Sep 12, 2012

Book Review :: The Weird Sisters

Title : The Weird Sisters
Series : NA
Author : Eleanor Brown
Rating : ****

Basic Plot : The Weird Sisters is a delightful novel about three decidedly different sisters returning to the small college hometown of Barnwell to, on the surface, take care of their mother who is dealing with breast cancer. The Andreas girls grew up with their noses in books and their father taught life lessons directly quoted from the Bard, specifically those in verse. Rose (Rosalind; As You Like It) is the eldest daughter and takes on the role of level headed protector and has primarily tethered herself to Barnwell taking care of their parents. Bean (Bianca; The Taming of the Shrew) is a man-eater who dodged off to N.Y. as soon as she could. Cordy (Cordelia; King Lear) is the wandering vagabond with no aspirations and no direction. Early in the book you discover the real reasons why these three sisters have returned to their home and how their lives are spiraling out of control.

Comments : The Weird Sisters is a deeply engaging story of three grown women who still have a lot of growing up to do. Over the course of the book you learn all about their defining past, their troubling present, and in the end get a glimpse of their happy future. Rose is the typical older sister who is controlling and bossy. Her levelheadedness and endless protection of the others, as it turns out, is a cover for the fear of striking out on her own. Bean was caught embezzling money and climbs into bed, the bed of a married man, looking for nothingness. Her spoiled and calamitous nature is a reflection of a lost middle child, the one who is always out shown by her older and younger siblings and stands forgotten. Cordy, the last and perhaps least lost, returns home from her wanderings after being knocked up by a random artist. As the baby in her family, she has always been coddled and taken care of and her biggest fear is the inability to take care of herself, let alone this completely dependent being growing inside of her. The book is a stunning debut and a breath of fresh air; especially for Bard lovers and sisters alike. The style of Eleanor Brown is a bit confusing at first; speaking in first person using “our,” then referencing the girls in third person. It was a bit jarring for me as a reader. Finally, thematic elements include an affair and some language. Overall I really enjoyed the read. 

Significance : I found meaning from The Weird Sisters mostly through the sibling relationships. It was so true, and so interesting, how the sisters all defined themselves by and through the others. How they gave each other a hard time, but more importantly were always there to support each other in times of need. Also, I did have many a college lecture on the Bard, I have read and researched much of his work. While reading Eleanor Brown's work I really loved, as well as recognized, many of the Shakesperian references throughout the read and it brought back the comfort of Shakespeare I once knew. Lastly, this book had me wishing I read more, always having a book handy. The stacks, libraries, and continued reference to tomes spilling in from every side was a simple delight to a bookworm like myself. 

Similar : Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn, The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman, and Where We Belong by Emily Griffin

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