Let Me Tell You About The Weird Sisters

The Weird SistersI feel like I should maybe say more about my mom, but I know no blog post could adequately express my feelings or all that my mom meant to people so hopefully yesterday’s post will do. I started this blog to honor my mom by talking about one of her favorite subjects, books, and so that is what I will do instead. Especially since I recently read a great book I haven’t told you about yet.

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown was an impulse buy for me. I have a long to-be-read list and this wasn’t on it. It just so happened that the same day I went on Amazon to buy Last Night at Chateau Marmont for book club (which I’d apparently already bought, oops), I also happened to see a lot of tweets and blog posts about The Weird Sisters. Maybe it just happens to be the people I follow, but this book seemed to be everywhere. In an e-book buying fit, I one-click bought it.

The Weird Sisters is about three sisters, but they aren’t weird… well not nearly as weird as the title and their upbringing might lead you to believe. In fact, the “weird” comes from the word “wyrd” meaning fate. But weird could apply to their father, though delightfully eccentric might be a better way to describe him. He’s a professor and Shakespearean scholar who is obsessed with the Bard and named his three dauthers after characters from his plays: Rosalind, Bianca and Cordelia. A quote from the beginning explains the girls’ childhood well: “Sonnets were our nursery rhymes. The three of us were given advice and instruction in couplets; we were more likely to refer to a hated playmate as a ‘fat-kidneyed rascal’ than a jerk.”

Rose, Bean and Cordy, as they go by, are as different as sisters can be and, much like other siblings, they love each other without really liking each other. As soon as they had the chance, Bean and Cordy left home. Bean headed to a glitzy life in New York and Cordy chose to wander, while Rose acted as the responsible eldest/martyr, working as a math professor and looking after their parents. When they find out their mother has breast cancer, Bean and Cordy use this as a convenient excuse to come home though the truth has more to do with the fact that they are both trying to escape their current desperate situations. Thrown together, the three sisters must finally learn to get along and figure out how to live their lives.

Reading this book, I wish I knew more about Shakespeare. The references are numerous and though I enjoyed it regardless, I would have understood much better had I more of a background in the subject. I guess Intro to Shakespeare at Northwestern just doesn’t cut it.

Even without being fluent in Macbeth, I really liked this book. The sisters are set in their ways and occasionally too stubborn, but they provide such a great center to the novel. And, maybe it is Shakespeare’s influence after all, but the writing is great.

No wonder the internet is buzzing about this book.

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