Apr 18, 2010

Book Review: Band of Sisters by Annette Lyon

When I heard about Annette Lyon's new book, Band of Sisters, I jumped at the chance to read it.  I've long been a fan of LDS fiction, and it's authors like Annette who have helped to create a better impression of the quality of writing that is now coming out in the LDS market.

About the author:

Annette Lyon has been writing ever since second grade, when she piled pillows on a chair to reach her mother's typewriter. A cum laude graduate from BYU with a degree in English, she has had success as a professional editor and doing newspaper, magazine, and business writing, but her first love is creating fiction. She's perhaps best known for her historical novels centered around the four old Utah temples.

In 2007 she was awarded Utah's Best of State medal for fiction. Spires of Stone, her fifth novel, was a 2007 Whitney Award finalist for Best Historical Novel. She has received three publication awards from the League of Utah Writers and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the LDStorymakers, a guild for LDS writers.

About the book:
When the war on terror calls their husbands to duty, five LDS women are left behind to fight battles of their own: Kim, newlywed and pregnant, frightened of what the future might bring. Brenda, struggling to manage three unruly boys and a crippling bout of depression. Jessie, secretly grappling with mixed feelings about her crumbling marriage. Marianne, wrestling with a rebellious teenage daughter. And Nora, the seasoned Army wife with perfect hair, an immaculate home—and an ill-tempered mother dying of cancer.

Knowing the separation of deployment is extremely difficult, Nora gathers the wives every week to share lunches and burdens. In good company, they worry over safety in the field and stability at home and offer one another counsel and comfort.

But as their personal crises build, each woman faces the risks of forming deep bonds of trust. And when tragedy strikes, they must confront the painful realities of war that pull families apart and bring friends together as sisters.
My opinion:

I thoroughly enjoyed Band of Sisters.  Luckily, Annette is an amazing writer.  I was never pulled out of the story by that pesky editor in my head, because Annette's writing is flawless.

She did an amazing job giving each of the five women in Band of Sisters a distinct personality.  The women vary in age.  Some have children at home, while others don't.  Some are happily married, and others, not so much.   I was able to relate to each of them in a different way, but Jessie was my favorite.   They seemed so real to me because they each had their own set of difficulties, with the common thread of husbands being away at war. 

I love the way they uplifted and supported one another, and the strong friendships that were created.  It showed that we have each been blessed with our own unique talents that can be used to improve the lives of others, even at times when we don't feel like we have much to give.

Band of Sisters is a moving story about the unique power of women, and the strength we can gain from relationships with one another.  I highly recommend it.

For more information about Annette and her other books, please visit her website and blog.


L.T. Elliot said...

I loved that you said that the editor in your head was silent while reading this because that's how I feel when I read Annette's stuff. She's a seamless storyteller. Great review, Kim!

Shanda said...

I really enjoyed Annette's temple series and I'm looking forward to reading Band of Sisters. Nice review :).

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