The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
In a small college town in Ohio lives a family with three daughters. The town is unremarkable. The family, however, is quite distinctive, headed by a father who is a Shakespeare scholar and noted professor who has a habit of conversing with his family in Shakespearean passages.
Daunted by their father and bored with the town, sisters Cordy (Cordelia — naturally the girls were named after famous women in Shakespeare’s plays) and Bean (Beatrice) leave following high school albeit in entirely different directions. Cordy backpacks across the country; Bean becomes an urban sophisticate. Oldest daughter Rose (Rosalind) hews closest to home, becoming a professor in a nearby Ohio city.
When their mother is diagnosed with cancer, the daughters come home, less for their own secret reasons than for the desire to be near to and support their mother. In doing so, they struggle to understand how they fit together as a family and confront their secrets.
Weird Sisters is a captivating novel with characters so keenly rendered they practically leap off of the page and into the reader’s own consciousness — grappling to find their centers, and in doing so, find if not their joy, their contentment and sense of belonging. This is a story that addresses the universal themes of love, transgression, and forgiveness — all in full measure.
Amy Einhorn/Penguin; ISBN 978-0-39915-722-6; $24.95.
The Weird Sisters: Reading Guide