Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown and Ron Burgundy

The premise of this story is pretty simple.  Three grown sisters find themselves living in their childhood home with their parents for various reasons.  While they deal with one another and their mother's health crisis, they must ultimately confront the issues that brought them home.  They're sisters, but they're not necessarily friends.
That's me, Carrie, and Amy at our last family gathering. OK, fine it's not.  You can tell it's not us because we don't smoke.  (It's an image from  Approaching Shakespeare. )

Rosalind, Bianca, and Cordelia Andreas look alike but are so dissimilar in personality that it's difficult to reconcile they have the same parents.  Rose is the practical, pragmatic academic.  She followed in her father's footsteps (her minor rebellion being a love of mathematics rather than The Bard, as her father is a Shakespeare scholar and marked all three of his daughters with Shakespearean names) and chose to become a professor.  She is in close contact and close proximity with her parents.  She loves the small college town (somewhere in Ohio) where she and her sisters were raised, and where her parents still reside.  She loves the known; the people, the paths, the daily life.  So when her fiance throws her a curve ball in the form of a trans-Atlantic move in the midst of her mother's fight with breast cancer, Rose retreats home to help and to retreat.  It isn't until her sisters arrive unexpectedly that she is forced to admit that she might need to analyze her choices.

Bianca (Bean) is running from a very different life that she made in New York City.  She fled her hometown and all that she knew as soon as possible after college.  She has been living in NYC for years with a good job, and yet there was a hole there she couldn't fill no matter how many men she seduced or shoes she bought.  Her lifestyle gets her fired though, and she finds herself in debt and suffering from a deeply troubled conscience.  She shows up at home to nurse her wounds and form a plan so she can eventually leave her home again.  But though she understands that she did things the wrong way before, she can't stop herself from making some of the same mistakes and seeking to find fulfillment in the wrong way again.  It is finally realizing that she can be a part of her family without having to define herself in the negatives of her sisters (she is NOT practical like Rose, she is NOT charismatic like Cordelia) and rather the positives of herself (she IS smart, she IS good at other things besides dressing well), that allows her to start healing.  Being at home with her sisters lets her open up and look more closely at what lies beneath her polished and perfectly manicured exterior.

Cordelia is the youngest and is the freest of spirit.  She's been living the life of a nomad up until the point that some of her father's (all Shakespeare quotes, of course) letters catch up to her.  Through the outdated letters, she learns that Rose is engaged to be married and that her mother is sick.  Two good reasons to find her way back to her hometown and family.  And then there's the little matter of realizing she's pregnant.  With no other secure place to turn, she finds her way home.  There she reconciles that she may have until now allowed life to happen to her, and if she is to be a mother she will have to become the master of her life and the life of her child.  She is scared to tell her family and scared to look closely at her life and choices.  She doesn't feel suffocated at home like Bianca, but she doesn't need the familiarity like Rose.  She needs to find stability and the courage to grow up. And she needs to figure out what it is she wants so she can go about making that happen.  No small task, to be sure.

Totally us.
The book is an entertaining, mostly easy read.  Obviously, there's quite a bit of Shakespeare, but I don't think anyone will mind.  I mean, he did have a way with words and whatnot.  Probably the most interesting part of the book, was the voice in which it was written.  It's as if the three weird (weird here meaning supernatural in a sense, like the witches in Macbeth) sisters have an overriding communal voice.  It's not written as the voice of any one sister, but rather like all three sisters share an omniscient viewpoint even when the story line follows one sister individually.  It's a unique way to tell a story and I liked it, after I figured out there wasn't some never-before-discussed fourth sister writing this down.  While the book is about sisters, I think anyone who has siblings can relate to the family dynamic that moves the storylines along.  As for me and my sisters, they'll be none of that double, double, toil and trouble nonsense.  I mean, we've read the book so we would never make the same mistakes, right?

And! As if that review wasn't entertainment enough! Let me present to you, Ron Burgundy (getting ready to give the world a sequel, in case you hadn't heard), letting the people of ESPN know they're doomed.  Which is what a lot of people thought early on in the network's life.  Don't believe me? Read the book (or at least the review).

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  1. I had been thinking of reading this book because I do have sisters. I am glad you told me how it was written because I might not have figured out that there wasn't a fourth sister.:)

  2. I like books about sisters since I have none. Thanks for the recommendation.