Sisters Rose (Rosalind), Bean (Bianca), and Cordy (Cordelia) have all found themselves living back at home together for the first time in years. Rose is there because she is living and working in the small college town they’ve always called home, while her fiance patiently waits for her to move to London to be with him. Bean comes home after it’s discovered that she’s been embezzling money from her employer; while no legal action is taken she no longer has reason to stay in New York City. And Cordy, after years of being a drifter with no real place to call home, has discovered she’s pregnant, and craves the safety and security that she hopes her parents will provide during her pregnancy. While the three sisters care for their mother, recently diagnosed with cancer, and spend time with their Shakespere-quoting father, they force one another to examine their issues both as individuals and as members of this family.
I’m sure that many of you have heard of The Weird Sisters by now, as it’s already been blogged about quite a bit this week and last – and bloggers are absolutely raving about it. Well, I’m here to tell you that all the good things you’ve heard about this book are true. I loved The Weird Sisters, for so many reasons, to the point that I’m not sure where to begin!
I’ll start with the characters. Each one of the sisters felt so authentic to me, I honestly would believe it if you told me they are real people. I have a sister myself, and my relationship with her is… um, I suppose complicated is the most PC way to say it. Let’s just say that I am Rosalind to the extreme and she is Bianca to the extreme, at least when it comes to our relationship. But at the end of the day, we are still sisters, she is the only sister I’ll ever have, and because of that we’ll always be close and love one another. That’s the exact feeling I got from reading this book – these relationships are complicated, yes, and there are issues and resentments and all this sisterly/family stuff that is just unavoidable, but at the end of the day, Rose, Bean, and Cordy are sisters – and that’s what matters the most.
I ended up loving each of these three women, in different ways, despite the fact that they make decisions I wouldn’t personally support (especially Bean – yikes!). But I really did love all three of them, flaws and all – to say that these characters were authentic is putting it mildly.
The Weird Sisters is a book about a family of readers, and that fact alone made me so happy. The women would pick up a book like it was nothing, in whatever situation they were in, it was just a fact of life, and so many of us readers can relate to that. There is this scene in the book where one of the sisters (I think Cordy but I cannot be sure) is at a party and instead of socializing, is sitting in the corner reading using the light from a window. When her friends come to get her, she simply puts the book down and joins the party, no biggie. This scene resonated with me so much – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at a social function with a bunch of people I either don’t know well or don’t like much and have desperately wanted to hide in a corner with my book! The Weird Sisters is truly a book lover’s book.
Another aspect of The Weird Sisters I loved was the narrative style. The book is written in first-person, but instead of using “I”, Brown uses “We” – as in, the sisters collectively tell their story. This was such a cool way for the author to show how the sisters’ lives are so intertwined, how although they are three individuals, their identity as sisters is such a huge part of who they are.
I feel as though I’ve said a lot here but I haven’t even scratched the surface of everything I loved about The Weird Sisters. It is such an original piece of fiction, it is chock-full of smart characters and even smarter writing, and it is unputdownable. I could go on and on, but instead I’ll just encourage you to go pick up a copy of this book for yourself. It is really THAT good!