To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Secret Sisters: A Novel Paperback – July 11, 2017
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“This compulsive, feminist read is a rich drama showcasing the disparity between men and women, rich and poor, on a 19th century college campus. The atmosphere of the era feels authentic and draws readers into college life while immersing them in the characters’ experiences.” (RT Book Reviews )
“Callaway’s historical details are fantastic. The way medical theory was used to classify women as inferior to men is absurd but also frightening in its honest portrayal. . . Secret Sisters is an intriguing story about intelligent women, perseverance, and the bonds of friendship.” (The Historical Novel Society)
“Joy Callaway’s Secret Sisters is an elegant book with enormous heart. The meticulously researched story inspired by the real women who dared to pave the way for sororities in America, is packed full of friendship, romance and betrayal, but is ultimately about the power of a community of women. You’ll fly through this perfect summer read, and fall in love with the sisters of Beta Xi Beta.” (Karin Tanabe, author of THE GILDED YEARS)
“Full of vivid period detail and vibrant characters that readers will be rooting for, SECRET SISTERS is a loving testament to the power of sisterhood and to what is possible when women support and champion one another.” (Alyssa Palombo, author of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN FLORENCE)
“Secret Sisters is a fascinating historical novel about one young woman’s effort to establish the first women’s fraternity at her college in 1881, while also trying to penetrate male dominated physicians’ program where she is the only female student. Beth Carrington’s crusade for equality is as à propos for these times as it was more than a century ago. You can’t help but root for this sharp-witted, courageous heroine to stake her claim in a world in which she knows she deserves to be.” (Joanna Goodman, author of THE FINISHING SCHOOL)
“Joy Callaway’s second novel is a galvanizing, insightful read based on the founding of America’s first sorority. With a believable and winsome heroine, Callaway achieves the perfect balance between rich historical detail and themes that are modern and fresh. Smart and satisfying, Secret Sisters drives home the importance of fighting for your beliefs, widening your mindset, and finding your tribe.” (Michelle Gable, New York Times bestselling author of A PARIS APARTMENT and THE BOOK OF SUMMER)
“A shining example of the power of persistent women united in their aim to reshape history. Secret Sisters is a celebration of those who dared to challenge convention at the risk of expulsion, rejection, and personal loss. Callaway has done a beautiful job bringing to light this little-known story of America’s first women’s fraternity and so much more.” (Sarah McCoy, New York Times bestselling author of THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER and THE MAPMAKER’S CHILDREN)
About the Author
Joy Callaway lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her family. The Fifth Avenue Artists Society is her first novel.
Top customer reviews
I fell in love with these characters immediately and found myself completely engrossed in the work they were doing at Whitsitt college. I felt for them each time a staff or faculty member put them down for being a woman. I cheered them on when they stood up for themselves in ways women today could not imagine necessary. And I suddenly found myself reciting the knock, pledge, and intricacies of Beta Xi Beta. Oh, the sorority life just draws me in.
The women who founded the first fraternity were truly pioneers of their day. They saw what men had and they fought and sacrificed to create a sisterhood for themselves. They worked hard, had to be creative, and were the utmost in risky in order to achieve their dreams. All greek women today should be proud of those first sisters and the way they made for each of us today.
This story is both entertaining and beautifully written. It touches on Greek life, college life for women, and throws enough romance in to make your heart melt. I loved every minute I spent in these pages and am so glad I gave a chance to a book not typically in my reading pile. *I received a complimentary copy of this book*
I had the opportunity to share Joy Callaway’s debut novel The Fifth Avenue Artists Society. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share Secret Sisters. Joy writes historical fiction and once again she takes from a part of her own history. Secret Sisters tells the story of how female fraternities began in the United States. Many of us now would know the female group as sororities.
Whitsitt College is one of the few colleges in the Midwest that include women as students. These women are allowed to pick their majors, but not without persecution from the male students and faculty. Most of the women at the college choose the divinity major. These women also have their own social gatherings and are not inclusive of the other women. What happens when a woman chooses a major outside of divinity? This question was asked by a group of women led by Elizabeth Carrington. Shouldn’t they have the right to meet and have a social club of their own? The women turn to the only fraternity on campus the Iota Gammas for guidance on how to form a fraternity. They seek help from their leader Grant Richardson, but will he be helpful? Will Whitsitt accept a women’s fraternity?
Secret Sisters is a great sophomore effort by author Joy Callaway. I found the characters more engaging and interesting than in her first novel. I loved that the character of Elizabeth Carrington. Readers will love her take charge attitude and her commitment to the cause. Grant and Elizabeth's conflict made for a more interesting read. It also contributed greatly to the plot to keep readers guessing on whether the women are successful. The pacing worked well in the framework of the novel. It did slow in some spots, but an enjoyable read.
I look forward to Joy Callaway's next novel!
I’m also a proud Kappa Delta, a member of the Beta Chi chapter out of UNC-Chapel Hill. So, reading Secret Sisters felt a bit like returning to my pledge year at Carolina. Reading Beth’s struggles with owning her space within the male dominated physician program, in which she’s constantly told she cannot perform at a male level because her menstruation cycle interferes with her ability to think, while she also embraces her femininity by falling in love, resonates soundly with me.
I could see myself back at the KD house studying for an exam while also dreaming of a boy. The beauty, and complexity, of being a woman often means chasing two or three dreams at once and not being at all willing to give up any of them.
Secret Sisters also resonates with me in the here and now.
Ladies, can we admit, it’s flipping hard being a woman? Regardless if you’re a sorority gal, you mostly likely travel with a few tribe members who make life beautiful and also doable. From your book club members who are also your back-up carpool calls, to your board room bosses who are also your happy hour buddies, we women work better when we work together.
Joy captures the building of a tribe in the captivating and beautifully written Secret Sisters. I love seeing women working together to beat the odds. We need more books showing us how to stand together. I’m proud of my friend who always writes these books and lives them out in her daily life.