Publication Date: January 20, 2011
Publisher: Amy Einhorn
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.