The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Sisters keep secrets. Because sisters’ secrets are swords.

I don’t know if this book resonated more with me because I am one of three sisters, it may have or it may have not. Maybe you will love it as much as I did if you have five brothers or are an only child. I don’t know. I just know I loved the story of The Weird Sisters, it felt very close to my heart. Siblings so often define themselves by who they are not (each other) and that in itself can define a great deal of who they become.

I sympathized with the relationships of this family deeply. It felt as though it were written by someone who not only knew how sisters felt about each other, but wasn’t afraid to admit it. The family dynamics, excluding the excessive quoting of Shakespeare, rang true to life in many ways. They were frustrating, charming, harsh, unforgiving and of course, deeply loving.

The Andreas sisters are daughters of an English professor whose specialty (and main method of communication) is Shakespeare.  When he says goodbye, asks for food, writes a letter, inquires as to how their day was.. it is all in Shakespeare. The Weird Sisters are, for obvious reasons, named Rosalind (Rose), Bianca (Bean) and Cordelia (Cordy.) Books are a large part of their life, an escape but also a way for them to communicate with each other. When they don’t have words for what they want to express to each other, they use Shakespeares’ and his words work just as well.

Their story is told from the point of view of all three sisters at once. I thought it would be a bit disconcerting but the “We” did not bug me, it even felt natural as the book progressed. Rose, the oldest, is the one who takes care of everyone, needs to feel needed, in control and therefore, never left home. Bean, the glamorous one, bar hopper, martini drinker, in heels and couture, returns from New York after some financial problems. Cordy, the wanderlust, bounced around the country from party to party, house to house, man to man and finally, to home. All three sisters end up back home partially because their mother has cancer, but mostly because developments in their own lives drove them there when they had no where else to turn.

Unsurprisingly, as their tale progresses we realize that this is the point in all their lives when each sister must make the decision of what is to become of them now. Who are they? Who will they be? Consequences are a large part of their story, but also just the beginning.

And we might argue that we are not fated to do anything, that we have chosen everything in our lives, that there is no such thing as destiny. And we would be lying.

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