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The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

I’ve recently joined a book club here in Santa Barbara that I discovered through my roommate (who discovered it on the website GoodReads).  It’s been so nice to have book suggestions for my leisure reading coming from people other than high school students – though surprisingly, the high school students often have great recommendations too.  The first book I read for the club was The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown.  At book club, the verdict on this novel was mixed.  No one completely hated it, but we were split down the middle as far as who enjoyed it, and who thought it was just okay.  Personally, I’m on the “just okay” team.  I finished it, but there wasn’t anything particularly special about this book, in my opinion.

The Weird Sisters is about three adult sisters who come home to their parents house in a small college town to escape varying failures each has experienced.  The sisters aren’t particularly close, and are each very different, but now that all of them are under the same roof, they are joined in caring for their mother who is battling breast cancer and recovery from a mastectomy and their father, the typical “absent-minded” professor (he specializes in Shakespeare, which is where the book gets its title).  A few things I liked about the book: though the story wasn’t particularly well developed, the author uses a collective narrator as the voice of all 3 sisters (“We” instead of “I”) which was unique and interesting as a reader.  Additionally, I loved the snippets of Shakespeare sprinkled throughout the book – some of which I recognized and some of which I did not.  It encouraged me to read more of the bard, and that is never a bad thing.  However, aside from those positives, the characters are entirely one-dimensional and not particularly likeable.  They each seem like stereotypes of characters that you see frequently in chick-lit books, but are nowhere to be found (at least in this exaggerated form) in the real world.  Additionally, the epilogue at the end is far too neatly stitched up for my taste.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a happy ending!  But I love a happy ending that I can actually believe would have happened with the characters, and in this respect, Brown didn’t deliver.

Again, the book wasn’t awful.  But there are so many great books out there… I’d say, don’t waste your time on this one and find instead one you will really really love.  They’re out there!  As such, I give this book 2 stars.  And don’t be surprised if you see some higher ranking Shakespeare reviews on our blog in the near future! ★★

– Becca

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