Review: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

January 19, 2011 General Fiction, Literary Fiction, Review, Women's Fiction 13


  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher:Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (January 20, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0399157220
  • Source: Publisher

    When their mother is stricken ill with breast cancer, three sisters reunite in the college town of Barnwell, OH where they were raised.  Not that they needed a reason, each were seeking solace and a safe place to escape.

    Rose, the oldest and most responsible of the trio (almost to a fault) remained in Barnwell to teach.  She clings to her caretaker role, reluctant to leave when her fiance suggests she come stay with him in London.

    Bianca (Bean), the attention-seeking middle child drops everything in New York to head home.  She didn’t have a lot to leave behind, frankly.  It was discovered she was embezzling money from her employer. While she didn’t face any charges, it was made obvious that her presence was no longer welcome.

    Cordelia (Cordy), the baby, is a free spirit.  She’s spent the past several years roaming from one place to the next, never knowing where she’s going to end up.  She discovers she’s pregnant by a random painter she met during her travels.

    Their father, a professor, speaks mainly in Shakespearean verse.  The girls grew up with this as a normal part of their everyday life.  Honestly, I wanted to grab hold of the man & shake him into reality.

    His marriage to their mother is a strong & pure one; they’ve never spent a night apart.  Despite growing up witnessing this “healthy” relationship, each of the girls have big issues of their own. They must learn to relinquish the roles they played as children and grow up into adults in order to survive.

    This is the second review I’ve written of The Weird Sisters.  The first contained a lot of gushing, squeals of delight and ramblings about my love of this book.  I’m hoping this one is more cohesive!

    How can one not love a book about a family of book lovers?  The relationship the Weird Sisters share is quite unique, but not abnormal.  I’m one of three sisters and found myself finding characteristics I share with each of the sisters.  Who doesn’t want to make their parents proud, afraid to admit when they have failed?  Who isn’t reluctant to leave the safety of home & reach outward into unknown territory?  The girls have grown to define themselves in terms of their sisters, not as individuals.

    As Aiden, one of the secondary characters states:

    “…it is past time …for you to stop telling that particular story, and tell the story of yourself.  Stop defining yourself in terms of them. You don’t just have to exist in the empty spaces they leave.  There are times in our lives when we have to realize our past is precisely what it is, and we cannot change it.  But we can change the story we tell ourselves about it, and by doing that, we change the future.”

    The Weird Sisters is not only a story about sisters, it’s the story of three individual’s search for independence.  Even if you don’t have a sister, if you are a single child, I guarantee you will learn something from this stunning debut.  I have…and I plan on sharing the book with both of my weird sisters!

    Thank you to TLC book tours for providing me the opportunity to review this outstanding book!  Be sure to check out the other stops on this tour:

    Thursday, January 20th:  Books, Movies, and Chinese Food

    Monday, January 24th:  Caribousmom

    Tuesday, January 25th:  I’m Booking It

    Wednesday, January 26th:  Book Addiction

    Thursday, January 27th:  Life in Review

    Monday, January 31st:  Sophisticated Dorkiness

    Tuesday, February 1st:  Rundpinne

    Wednesday, February 2nd:  Book Club Classics!

    Thursday, February 3rd:  At Home with Books

    Friday, February 4th:  Luxury Reading

    Monday, February 7th:  Simply Stacie

    Wednesday, February 9th: Life in the Thumb

    Friday, February 11th:  In the Next Room

    Connect with Eleanor:

    On her websiteblog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

    13 Responses to “Review: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown”

    1. Julie P.

      I just finished my review a few minutes ago. I have a feeling that mine reflects a gushy, non-cohesive one!

    2. Pam

      Ah, I can’t wait to read this. I’ve heard such great things. I need to read it ASAP because I’m not really reading everyone’s reviews in depth, at this point because I don’t want too many reviews to go to my head before I even open the thing. :O)

    3. Dawn - She Is Too Fond of Books
      Twitter: toofondofbooks

      yes, give us the gushy, squealing review, too!

      I loved THE WEIRD SISTERS, and hope to cull a cohesive review of it over the weekend. I pushed it on (I mean “hand sold” it to) someone at the bookshop today, does that count?

    4. Nicole Langan
      Twitter: TributeBooks

      I really like the quote you pulled from Aiden.

      I’m an only child, but based on your response to this book I think I’m going to check it out.

    5. Lisa Munley

      Now I have to decide which review I prefer.. hmmm..

      I’m so happy this book moved you. Thanks so much for being on the tour!

    1. In Response to Many…the Gushing Review of The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown | Jenn's Bookshelves

      […] In Response to Many…the Gushing Review of The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown Posted on January 20, 2011 by Jenn Today is the official release date of The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown.  To celebrate this wonderful day and, at the request of many, I’ve decided to publish my original, gushing, nonsensical review of the book. Since I’ve already published the synopsis of the book, following is simply my thoughts & feelings about the book. To see the second draft of my review, hopefully one that is more cohesive and organized, click here. […]

    2. Review: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

      […] Reviews: 1330V | Steph & Tony Investigate | Jenn’s Bookshelves | Books, Movies & Chinese Food | Caribousmom | I’m Booking It | Book Addiction | Life in […]