Title: The Weird Sisters
Author: Eleanor Brown
Genre: Contemporary fiction, literary fiction
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC passed on to me by the gracious Vasilly
First line: We came home because we were failures.
Rose (Rosalind), Bean (Bianca), and Cordy (Cordelia) are the daughters of a renowned professor and lover of all things Shakespeare. They grew up in a college town, in a home where books were revered above all things, and where communication consisted of trading passages from the Bard. As adults, they couldn’t be more different from each other. When they all return to the family home in Barnwell, Ohio, to help care for their cancer-stricken mother, they are harboring secrets for their true reasons for returning. Rose isn’t sure she ever really left home, and doesn’t know if she has the courage to abandon comfortable roles and expectations. Bean has fled New York City – the place she once fled to – in disgrace, and needs to learn just who she is, who she wants to be. Cordy, home after flitting from one place to another for years, must discover that sometimes having roots is a good thing. And most of all, they will have to learn how to love and trust each other, in spite of their prickly past.
The story of The Weird Sisters is told in first person plural – “we.” For the first few pages, I kept trying to figure out which sister was narrating. And then I realized – they all were. This is the story of the sisters, and they tell it. Once I settled in to that understanding, this book came to life. It is such a unique way to tell a story, and it worked perfectly for Rose, Bean, and Cordy.
As I read, I had so many times I thought, “Oh, I’ll mention this in my review!” or “So-and-so (insert name of book blogger here) will LOVE this book!” or, simply, “I ADORE this book.” – followed by a happy sigh. The Shakespeare quotes. The love of books. The beautiful depiction of the choppy relationship that is sisterhood. The books! The gorgeous way Eleanor Brown puts words together. Shakespeare and Shakespeare and more Shakespeare. The descriptions of Cordy baking bread. The way the library is revered as an almost hallowed place. Did I mention the books?
If you have sisters (I have three) – read this book.
If you love Shakespeare – read this book.
If you love books – read this book.
If you love words – read this book.