The Weird Sisters
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The Weird Sisters

3.5 509
by Eleanor Brown
     
 

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This is the "delightful" (People) New York Times bestseller that's earned raves from Sarah Blake, Helen Simonson, and reviewers everywhere-the story of three sisters who love each other, but just don't happen to like each other very much...

Three sisters have returned to their childhood home, reuniting the eccentric Andreas family.

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Overview

This is the "delightful" (People) New York Times bestseller that's earned raves from Sarah Blake, Helen Simonson, and reviewers everywhere-the story of three sisters who love each other, but just don't happen to like each other very much...

Three sisters have returned to their childhood home, reuniting the eccentric Andreas family. Here, books are a passion (there is no problem a library card can't solve) and TV is something other people watch. Their father-a professor of Shakespeare who speaks almost exclusively in verse-named them after the Bard's heroines. It's a lot to live up to.

The sisters have a hard time communicating with their parents and their lovers, but especially with one another. What can the shy homebody eldest sister, the fast-living middle child, and the bohemian youngest sibling have in common? Only that none has found life to be what was expected; and now, faced with their parents' frailty and their own personal disappointments, not even a book can solve what ails them...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
You don't have to have a sister or be a fan of the Bard to love Brown's bright, literate debut, but it wouldn't hurt. Sisters Rose (Rosalind; As You Like It), Bean (Bianca; The Taming of the Shrew), and Cordy (Cordelia; King Lear)--the book-loving, Shakespeare-quoting, and wonderfully screwed-up spawn of Bard scholar Dr. James Andreas--end up under one roof again in Barnwell, Ohio, the college town where they were raised, to help their breast cancer–stricken mom. The real reasons they've trudged home, however, are far less straightforward: vagabond and youngest sib Cordy is pregnant with nowhere to go; man-eater Bean ran into big trouble in New York for embezzlement, and eldest sister Rose can't venture beyond the "mental circle with Barnwell at the center of it." For these pains-in-the-soul, the sisters have to learn to trust love--of themselves, of each other--to find their way home again. The supporting cast--removed, erudite dad; ailing mom; a crew of locals; Rose's long-suffering fiancé--is a punchy delight, but the stage clearly belongs to the sisters; Macbeth's witches would be proud of the toil and trouble they stir up. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews

In a debut about growing up, secrets and failures are predictably resolved when a family crisis reunites three bright but unhappy siblings.

As the daughters of a Shakespeare scholar, the Andreas girls are no strangers to the Bard. Oldest Rosalind (known as Rose) is named after the heroine of As You Like It, Bianca (Bean) has the name of the tamed shrew's sister and daddy's girl Cordelia (Cordy) bears the name of King Lear's devoted youngest. Their "weird"ness refers to Macbeth, although the three are far from witch-like, just averagely bookish women grappling with their unusual upbringing and some dubious adult choices. Drawn home to Barnwell, Ohio, because of their mother's breast cancer, the sisters reassemble uneasily in their parents' house—footloose Cordy, now pregnant; self-hating, morally dubious Bean, sacked after embezzling from her New York employers; and overly dutiful Rose. Quirky and perky, Brown's narrative uses light comedy to balance the serious life issues. The family's habit of quoting Shakespeare at every turn is less amusing, and there's also the curious plural narrative voice—"our sister," "our parents,"—seemingly the collective point of view of all three daughters. The story itself is a lengthy account of the women facing their demons, assisted by saintly parents, friends and neighbors who offer jobs, reassurance and romance. All's well that ends well.

Readable, upmarket, non-mold-breaking escapism.

Ron Charles
A family drama, gracefully costumed in academic garb and lit with warm comedy, 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wished…if you know a Stratfordian who's always quoting the Bard, get thee to a bookstore…Brown is such a clever writer, and she's written such an endearing story about sisterly affection and the possibilities of redemption, that it's easy to recommend The Weird Sisters.
—The Washington Post
The Boston Globe
Irresistible.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Brown writes sweetly of the transition so many adults struggle to make before their parents' eyes, from children to caretakers themselves.
-The Boston Globe
"Irresistible."
-Library Journal
"Lovely...This novel should appeal to Shakespeare lovers, bibliophiles, fans of novels in academic settings, and stories of sisterhood. The narration is a creative and original blending of the three 'Weird Sisters' as one."
-The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Brown writes sweetly of the transition so many adults struggle to make before their parents' eyes, from children to caretakers themselves."
From the Publisher
"Irresistible." — The Boston Globe

"Lovely...This novel should appeal to Shakespeare lovers, bibliophiles, fans of novels in academic settings, and stories of sisterhood. The narration is a creative and original blending of the three 'Weird Sisters' as one." — Library Journal

"Brown writes sweetly of the transition so many adults struggle to make before their parents' eyes, from children to caretakers themselves." — The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Library Journal
Sibling love and sibling rivalry are the keys to Brown's (www.eleanor-brown.com) debut novel, which revolves around three sisters each named after a Shakespearean character—Rose (Rosalind), Bean (Bianca), and Cordy (Cordelia)—who simultaneously return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother. While there is some predictability, the characters are complex enough to give the novel depth. Brown employs multiple narrative methods to tell each woman's story, sliding in and out of the third and first person with admirable skill. Actress/narrator Kirsten Potter controls these shifts well and brings the town and people of Barnwell to life. An entertaining book recommended for all fiction lovers. [The Amy Einhorn: Penguin hc was recommended for "Shakespeare lovers, bibliophiles, fans of novels in academic settings, and stories of sisterhood," LJ 10/1/10.—Ed.]—Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399157226
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
01/20/2011
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Eleanor Brown's writing has been published in anthologies, magazines, and journals. She holds an M.A. in Literature and works in education in South Florida but will be living in the Denver area, Colorado at pub date.

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