The Weird Sisters
By: Eleanor Brown
There is no problem that a library card can’t solve.
The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there.
See, we love each other. We just don’t happen to like each other very much.
But the sisters soon discover that everything they’ve been running from-one another, their small hometown, and themselves-might offer more than they ever expected.
This is another one of those books that I had been eyeing on for so long but took forever getting around to, lol. It has all of the elements that screamed “Read me!” to me: family drama, a father who speaks in Shakespearean verse, characters who read a lot. So I finally got around to read this book. May contain some spoilers ahead!
I guess I’ll start this review by saying I don’t have sisters so it was interesting to read how this particular set of sisters interact with one another. Despite of the fact that it often left me feeling rather anxious for these characters, it seemed fascinating how often times these sisters seem to dissolve into a state of constant argument and snarkiness. Each sister has their own distinct personality and are competing with each other in their own, almost subliminal, way. Over the course of the novel, it was especially interesting to see how their own personal fears and issues reflect what order they’re in (i.e. Cordy’s issues of immaturity and lack of responsibility stemmed from her being the baby of the family).
Naturally I’m rather sympathetic to Rose’s character because we are both the eldest sibling and we look out for our younger siblings. I wasn’t as compelled however to the struggles that she was facing if only because I can uproot myself a lot easier than she can; nonetheless I can appreciate why she was having such a hard time reconciling herself to the idea of moving away. Bean’s storyline had the most difficult road as there was some serious soul-searching on her part; of the three, she seemed to hate herself the most and had a lot to come up from. Cordy’s Bohemian lifestyle irked me a little at first if only because I have an aversion to dirt (Rose’s description of the state of her when she first showed up back home was a little too detailed for my liking) but I enjoyed her story.
Oh, and their father is an oddball–and I mean this in a kindly way ^_~
I did find that the narration-style took some getting used to on my part because I honestly had no idea who was narrating. At one point I honestly thought there was going to be a twist where there was a fourth sister that the reader was unaware of. It was great though in giving the reader a sense of inclusiveness into their lives but sometimes it also felt rather off-putting and vaguely unsettling for some unknown reason (maybe I was too aware of the fact that the narrative switches without knowing to whom it switched to).
Overall The Weird Sisters was an interesting and wonderful read. I’m not sure if their sisterly relationship was wholly by the end of the novel given the number of problems they faced as individuals; they certainly were far more “together” by the epilogue and I guess you could say it’s always a work-in-progress. Although I haven’t read as many Shakespeare plays as I would have liked (yet), I thought it was pretty cool how the author utilised lines from various plays to reflect how the characters felt. I highly recommend this novel for those who enjoy novels containing family and internal drama.