Book Review: Sisters in Arms

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Sisters in Arms
Corageous Women of the Reformation
Sukeshinie Goonatilleke

Sometimes it is easy to read about the great reformers and wonder how we could ever accomplish anything as grand or heroic as they did. But when you read their stories, you cannot help but be inspired. First-time author, Sukeshinie Goonatilleke provides eight such stories in her new book Sisters in Arms. But these stories are not those of familiar reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin. Rather; instead they tell about eight female heroes of the Reformation.

Due to the social constructs of the time, women did not usually have the same education and opportunities as men. But this did not mean that women were denied influence, faith or courage. Some of the women in this book broke with tradition and blazed a new trail for those who would come after them, like Katharina von Bora, who as the wife of Martin Luther set an example for other wives of faith. Then there are those like Queen Katherine Parr and Louise de Coligny, who lived in royal courts and rubbed shoulders with the elite of society, yet still maintained their faith in God. Queen Margaret of Navarre and Olympia Morata wrote books on their faith that influenced many across Europe. Then there were seemingly ordinary women like Marie Durand. She was not a theologian or a scholar, but her unwavering commitment to God’s Word through 38 years of imprisonment speaks to each of us.

The stories in Sisters in Arms are captivating, action-packed and moving and they encourage us as we attempt to navigate challenges in our own lives. On the surface, our challenges might seem different to those of these women, but at their core they are very much the same: issues of faithfulness to God, commitment to His Word and deeper education in spiritual things. As you read Sisters in Arms, you will be able to look to their examples of faith and courage to guide you no matter what you face in the future.

Sisters in Arms is available from Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand, or online at

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