The Weird Sisters

The Weird Sisters

by Eleanor Brown

Gail Reid (05/06/12): The Weird Sisters derives its title from Shakespeare. Rosamund, Bianca, and Cordelia Andreas are the adult daughters of a Shakespearean scholar who has raised them on sonnets. When their mother is diagnosed with a serious illness, all three of the daughters find themselves living back home with their parents near the midwestern college campus where they grew up.

The author tells us that Rose, Bean and Cordy, as they are called, love each other as sisters but don't really like each other. Their different personalities, coupled with the disappointments they are each facing in their early adulthood, are examined in the context of what happens when they return to the sleepy town in which they were raised. Rose, the homebody, comes unglued when her fiance takes a position abroad while she prefers to stay at home. Bean, who hated the midwest, returns from NY disenchanted and personally disgraced. Cordy, after traveling for seven years and living the rootless hippie life, has simply run out of opportunities. How this story coalesces and becomes a tale of redemption for the whole family is skillfully handled by the author.

Although it's not a bad novel, there are several annoying artifices. The character development of the parents is portrayed poorly. The daughters were raised to respond to almost every conversation or situation with a quote from Shakespeare. The author's knowledge of Shakespeare is admirable and Shakespeare lovers may enjoy this. But can you imagine how annoying and artificial this seems? The Weird Sisters are not really weird but they are far from a likable bunch which doesn't help the story at all.
Rating: ***

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