fiction, reviews

Thoughts: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

The Weird Sisters

Eleanor Brown

318 pages

Publication Date: January 20, 2011

Publisher: Amy Einhorn

Source: Publisher


We came home because we were failures. We wouldn’t admit that, of course, not at first, not to ourselves, and certainly not to anyone else. We said we came home because our mother was ill, because we needed a break, a momentary pause before setting off for the Next Big Thing. But the truth was, we had failed, and rather than let anyone else know, we crafted careful excuses and alibis, and wrapped them around ourselves like a cloak to keep out the cold truth. The first stage: denial.

When I first read this paragraph from Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters, I had to stop and read it again. After reading it the second time, I knew I was in for something different. I was right.

The Weird Sisters is the tale of Cordelia, Bianca, and Rosalind Andreas also known as Cordy, Bean, and Rose. The three sisters grew up in the small college town of Barnwell with their father, a professor of Shakespeare and their mother whose recent diagnosis of breast cancer is the perfect excuse for the girls to tuck in their tails and come back home.

As the oldest sister Rose has never left Barnwell, choosing to stick around in hopes of becoming a tenured professor at the local university though better opportunities are probably awaiting her aboard with her fiancé. Bean, the middle sister, prefers the thrill of New York but after losing her job as well as her dignity, her fantasy has disappeared along with her identity. Youngest sister, Cordy, is their father’s favorite. She’s spent the past ten years traveling around the country, working at dead-end jobs to escape from having to grow up. But something unexpected makes her return home to figure out her life.

The Weird Sisters is about being around the people who know you the best. The people who have seen you at your worst and want you to succeed against all odds even when they doubt you will. Brown has given readers a family that is so authentic that I forgot that they weren’t real. It was a pleasure reading this book, becoming lost in the story of the Andreas sisters and their failures, loves, and triumphs.

This book is the second perfect debut novel that I’ve read this year. If you’re looking for a great light read, The Weird Sisters is the book to pick up. I won’t hesitate to read anything else by Eleanor Brown and you shouldn’t either.

30 thoughts on “Thoughts: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown”

  1. I have been reading good things about this book all over the place, and I am determined to read it really soon. I am glad to hear that it was such a good read for you. Off now to add this one to my list!!

  2. Oh, this looks so good! I have three sisters myself, so I always like reading about sisters in books. 😀 And they have lovely old-fashioned names — I think I had dolls named all of those things when I was a kid. :p

  3. Great review! I love sister stories and this one sounds excellent. When you almost forget a character isn’t a real person.. that’s a good read! Thank you for being on the tour!

  4. I keep seeing this cover and loving it. Now I am eager to read the book! Thanks for this review, I’m really looking forward to this book.

  5. That first paragraph does seem very weird! However, you made me want to read it anyway. I love it when you feel a family is so real that you forget they are fictional characters..

    1. Nope. The sisters go back home because they’re failures. Only one sister wants to stay while the rest are just lost and have nowhere else to go.

  6. I love family dramas and this seems like a perfect read. Did you find it sad too? I mean, given the mom’s situation? I feel like I always need to “prepare” myself when I read books that have that as a subject. Wonderful review!

  7. I heard of this one yesterday, and was smitten by the synopsis. Glad to hear you loved it – I’ll happily request it from the library now!

  8. Oh good! I have been intrigued by the title of book since it was first released and I am glad to hear that it is a worthwhile read. It is definitely added to the TBR list!

  9. This sounds great! Your review really is the first one that has made me want to read it. Putting it on the TBR.

  10. This book is just loved all over the place! Steph over at Steph and Tony Investigate wrote about it (and loved it) just today. Family relationships are such a slippery slope in books. They can become very common and boring and soap opera-ish or they can take it to another level that really reveals something fresh, raw, bare. Steph compared this book to Zoe Heller’s The Believers. Made me want to read it. And now your observations about the authentic in the novel also make me want to read it.

  11. sounds like a fantastic book! i love books about families especially ones with siblings that are so different yet manage to find a way to always be there for each other.

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