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The Weird Sisters

by Eleanor Brown

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6782355,202 (3.49)146
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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 00
    The Silver Boat: A Novel by Luanne Rice (Cecilturtle)
  4. 00
    The Solomon Sisters Wise Up by Melissa Senate (Micheller7)
  5. 00
    Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (Anonymous user)
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Showing 1-5 of 231 (next | show all)
Quite good and reasonably well-written. Predictable, but I enjoyed it and will be on the lookout for the author's second book. ( )
  medwyn1066 | Nov 28, 2023 |
"You did bring a book, didn't you?" p 69

I liked the way Brown crafted her sentences. I also liked that I could relate to a character quite strongly.

There was a decided lack of pop-culture references, which was quite refreshing. Some of the actual plot points were unbelievable to begin with, though, and the ending tied things up too neatly and easily for everyone involved.

But it was an easy, light read that made me glad I'm a reader - and thankful that I get along well with my siblings.

Note: There is a fair amount of profanity and sexual references.

"Would [she always be] chasing some shadow of the way things were Supposed to Be? There were days, yes, when [she] felt as though she had been on this earth forever....but she knew she was young. It seemed so early to have signed her whole life away, but it seemed so exhausting to change anything." p 110 ( )
  RachelRachelRachel | Nov 21, 2023 |
A great story about family dynamics and expectations, the abrupt ending disarmed me - I was not ready to say goodbye to the Weird Sisters. ( )
  muffinbutt1027 | Apr 26, 2023 |
Three daughters of a Shakespeare professor come back home as adults when their mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. Living in the small Ohio college town and under the same roof again after so many years isn't not difficult, and all of their secrets start leaking out.

From the start I suspected that the imaginary small Ohio town was based on Gambier (home of Kenyon College), and lo, I was (half) right! The author has been quoted as saying that she based the town and the college within it on a mix of Kenyon and Oberlin! That made the book extra-fun for me, but it's also just a great read. The relationships between the sisters ring true, as do each of their own struggles and triumphs. The myriad nods to Shakespeare's plays throughout are a fantastic touch, too. Definitely recommended. ( )
  electrascaife | Mar 24, 2023 |
An excellent character driven book. Three sisters challenged by the expectations of birth order; the responsible, over-achieving eldest, the forgotten and lost middle child, and the baby of the family with few responsibilities or expectations. An enjoyable read. ( )
  lynnbyrdcpa | Feb 18, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 231 (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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Epigraph
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
Dedication
TO CHRIS, For springtime, for a rock-and-roll show, forever
First words
We came home because we were failures.
Quotations
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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Book description
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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