Margot's Reviews > The Weird Sisters

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
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's review
Feb 10, 2011

really liked it
Read in January, 2011

When their mother is diagnosed with cancer, Bianca and Cordelia find themselves returning home to join their third sister, Rose, who still lives in their hometown. Bean and Cordy aren't returning to support their mother as much as they are impelled by their own messy life situations: Bianca because she has been fired for stealing from her job, and Cordelia because after years of living irresponsibly on the road, she has discovered that she is pregnant. Stalwart Rose has finally glimpsed a chance at happiness, with a beloved fiance and plans to marry in December.

Their father is a renowned professor of Shakespeare, which accounts for the oddness of their names and their propensity to communicate emotion to each other in flippant or opaque quotes from The Bard's master works. It is a family of readers, described as people who will set a book down only to have someone else pick it up and wander off with it.

As the three sisters are thrown together in their childhood home, the pressures of living together as adults and dealing with their mother's illness and the bizarreness of returning to the quiet town they grew up in causes friction between them. Somehow, they just can't connect with each other, and they revert to bickering like teenagers.

The book is told in an unusual first person plural limited voice, which means passages are written "We did XYZ" where "we" is the sisters. "We" seems to know the inner workings of all the sisters' brains and hearts, but the sisters themselves are kept in the dark. This produces an intriguing tension between what the reader knows and what the sisters do, while granting an intimacy with all three.

The characters are well-drawn, and while none is wholly lovable, each is totally understandable. The complex, nuanced characterizations are one of the strongest points of the book. The reader gets to sit on the sisters' shoulders as they bump up against each other and spin away again, and it feels like being in the midst of a real sibling conflict, where you're not quite sure WHY you're snapping at your sister, except that 25+ years of history make it too hard to show them the same kindness you'd show a friend.

The plot wraps up a little neatly in the end, but I'm willing to forgive that, chalking it up to the Shakespearean influence. If you're a reader or a Shakespeare lover, I highly recommend this novel.
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03/19/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Ioanna Can you please send me a plot and the main characters

Barbara This is one of the best book reviews I've read, and because of it, I will read this book. Thanks!

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