The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
Published by Amy Einhorn Books, an imprint of Penguin
Sisters Rose, Bean, and Cordy – real names Rosalind, Bianca, and Cordelia, courtesy of the renowned Shakespeare scholar who is their father – have never gotten along particularly well. Rose is responsible to the point of being overbearing, Bean craves attention and makes sure she gets it, and Cordy just floats irresponsibly through life. Dependable Rose has always stayed in close proximity to her parents, but Bean and Cordy, long out doing their own things, are finally brought home – ostensibly, at least – by their mother’s battle with cancer. In reality, all three sisters have serious issues of their own which make them reexamine the lives they had been living, and they must return home to recoup. Although being suddenly returned to one’s childhood home with one’s siblings understandably causes lots of stress, the sisters also begin to learn to support one another in their lives going forward.
The first thing that any reader is going to notice about “The Weird Sisters” is the plural narration. I do not mean that each of the sisters narrates, I mean that they narrate together as if they were a single entity. Think of it as the spirit of their sisterhood looking back on these events from a point sometime in the future. This may sound odd, but it was the perfect touch in a book that deals with families, sisters, and Shakespeare. The plural voice gave hope for their eventual cohesion, and spoke beautifully about the bond they shared, even if they were loathe to admit it at the beginning of the book.
This was a beautifully written and wonderfully moving book. Each of the three sisters tugged on my heartstrings in their own way, and one of them (if you’ve read the book already, or once you have, come back and guess who!) brought me to tears near the end of the book, something that doesn’t happen to me terribly often with literature. “The Weird Sisters” is one of those books which I will be going back to again and again. I’m already planning to listen to the audio version, and I will be going out and buying a hardcover to keep permanently in my collection to replace my ARC (incidentally, both of these things are also true of “You Know When the Men Are Gone” by Siobhan Fallon, also out today from Amy Einhorn Books).
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