Review of The Weird Sisters
Eleanor Brown’s debut is a wonderfully rich and poignant story of the three Andreas sisters; named by their father; an authority on Shakespeare for some of the bard’s more memorable characters. Rose for Rosalind, Bean for Bianca and Cordy for Cordelia.
The sisters are not weird in the modern sense but wyrd as Shakespeare would have known it, meaning fated. Each seems to carry the traits of their namesake and a feeling that they cannot escape their destinies, in fact they feel like failures. Rose the sensible homebody fears adventure and the unknown; Bean is caught stealing to maintain her dream
lifestyle and Cordy the bohemian drifter knows it’s time to settle down when she finds herself single and pregnant. Manhattan
When their mother falls ill the girls return home and discover that they must create their own futures.
The narrative device of the third person narrator unites the sisters, though each has a distinctive voice in the book; it’s a device which works well. The writing is fluid and poignant. The Shakespeare quotes are dotted throughout but are never heavy handed. This is an accomplished and well written debut. Eleanor Brown knows her Shakespeare but she wears her learning lightly. The book is an ideal summer read with a similar feel to Rebecca Miller or Alice Hoffman. I recommend it to mothers, daughters and sisters everywhere and it is ideal for book clubs.
By Lisa Doyle-Redmond