Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

This book was simply a great read. The tone, characters, and story played perfectly with each other.

With a hefty nod to Shakespeare's collected works, The Weird Sisters, introduces us to Rose, Bean, and Cordy, three sisters having crossed over into adulthood with issues. One can't convince herself it's okay to leave the sleepy, little college town they all grew up in as daughters of a professor. One is forced to return home against her will as a consequence of living it up too much. The last sister, more of a wandering soul, isn't sure if she's home for good or just passing through. They're reunited to help their parents cope with their mom's cancer treatment.

By no means is this a perfect family. The author makes no pretense of that, yet the endearing imperfections of each character, interlaced with Shakespearean quotes and a unique narrative touch (the sisters narrate collectively as 'we') propel you along though a story of personal growth and life-defining choices, ending with the three sisters finding their place and their happiness.

I'm hesitant to call this a beach read or chic lit when trying to put this into a genre even though the focus is on female characters. The edges of this story are softer than that, lacking the sarcasm and exaggerated criticism you can typically find within these popular book categories. This story feels honest and simple in an engaging and pleasant way. You're going on a journey of personal discovery with each sister as they just get over it -- the 'it' being different for each sister.

Riding alongside the story of these sisters is Shakespeare. He's an interesting passenger, bringing originality to the, "my family is so weird," statement we've all uttered at some point. The girls are named for Shakespeare heroines, they've memorized just about all of his plays, and they constantly fill conversational voids with direct quotes. Their father is most guilty of this, as the professor whose passion has brought these girls up reading the Bard rather than watching TV. 

I feel like this is a book to be passed on to other readers, that it will leave you feeling content with the time you spent getting to know all the characters in the small town of Barnwell. It's not a page-turner, but a complete story about interesting people. I feel as if you don't see books like this as often anymore, with a more subtle gimmick to differentiate itself. It's a standout read for me and one I highly recommend.