The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

The Andreas sisters were raised on books – their family motto might as well be, ‘There’s no problem a library card can’t solve.’  (this line alone made me want to read this one!)

Their father, a renowned, eccentric professor of Shakespearean studies, named them after three of the Bard’s most famous characters: Rose (Rosalind – As You Like It), Bean (Bianca – The Taming of the Shrew), and Cordy (Cordelia – King Lear), but they have inherited those characters’ failures along with their strengths.

Now the three sisters have returned home to the small college town in Barnwell Ohio where they grew up – under the guise on their mothers battle with cancer… but also because their lives are a mess that even Shakespeare would be stumped over.  .

Rose, a staid mathematics professor, has the chance to break away from her quiet life and join her devoted fiance in England, if she could only summon up the courage to do more than she’s thought she could. Bean left home as soon as she could, running to the glamour of New York City, only to come back ashamed of the person she has become. And Cordy, who has been wandering the country for years, has been brought back to earth with a resounding thud, realizing it’s finally time for her to grow up.

The sisters never thought they would find the answers to their problems in each other, but over the course of one long summer, they find that everything they’ve been running from – each other, their histories, and their small hometown – might offer more than they ever expected.

Weird Sisters.  I love the title.  It makes me think of witches or women with magical powers.  I have no idea why. 

I had seen a lot about this book in past months, gloriously showing up on blog after blog making me curious about it.  When it showed up on audible.com for 4.95 I pulled the trigger (or the credit card) and bought the book.

Hmmmm….

You get the gist of the story in the synopsis.  Yet for some reason I connected with none of the characters.  It basically went on and on about the sisters, their lives, the mom (who is ill) and the dad who oddly quotes Shakespeare at random times in the book and me, not knowing much Shakespeare (ok… knowing ANY Shakespeare at all) is left scratching my head and thinking, “wha…?”

I could not put my finger on what I was not finding appealing about the book until the very end.  Seriously I was starting to think I was ruined for books forever as I recently had a similar experience with Carry The One (which is also about family living through tragedy… or something…).  Neither book (IMO) have a strong plot.

What do you mean Sheila?  Of course there is a plot!

Yes, both books do have a plot…. but it is one that the cards are shown in the early pages of the book and then…. nothing, nothing really big happens… like nothing carries the story.  I am hoping this makes sense but in Weird Sisters (and in Carry the One for that matter) the books are just about every day family life, what they are doing, eating, saying,….  day to day life.  I am basically, as the reader, along for the ride.

I have given a lot of thought to this as now in just a matter of two weeks I have stumbled on to this twice in my reading.  I guess, and maybe its just me… but I like more plot, more happenings, more emotion….

and I just did not feel it.

Does the book have its moments?

I think so, but here is the clincher.  Usually in a book or audio as I am going along, I pick up on something I love about the book or something that made me want to know more and  I can not wait to chat with you all about that in the review…. Yet, today, as I type this… I am clinging to nothing.  No point of the book is standing out to me, and that right there is why I leave this book (audio) with no connections.

I purchased this audio book on audible.com

About Sheila (Book Journey)

Bookaholic * Audio Book Fan *Bike Rider *Rollerblader *Adventure Seeker *Want To Be Runner*Coffee lover *Fitness Fan * Movie junkie

Posted on March 27, 2012, in audio review and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. Glad to see I’m not the only reader who had problems with this one. The story did have its moments, but I just wasn’t attracted to any of the characters, and the whole “plural narrator” (or whatever she called it) thing really bothered me. Hope you enjoy your next read much more.

  2. Isn’t it frustrating when you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong in your reading life? I hate that. As to the Weird Sisters designation – well, you were probably thinking of “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble”, the three witches in MacBeth. Think they were also referred to as the Weird Sisters somewhere. Then you add in the whole Harry Potter connection – kids in the choir singing about Double or maybe Bubble – there you’ve got the witches and your mind was prepared for something completely different. I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s in my never ending TBR – of course it is. LOL

    By the way, Harry Potter e-books available today. Yes, I know I have them in hardcover and audio and the movies, but I don’t have them on my Kindle yet. And so I must. J.K. should love me to death. :-)

  3. When I was in high school and we were reading a lot of Shakespeare, our teacher called me and two of my friends “the weird sisters,” a reference to the witches in MacBeth.

    Yes, this book had a lot of Shakespearean references, and while I enjoyed it overall, the plural narration was a bit hard to get past.

  4. I really liked The Weird Sisters, but you’re right, it’s stronger on character development than plot.

  5. Part of what you ran into is the difference between a literary novel and what is disparagingly called genre novels. These days even the “literary” folks – read grad-school and above in English or Literature studies, critics, etc. – are realizing that staring at our navels are not enough. Most readers want a story AND deep characters we care about. Thankfully, more of those mutts are being published these days. You just picked up a couple literaries in a row.

  6. Oh boy. I used an audible credit on this but haven’t listened to it yet. I’ll consider myself forewarned :)

  7. I have this out from the library at the moment but I am going to have to return it unread…again! I will borrow it again because I have heard good things about it, but I have read a few reviews now that will temper my expectations a little.

  8. I read this one and really enjoyed it so much. Sometimes I wonder if a book is better read than on audio while others may be better audio than read….YKWIM? I couldn’t resist that 4.95 sale either…I was very very bad!

  9. Some books just don’t click with everyone and you made your point well. I listened to this one in audio and thoroughly enjoyed it so I am bummed you didn’t like it but I have tons of books that I don’t like and everyone else does so … it happens!

  10. Nice to see another point of view.

  11. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you! I loved it, but I can understand why the lightness of the plot might be a problem, especially if you couldn’t connect with the characters.

    • I think that was it Carrie, I learned something about myself while listening to it…. I am a plot snob! LOL,… I like a good strong plot AND great characters to carry it :D

      Who knew?

  12. This is basically the same thing I thought after reading the Weird Sisters. The most I got from it was an itch to read some Shakespeare

  13. lindyloumacinitaly

    After reading your review and previous comments I will not be adding this title to my wishlist, thanks for your insights.

  14. I didn’t think this would be a book for me so now I’m glad to have that confirmed.

  15. I’ve seen too many reviews like this. If I read this one, it will probably be from taking it out at the library. Really, you would think, as an avid reader, what’s not to love? It’s about readers … like us. Well, maybe a bit like us.

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