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The Weird Sisters | [Eleanor Brown]

The Weird Sisters

There is no problem that a library card can't solve. The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there. See, we love each other.
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Audible Editor Reviews

“I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last.” (The Tempest)

One of the ‘weird sisters’ might have said this to another in Eleanor Brown’s debut novel. These three daughters of a Shakespeare scholar possessing vast repertoires of Bardian quotes might have missed this one, or shunned it out of mutual jealousy and need to keep up appearances. But coming home after years apart, they have all been in pickles.

Bookish members of a family where reading is both haven and hideout, the sisters call themselves ‘weird’ after Macbeth’s three witches, but Professor Andreas, their Will-obsessed and spouting father named them: Cordelia (King Lear), Rose (Rosalind, As You Like It), and Bean (Bianca, Taming of The Shrew).

When they receive news that their beloved, artistic mother has cancer, the sisters arrive, each variously adrift in her life, and lugging resentments and insecurities over her siblings’ perceived advantages in love, work, or parental favor. How their happily married and devoted (if thinly drawn) parents spawned these discontented 20-to-30-somethings isn’t clear. But Rose, a math professor and self-appointed (unnecessary) caretaker of her parents, bemoaning her fiancé’s temporary relocation abroad, eagerly reassumes the role of boss/protector to her sisters (also unnecessary). The chic, man-eating Manhattanite Bean fudged the books at work to binge-shop, until she was recently and humiliatingly caught. And Cordelia, the indulged youngest yet sweetest, a hand-to-mouth (and often hungry) nomad, now suddenly finds herself pregnant and unattached. Mom’s illness provides the convenient refuge they all seek.

Brown is a good storyteller. Though not exactly original, her tale is entertainingly chick-lit-ish, with romance, both seedy and princely, serendipity, and lessons learned. Listeners who like their Shakespeare a la Hallmark — suitable for every occasion or thought — will be especially charmed. As an audio experience, the novel’s communal first-person ‘we’ narration adds immediacy. But, intended perhaps to foreshadow or add irony, it sometimes sounds forced, given the sisters’ chronic disunity. Fortunately, actress Kirsten Potter brings it all elegantly, expertly together. She differentiates the sisters’ personalities and a host of characters from hip priest to (stereotypical) sternly kind librarian skillfully until the very “all’s well that ends well”. —Elly Schull Meeks

Publisher's Summary

A major new talent tackles the complicated terrain of sisters, the power of books, and the places we decide to call home.

There is no problem that a library card can't solve. The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there. See, we love each other. We just don't happen to like each other very much. But the sisters soon discover that everything they've been running from-one another, their small hometown, and themselves-might offer more than they ever expected.

©2010 Eleanor Brown (P)2011 Penguin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (415 )
5 star
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4.0 (227 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Sabrina Butte, MT, United States 03-09-11
    Sabrina Butte, MT, United States 03-09-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    ""I am not bound to please thee with my answers.""

    As an English teacher and a fan of Shakespeare, I was disappointed with Brown's treatment of the Bard. I should have known better, because when I heard her interviewed on NPR, and she read an excerpt of the book that contained a Shakespearean quotation, she had no idea where it came from (Romeo and Juliet). I read it anyway... it's an interesting story with believable characters, but it didn't get a rise of emotion from me at any point. I enjoyed her portrayal of setting. I would recommend this to someone who doesn't mind Shakespeare, but isn't passionate about his work.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Marietta, GA, United States 03-24-11
    Carolyn Marietta, GA, United States 03-24-11 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    3
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    "Hated It !"

    Whiny grown children moving home. Blah, blah... The only reason I finished it was because I unfortunately bought it.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shante pineville, la, United States 04-22-12
    Shante pineville, la, United States 04-22-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "awesome!"
    What did you love best about The Weird Sisters?

    the craftsmanship of this novel is amazing. the first person plural narration is so perfect for this story/these sisters. The story was well paced and very well balanced between the sisters' sub plots.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Weird Sisters?

    Those few moments when the three weird sisters are actually on the same wavelength really do invoke a kind of magic! especially when brown throws in textual mirrors to amplify the effect.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no. i needed a little time to settle in to this one. . . especially the narration.


    Any additional comments?

    give it a shot!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Dumont,, NJ, United States 03-31-11
    Helen Dumont,, NJ, United States 03-31-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring and Preachy"

    I can usually find something good thing to say about a book ... not this time.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Bothell, WA, United States 07-20-11
    Karen Bothell, WA, United States 07-20-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I heard good reviews but it didn't live up to them"

    I wish we could get a warning that there is the occasional cuss word, then I would know not to play certain audios in some places.

    The book was just ok, nothing outstanding, standard chick-lit

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Newman Atlanta, GA, United States 05-21-11
    Newman Atlanta, GA, United States 05-21-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Great idea- not worth it in the end"

    I like the idea of this book more than the book itself. The main characters weren't very likable, and in the end I didn't actually care what happened to them. Bummer.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. K. Plante Pinckney, MI USA 09-30-13
    S. K. Plante Pinckney, MI USA 09-30-13 Member Since 2010

    Mrs. Plante

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "BORING!!!!"
    Would you try another book from Eleanor Brown and/or Kirsten Potter?

    Probably not


    Would you ever listen to anything by Eleanor Brown again?

    Yes


    What about Kirsten Potter’s performance did you like?

    She was perfectly fine


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    God this was the most boring story ever. I didn't even finish it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber Clayton, NC, United States 07-02-13
    Amber Clayton, NC, United States 07-02-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Meh. Don't waste the credit."
    What disappointed you about The Weird Sisters?

    I am half way through this book, and honestly considering ditching it. I find myself dreading listening to it; hoping thought that something, ANYTHING is going to happen that is remotely interesting. The story could have been a good one, if the characters were more likeable, or interesting. And the father quoting Shakespear constantly is annoying.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    She didn't... she did the best she could with what she had to work with.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste the credit like I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Enid newyork, NY, United States 02-01-13
    Enid newyork, NY, United States 02-01-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a family drama to love"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    We all have families with a few diffucult and different members. This is lookinh through the keyhole at such a group.she was able to hive life to each character


    What about Kirsten Potter’s performance did you like?

    Each character was "given life"


    Any additional comments?

    A very enjoyable read
    ..great drawing of each person

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlotte Saint Louis, MO, United States 09-21-12
    Charlotte Saint Louis, MO, United States 09-21-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Predictable, but fun"

    It was a chick flick kind of book. You read it and afterwards you think, meh, same ol' same ol'. The reader is good, but her male characters have the same vocal inflection and it makes you think the girls' boyfriend's all sound like their dad. Weird, indeed.
    The Shakespeare quotes were fine, but nothing earth shattering. You'd think these characters would feel more connected to what they were saying instead of just throwing in lines into their everyday chit chat.
    It was bland, but entertaining in a sitcom kind of way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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