’s more deeply involved in a mystery than she anticipated and much more romantically entangled than she ever thought she would be.
I really liked Diana. I liked that she was flawed and she made some bonehead moves throughout her adventures. However, she was brave and she was determined to find answers, despite the danger. I enjoyed the romance and thought the emotional drama added to the story.
I was not as sure about Myrina at first. She was clearly a tough girl, but I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into with her story. As we followed her and Lilly I really grew to like her character. I admit, I really don’t know anything about the Amazons and I don’t know much more than the basics of the Greek myths and Troy, but I loved this part of the story once it developed. Oh Paris, he just made me swoon and made my heart hurt in the end.
I love reading historical fiction, because even if I don’t think I’ve really learned something, I always have a different perspective on the past when I am finished. I can’t say I believe this is the story of the Amazons and Troy-but what a great hypothetical this was! I have seen some reviews calling this Dan Brown for women, and I can see where those comments are coming from. The action was non-stop in the end and yes, a bit silly if you really think about it. However, it was an entertaining story and a good read. I think Fortier did well with Diana mirroring Myrina’s journey, and still choosing her own life. I was definitely caught up in the mystery in the end and pleased with the resolution.
Thank you Netgalley and Random House for this advanced copy to read and review!