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The Weird Sisters

by Eleanor Brown

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5092324,975 (3.49)136
Unwillingly brought together to care for their ailing mother, three sisters who were named after famous Shakespearean characters discover that everything they have been avoiding may prove more worthwhile than expected.
  1. 00
    Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (Anonymous user)
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    The Solomon Sisters Wise Up by Melissa Senate (Micheller7)
  3. 00
    The Silver Boat: A Novel by Luanne Rice (Cecilturtle)
  4. 11
    Juliet by Anne Fortier (elbakerone)
    elbakerone: Both books center on heroines named after Shakespearean characters and deal with the theme of a destiny or personality based on their literary counterparts.
  5. 11
    Sisters by Danielle Steel (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Similar story line - 3 sisters who come home to deal with a family crisis and end up facing their own demons.

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Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
not a bookclub book, but it was very good ( )
  PatLibrary123 | Aug 9, 2022 |
Each of the "Weird Sisters" was named after characters in the works of Shakespeare by their father who is a college professor who teaches and has a passion for Shakespeare, and who speaks mainly in quotes of the bard.

Rose is the only one who remained in their home town, the other two led more colorful lives. Bianca came back after being fired by disgrace for stealing money from the New York City law firm where she worked. Cordelia, the youngest, returned pregnant, gritty and scarred from a life of hippy-like living.

Anna the oldest was the most mature of the group. She finds her place in life by helping others get their life in order. Both Bianca and Cordelia are very immature when compared to Anna. I was captivated by each of the sisters, but originally disliked Bianca and Cordelia for their selfish, narcissistic lifestyles.

Their beloved mother has breast cancer and is struggling to live with radiation, chemo and operations. Bianca and Cordelia return to help, yet is them that need the help. Anna holds the family together, and as the sisters grow apart and come together, Anna must find a life of her own. Bianca must pay back the money she stole. Cordelia must grow up and learn to take responsibility before a baby arrives.

This is a solid, well written book. I grew to know and enjoy all the characters who eventually find how to live together and apart.

Highly Recommended Four Stars
  Whisper1 | Mar 14, 2022 |
This is just not holding my interest at all. Plus, it's due back at the library in a couple of days. Maybe I'll try it again later. ( )
  maryellencg | Jan 8, 2022 |
I enjoyed this story of three adult sisters all back at home due to various personal issues. Mom is undergoing cancer treatments. Dad is a professor who communicates almost exclusively by quoting Shakespeare. Rose is engaged but extremely anxious about moving from her small town. Bianca is back, in disgrace, from New York City. Cordy is back from years of living a transient life. This is the story of family bonds -- sometimes imperfect -- and how you can get through life when someone has your back.

I loved the first person plural narration. It made the sisters seem like a team, even when they weren't nice to each other. They shared a life, and that counts for something.l ( )
  LynnB | Jan 2, 2022 |
I liked the story fine, but the first person plural narrator I found really annoying. I read in the back of the book the author saying something like she was trying to do it in a way that wouldn't be distracting, but in my opinion she failed. I understand how a non-character narrator can have an omnipotent viewpoint, but I can't buy it when it involves three characters and suggests they all know all about each, when in fact a major plot point is that they're all off in different directions with very limited communication, not only before the book starts, but even after they're all living in the same house. ( )
  emrsalgado | Jul 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
"Indeed, The Weird Sisters is a book worth celebrating. Because their father is a renowned Shakespearean scholar, the Andreas family communicates largely through the words of the Bard. It is not unusual for them to drop Shakespearean quotes into a conversation about, say, wedding rings or what to eat for breakfast."
added by clamairy | editBookPage, Amy Scribner (Mar 2, 2011)
There are times when the sisters are exasperated by the burden imposed on them. “Sometimes we had the overwhelming urge to grab our father by the shoulders and shake him until the meaning of his obtuse quotations fell from his mouth like loosened teeth,” they say. Readers may sometimes feel similarly about Ms. Brown but more often appreciate the good sense and good humor that keep her story buoyant. She does have storytelling talent. Or, to quote one of the Weird Sisters quoting you-know-who: “This is a gift that I have; simple, simple.”
Eleanor Brown's likable debut novel is the story of three grown sisters who return home when their mother falls ill.....The first third of the book moves slowly, with too much explanation of who the sisters are, and too much insistence on how different each is from the other, and a sort of bulky setting-up of their rather implausible situations, and -- enough, already! Get the story moving! And when it does start moving, it is a delight.


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But we only called the fire brigade, and soon the fire engine came and three tall men in helmets brought a hose into the house and Mr. Prothero got out just in time before they turned it on. Nobody could have had a noisier Christmas Eve. And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing in the wet, smoky room, Jim's Aunt, Miss Prothero, came downstairs and peered in at them. Jim and I waited, very quietly, to hear what she would say to them. She said the right thing, always. She looked at the three tall firemen in their shining helmets, standing among the smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs, and she said, "Would you like anything to read?" —DYLAN THOMAS, A Child's Christmas In Wales
I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters. —WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Macbeth
TO CHRIS, For springtime, for a rock-and-roll show, forever
First words
We came home because we were failures.
She never managed to find herself in these books no matter how she tried, exhuming traits from between the pages and donning them for an hour, a day, a week. We think, in some ways, we have all done this our whole lives, searching for the book that will give us the keys to ourselves, let us into a wholly formed personality as though it were a furnished room to let. As though we could walk in and look around and say to the gray-haired landlady behind us, "We'll take it."
We were fairly certain that if anyone made public the various and variegated ways in which being an adult sucked eggs, more people might opt out entirely.
She narrowed her eyes and considered the array of potential answers in front of her. Because I don't spend hours flippping through cable complaining there's nothing on? Because my entire Sunday is not eaten up with pre-game, in-game, and post-game talking heads? Because I do not spend every night drinking overpriced beer and engaging dick-swinging contests with the other financirati? Because when I am waiting in line, at the gym, on the train, eating lunch, I am not complaining about the wait/staring into space/admiring myself in available reflective surfaces? I am reading!
What if the name you were given had already been lived in?
He was not a reader. And that was the sort of nonsense up with which we will not put.
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Unwillingly brought together to care for their ailing mother, three sisters who were named after famous Shakespearean characters discover that everything they have been avoiding may prove more worthwhile than expected.

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Unlucky in work, love, and life, the Andreas sisters return to their childhood home. Each has a secret she's unwilling to share — each has come home to lick her own wounds.

The Andreas family is an eccentric one. Books are their passion (There is no problem a library card can't solve), TV something other families watched. Their father — a renowned professor of Shakespeare who communicates almost exclusively in verse — named all three girls for great Shakespearean women — Rose (Rosalind), Bean (Bianca), and Cordy (Cordelia) — as a result, the sisters find that they have a lot to live up to.

With this burden, the Andreas sisters have a difficult time communicating with their parents and their lovers, but especially with one another.

What can the homebody and shy eldest sister, the fast-living and mysterious middle child, and the bohemian youngest sibling have in common? Why can't Rose leave her hometown for the man she loves? Why has glamorous Bean come home from New York City with her tail between her legs, to the small college town she swore she'd leave as soon as she could? And why has Cordy suddenly resurfaced after years of gypsy living? Each sister has found her life nothing like she had thought it would be — and now, as they are faced with their parents' frailty and their own disappointments and setbacks, their usual quick salve of a book can't solve what ails them.

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Eleanor Brown's book The Weird Sisters was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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Average: (3.49)
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4.5 31
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