Sisterhood the Novel
Like Hand Maids Tale, but with more hope, Sisterhood is a gentle but fearless adventure into the dark heart of patriarchal rule. Six women, aged 20, 40 and 60 (But not a virgin, mother or hag in sight) stand on a precipice, the patriarchy standing over them – nooses in hand – threatening to silence them all.
Sisterhood introduces the reader to a sisterhood caught between two timelines: the witch trials of the 16thC and modern-day women facing a world in political and environmental upheaval. Sisterhood transports the audience, in this extra-live performance, to a church cell in Wilmington, where three women await their trial in the morning. Soothing and passionate storytelling interweaves the stories of these three women with vestiges from the writer’s own life, to reveal an immediate and clear association.
The setting sun’s golden rays hit one of the last remaining stain glass windows and bathed the three women locked up inside, in such furious light, it was as if they were all on fire. They had not yet spoken to each other. They were still full of shock and disbelief at what had just happened. Alice could not stop wringing her hands, nor taking her eyes from the door, willing her good man to come to her aid, to stop this foolishness and take her home. Her heart was beating so fast in her chest, she felt she might be sick. For some time, she had forgotten to breath.
They were all silent as mice before a cat. Alice glanced over at Will’s daughter, the one who had been late to church this morn. She was sitting staring up at the plain window above the altar, which was blazing with golden light, framing the boughs of the large old yew tree outside. The cunning woman, Marjorie, sat on the other end of the bench to Alice, spinning with a drop spindle, as if she had not a care in the world.
Sisterhood is a call to dis-arm the patriarchy through community, through the world-wide women’s web, to treat our-selves and each other with the respect, grace and honour that Mumma Earth - the divine feminine - requires, because all feminine aspect are facets of SHE. The divine feminine is in all of us and all those who identify as women or feel in touch with their feminine aspect, need to make it safe for each other, not by calling each other out and finger pointing, but by calling each other in.
In the 16th Century women were set against one another in the infamous European witch trials; daughters were set against mothers, younger women against older women, friends against friends, neighbours against neighbours… Is it any wonder that the idea of Sisterhood has been left in ashes?