I don't often use this blog as a place to talk about my family, but along with being "the nerdy one", I'm also the "baby" among my siblings. I talked a bit about my older brother and two older sisters and our reading habits in my last post, but what I didn't mention is that because of my closeness to my family, I love reading stories about families and especially about sibling relationships. Last month I encountered a delightful work on this topic, The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown.
With a renowned Shakespearean professor for a father, the Andreas sisters knew the Bard would have an influence on their lives - even their names Rosalind (Rose), Bianca (Bean), and Cordelia (Cordy) were inspired by famous works. Their bookish ways and habit for communicating via verse set the family apart and the three sisters have little in common outside of their sibling rivalries. However, when dire circumstances bring them together, the girls just might find that they are more alike than they, or their parents, ever realized.I have a hard time capturing how charmed I was by this book. Without giving too much away, one of the plot points involves a character being diagnosed with cancer. Although the big-C has never struck my immediate family, I'm no stranger to the challenges of supporting a loved one who is living with the illness and I was very impressed with the way that Ms. Brown narrated these struggles so realistically. In fact, I was so impressed that I went so far as to contact Ms. Brown and thank her for such a wonderful book. I'm thrilled to reveal that she not only responded to my gushing fan-girl note about her work but also agreed to an interview with me!
The Weird Sisters is a story about family and friendship and the chance to let challenges pull people together rather than apart. The characterization of sisters - oldest, middle, and little - will be recognizable as realistic to those that grew up in similar situations. And this is also a book about the love of literature and is truly a book for book-lovers. Not only does the cast converse with each other in famous quotes, but there is an admiration of libraries and academia. The Andreas family is infused with a reading culture and bibliophiles reading the work will likely love seeing their passion mirrored by the characters.
Eleanor Brown created a fantastic novel in The Weird Sisters. The story is told in the highly unique voice of the first person plural as if all three Andreas sisters are telling the story together. Not only does this add a lovely unity to the various portions of the story which focuses on multiple characters, but the use of "we" and "our" pulls the reader fully into the narrative. By the end of the book the reader has become a silent fourth Andreas sibling and it is a testament to Brown's writing that turning the final pages was almost like saying farewell to family.
Check out The Weird Sisters (available now) and stay tuned this week for my interview with Eleanor Brown!