Thanks to their scholarly father, the three sisters featured in Eleanor Brown's The Weird Sisters are all named after Shakespearean heroines. And (like so many Shakespearean characters) they all have some pretty big problems. It just goes to show, you don't have to be a druggie or an abuser to end up with kids who have issues. Dreamers and professors--with high IQs, lofty ideals, and healthy marriages--can have messed up progeny too.
Rosalind, Bianca, and Cordelia (known to most as Rose, Bean, and Cordy) are all grown, single women, and they all end up back at home when their mother has cancer. But they're all hiding pain, and they all need healing as badly as their mother does. However, when I say they're "messed up," I mean "messed up" in ways many of us can relate to. None of us exits childhood unscathed and perfectly prepared to take on the world, do we?
In a family where each member finds it easier to get lost in a book than to disclose personal feelings, there is an undercurrent of tension when suddenly the whole family is reunited. As the story progresses, though, the women begin to share their secrets with each other--and sometimes even with their parents. They learn to relate to each other as adults.
I appreciated the lack of perfection in each member of the Andreas family. While the parents are respected in the community, they haven't always done a great job building close relationships with their daughters. And each of those daughters has had difficulty adjusting to adulthood. Even Rose, the one who seems to have it all together, needs just as much of a shift in focus as her sisters do.
But beyond "appreciating" the merits of The Weird Sisters, I just plain enjoyed it. It's a book that, had I picked it up and started reading it on my own, would have still captured my attention. I was rooting for all three sisters, wanting them to each "find their way." I found the ending satisfying. There's no sequel necessary...though I wouldn't mind finding out what happens to the next generation of imperfect children, born to these three unique women.
Disclosure: I was sent a free book, and will be paid a small stipend for writing this honest review and for participating in BlogHer's online book club, which you can visit here.