We couldn’t look or act more different, but we are as close as it gets. My sister and I share an indescribable connection. Though we don’t always get along when we’re together, we are miserable apart. We love each other deeply and, though we don’t share every thought or struggle with each other, we know the other one is there to listen and help at the drop of a hat, no matter how far away. The connection I have with my sister is what intrigued me about the book The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown.
This book is an interesting view into the world of three sisters, who look alike, have names out of Shakespeare’s plays (Rosalind, Bianca, & Cordelia), and use the same Shakespearean language to communicate with each other (thanks to their father the professor of Shakespearean Literature), but the similarities pretty much end there. They hold each other at a distance, only revealing so much of themselves, for a seeming fear of judgement.
They were “unschooled” and raised to be readers in a home with no TV or multimedia distractions of any kind. Obviously, this makes their love of reading another bonding point, though they are each different in how they handle that (ie. distractions while reading). Unfortunately, rather than bonding over the books they read, they use reading as more of a way to escape from each other.
The story is about random/troubling turn of events in each of their lives, bringing them back to their childhood home, with their ages ranging from 27-33 (each three years apart). They each use the somewhat convenient excuse that they are there to support their mother as she deals with illness in order to avoid talking about the other issues they are struggling with inside. As they spend more time together, watching their mother suffer and the strength of their parents’ relationship, they find themselves drawing closer as they explore memories from childhood and adolescence.
Our family was a little more mainstream than this family, but I could still really relate to these women. On top of the somewhat complex relationship I share with my sister, I’ve always loved books. Not to the extent of reading hundreds of books a year or never watching TV, but to the point of minoring in English Lit. Two things that really struck me about the complexity of their relationships, which I could also relate to, were:
- their tendencies to keep things from each other in an attempt to protect both one another and their respective reputations
- their ability to read each others’ body language, despite how much they weren’t saying
I think, if you have a sister and are a big reader, you’ll get a lot out of this book. It’s rich and compelling and tells a story that I think most sisters can relate to in some way, shape, or form.
I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.