Sunday, July 03, 2011

"The Weird Sisters," by Eleanor Brown

This was a fine book with pretty decent writing, but it wasn't terribly engaging. Three sisters wind up living back at home with their parents in the sleepy college town where they grew up. Daughters of a Shakespeare scholar, Rosalind (Rose), Bianca (Bean) and Cordelia (Cordy) feel their fates are tied up in their literary namesakes. Each is screwed up in her own way, though not to the degree that they are unlikeable or cannot be redeemed.

Rose is the oldest, the caretaker. She babies her sisters, takes care of her absent-minded parents, plans out her life to the smallest detail. But when her fiance Jonathan is offered a teaching position in England, her world is thrown out of order.

Bean retreats from the expensive and high-maintenance life of New York City when her spending habits and thievery catch up to her. She attempts to forget her guilt and money troubles in booze and sex.

Free-spirited Cordy, her father's favorite, the baby of the family, is forced to think about someone other than herself when she finds herself pregnant.

The sisters' mother, diagnosed with breast cancer, presents a convenient excuse for the three to return home.

I enjoyed the prose to a certain extent, including the many Shakespeare quotations with which the family peppered their conversations. This was a definite character-development heavy plot, so don't expect a fast-paced, beach read. If you're looking to slow down and savor the text, this may well be the right book for you.

3.5 stars

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