I recently was asked by Blogher to review The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. Every now and then I get in a book reading mood and seem to read novel after novel. However, it has been quite a while since I have read anything. So I was looking forward to getting into another book.
(I was paid by BlogHer Book Club to review this book but the opinions expressed are my own.)
If I was browsing the book store for a novel to buy, The Weird Sisters would not have been one of my choices. Why is that? Well, because I enjoy humor fiction, or suspense. And the Shakespeare mentions and quotes through out the book would certainly make me not want to read it. I have never really enjoyed, been interested in, or understood the language of Shakespeare. The novel is written in first person plural and uses “we” instead of “I”. This confused me often because it was hard figuring out who was supposed to be narrating.
However, when I started reading the book, I realized it was going to be a good one. The story weaves through the lives of the three Andreas sisters; Rosalind, Cordelia, and Bianca – whose personalities are as different as night and day. Their father, who named his daughters after characters from Bard’s plays, is a Shakespearean professor at Barnwell college and often uses quotes from Shakespeare to talk to his daughters. This occasionally leaves them confused over what he actually said.
Cordelia(Cordy) and Bianca(Bean) have lived away from Barnwell for several years, each living their lives as they wanted. Bean in the corporate world of NYC, and Cordy as a modern day hippie, traveling from place to place carrying everything she owns in a backpack. Rosalind(Rose) is highly organized, a homebody, and stayed in Barnwell with the hopes of getting a job teaching at Barnwell College.
After their mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Bean and Cordy returned back home. Not only to see their mother, but also to return home for escape and refuge. Bean had been fired from her job in NYC for stealing money and Cordy recently discovered she was pregnant. So now all three sisters are back again under the same roof, getting on each others nerves, tempers flaring, differences between them more apparent than ever. And being successful was measured by if you left Barnwell and made a life somewhere else. The thought of living in the same place they grew up in meant they haven’t done anything special in their lives. Except for Rose. She didn’t care and was perfectly happy being the caretaker of everyone around her.
As they stayed my their mothers side during her treatment, they fell into new roles within their town. Bean’s life of measuring her value by clothes, money, men, and fast city life , changed when she took a job in the library that she grew up visiting. She became aware of the person she wanted to be and sought redemption to change her ways and repay her debt. Cordy battled her free spirited ways even throughout her pregnancy, but ultimately ended up working in a cafe and exploring her love of baking. Rose, who never planned to leave Barnwell, reached outside her comfort zone, and went with her fiance to live in London.
In the end, Bean and Cordy realized it is not failing in life to come back home again. Sometimes, back home is the place you finally learn what success really is. And Rose realized that her family could manage without her and moving away from home would ultimately end up giving her true happiness.
I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it. You can visit Blogher’s Book Club for more information and to also join in the hot discussions going on about this book.