Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

You know how it is when you are really enjoying a book, but it still seems to take forever to finish it?  That's how it went with The Weird Sisters for me.  I really really liked it, but somehow it took me almost a week to read something that usually would only take me a few days.

I've been pondering this, and I can only think that it's because not much happens in the novel action-wise.  But a lot happens internally to the three sisters:  Rose, Bean, and Cordy.  Their mother is suffering from breast cancer, and while Rose has already come home and moved in with her parents, Bean and Cordy slowly make their way back, hiding the real reasons why they've come back.  Bean has been fired from her job in NYC for embezzling, and Cordy has become pregnant while out wandering the country.  Each of the sisters is so much alike, yet very different, and I found this something that felt very familiar to me--I have four sisters of my own.  We are all similar and yet different on so many levels.

Some reviews I've read hated the narrator.  It took me a little bit to get used to, but in the end I found I loved the way the author wrote this book.  It's almost as if there is a fourth sister (there's not), because the narrator talks in the "we" mode, and in doing so, enables the reader to get in the heads of all the sisters and see everything.  I found it a refreshing new way of narration, and made the story more intimate rather than having it written in first or third person.

Anyway--the three sisters both love and loathe each other because, as sisters do, each feels the others are just a wee bit better than themselves.  Ah yes.  This is the way of sisters round the world!  But each has to figure out what to do with their lives, as all have reached a place where major life decisions have to be made: Does Rose go to England to be with her fiancĂ©, thus giving up her career as a professor?  Does Bean finally stop sleeping around, forgive herself, and stay in Barnwell?  And does Cordy stop roaming, and keep her baby?

All of this is wrapped with ribbons of Shakespearean quotes, as the sisters' father is a professor of Shakespeare at the local college and pretty much lives his life through the plays.  There are so many wonderful passages in this book I even marked a few.  Here's one of my favorites:

"Oh, she knew he was not the most handsome man in the world, not the one whom women would pause on the street to watch walking by, but to her, he was the only light in the sky."

I would recommend reading The Weird Sisters.  I hope Eleanor Brown keeps writing; I found this book a lovely read and a nice break from all of the doom and gloom I've been reading lately.  This would make a good book club book.

Rating:  3/5; writing is wonderful, and I loved the point of view, but still can't figure out why it took me so long to read this one.

1 comment :

  1. Is is also featured on this weeks "the book report" with Elaine Charles, one of my very favorite review shows (http://www.bookreportradio.com/) It has now made its way to the top of my to read pile.