The Weird Sisters

When I was little I always wanted a sister. Now I have 3. So be careful what you wish for.

Just kidding. I obviously love and adore my little sisters but sisters are a complicated relationship. You love each other, you hate each other, you want to tear each other’s eyes out and share your clothes, get each other in trouble for sneaking out and protect them when they steal the car for a late night excursion to get food.

Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters has all of this and a healthy dose of Shakespeare.

Meet the Andreas sisters: Rose, Bean and Cordy. Each has been muddling through their own lives the best that they can when their mother’s illness brings them all home to confront their secrets and the lives they thought they wanted. Each of them has to work through their place in the family, saddled as they are with the expectations of their names, chosen by their Shakespeare professor father, who quotes the Bard at them in answer to all life’s questions.

In a word: fantastic.

I was sad to finish reading this one because I grew very attached to these girls/women/whatever. Also? How can you not love a book that is so free with the Shakespeare quotes? It would make my life if I could quote Shakespeare at people like that. And such context! Brilliant.

I am not-so-secretly hoping that this turns into a Marian Keyes situation where Eleanor Brown takes this first novel and then expands on it with subsequent sequels, letting us know what happens to everyone now that the dust has settled. But I have a feeling that this is not what is going to happen.

This book had everything for me. An idyllic college town setting complete with an ancient librarian who’s life work it’s been to allow patrons to fall in love with reading. A coffee shop for all the students to hang out in, that just happens to be owned by an old college classmate of Bean’s that never left town. A very generous helping of wonderful Shakespeare quotes and the idea that names and the stories behind them really do matter. Complicated relationships that are tested by distance and illness and secrets.

And most of all sisters, together for always, no matter what. Even if they don’t always like each other very much. I guess that’s the secret joy/pain of sisterhood. You’re stuck with each other.

But Eleanor Brown makes you think that that might not be such a bad thing after all.


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