The Andreas sisters are old enough to realize that the lives they've imagined don't measure up to the ones they're actually living. Is their disappointment and lack of self-fulfillment the result of being named for great Shakespearean characters - as imposed by their father, a scholar of the English Bard?
When their mother falls ill, the three, single sisters--each facing her own personal dilemma and demons--are suddenly reunited. There is Rose (Rosalind), the dutiful oldest sister, who has never left the hometown and is having a hard time committing to the man she loves; Bean (Bianca), a brusque, fashion-conscious middle child with a shopping compulsion; and Cordy (Cordelia), the beatnik baby of the bunch who has lived like a gypsy over the years.
With the trio back under the same roof to care for their ailing mother and emotionally-distant father, the disparate sisters are forced to face each other, their sibling rivalries and the limitations of their lives - all while struggling with issues of mortality, love, and the reversal of parent-child roles.
With fully realized characters, beautiful writing and a meandering story arc that encourages readers to linger over each and every word, what I loved even more about this book was the voice that led me through the narrative. "Our mother was facing a crisis..." "Our little sister was..." By writing via a first person plural point-of-view, it made me feel as though I, myself, were a member of this dynamic, literary-loving family - and that lent a sense of intimacy that further immersed me in this story and enriched my reading experience.
Eleanor Brown's THE WEIRD SISTERS is a contemporary familial saga that stays true to the tenets of classical Shakespearean storytelling, where you can always count on a birth or a marriage to reconcile domesticity until it brims with hope.
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, Hardcover, 9780399157226, 336pp.
Publication Date: January 20, 2011
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