Need something exciting, strange and beautiful to read? Something shocking and wonderful? Then you should check out Maria Arena’s new novel, Sisterhood.
Abandoned at St Mary’s Boarding School for Girls, Heather thought life couldn’t get much worse. She was wrong. Waiting for her is the malevolent Sister Merce.
As the danger to Heather increases, hope arrives with Amy, a spirited girl whose physic abilities reveal a mystery involving two long-dead ‘fallen’ girls, Jennifer and Rachel. Using a diary and an amulet, and assisted by the sweet-hearted Patrick and self-destructive Caleb, the four girls are drawn into a liminal space where they must stand together and use the power within themselves to destroy the Sisterhood.
Maria writes that the inspiration for this book came partly from reading about a gruesome discovery at a former ‘laundry’:
I read an article in The Weekend Australia under the headline ‘Convent Buried 80 Unnamed Women‘. The story related how unmarried pregnant or ‘at risk’ Irish women and girls were confined to institutions called convent laundries for their ‘sins’. As the headline made clear, many of these ‘fallen women’ died in the care of the sisters who ran the convent laundries.
It’s a sensitively told and exciting story that explores what life was like for the young girls who lived in convent laundries, but with some magical twists and turns!
Maria teaches creative writing through USC, including the extraordinary schools program, where she heads out to schools throughout Queensland to deliver Creative Writing classes to high school students. She has a new website over HERE, where you can bother her as much as you like. Really! She loves to be bothered by readers.
Maria is the author of Mira Falling, a young adult novel about Mira’s quest to become something more than the ordinary girl she seems destined to become. Mira Falling will soon be released as an ebook.
You’ll find Sisterhood available on the following websites, where you can read the first three chapters for free and purchase a copy: