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Review: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

24 Jan

The Weird SistersMy rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I’m not sure I can write a coherent review of The Weird Sisters, but I’ll give it a try!

Summary via Goodreads:

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.

I know some of what I liked about The Weird Sisters.

I liked the sisters. All three of them. Even the thieving adulteress. Even the flaky pregnant one. Even the controlling, rule following stick-in-the-mud.

I particularly liked the growth all three of them showed over the course of the book.
I liked the relationship between them. Even when they really weren’t friends. And I liked the relationship with their parents. It’s loving, but far from perfect. Just like a real family.

I liked the general bookishness of the family.  That everyone picks up and puts down books all over the house. I particularly like that the book they pick up isn’t necessarily one they set down.

I liked all the Shakespeare references (particularly since I’m reading a Shakespeare play with my daughter’s class right now). I was worried that they would feel gimmicky, but it didn’t. They added some quirkiness to the book.  I think if I looked a little harder, they’d add some depth as well.

I loved the narrator, a combination of the three sisters talking with one voice. It took me a little while to catch on (I think this was me being slow. I hope this isn’t a spoiler, something the reader is supposed to take some time to figure out). Again, this could have been gimmicky, but I found it a very interesting literary device. It allowed me as reader to see a situation from multiple points of view simultaneously.

I know what I shouldn’t have liked (but it didn’t seem to affect my enjoyment of the book). Way too many pieces of the setup and the plot are too much like other books I’ve read recently. There’s the smart sister and the pretty sister, and we get the addition of the “nothing compared to the other sisters” as a bonus. The flaky mom who gets sick, and her family coming home and paving the way to them discovering themselves and healing their relationships with each other.

I think it is the delivery that allows it to occupy at different space than the others I’ve read recently. In particular, it’s the narration, although it’s also the the writing, the details of the characters, and so on.  It’s also that questions of family relationships are universal enough to deserve revisiting.  Still, Ruth (if you are reading this), based on your reaction to The Opposite of Me in book club, you might want to skip this one.

I enjoyed reading The Weird Sisters, and I’m looking forward to Eleanor Brown’s next book.

TLC Book ToursI read The Weird Sisters as part of a TLC Book Tour.  I asked to be included as soon as I read the description of the book, and I want to thank Lisa for bringing The Weird Sisters to my attention, and for giving me the chance to participate in this tour.

For other opinions, visit the other tour stops:

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8 Comments

Posted by on January 24, 2011 in books, reviews, tour

 

Tags: , , , ,

8 responses to “Review: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

  1. Rebecca Rasmussen

    January 25, 2011 at 6:42 am

    I love your approach to this review 🙂 Very charming!

     
  2. kavyen

    January 25, 2011 at 8:50 am

    A 4.5 on 5.. Wow! Nice review…

     
  3. Marce

    January 25, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    This is so out of my norm but I am completely intrigued, I may go for it.

     
  4. Lisa Munley

    January 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I am very glad you enjoyed it!! Thanks so much for being on the tour!

     

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