The first hundred pages or so of the book was a bit of a snooze, nearly causing me to regale it to the shelf. It was littered with too much description of who the sisters are, and too much blather on their various differences. It took a bit to set up their rather far-fetched situations, but when the story did begin moving, it was enjoyable.
There is Rose, afraid to leave home; Bean, who fled their small town early but has returned after making a weighty mistake; and Cordy, the vagabond, who is inopportunely pregnant.
Their father, Professor Andreas communicates with his family almost exclusively via Shakespeare, photocopying pages from the plays and highlighting various passages. It’s in this way he informs his daughters of their mother’s cancer. The story is a peculiar twist on the emotionally distant fatherly role, and although the liberal sprinkling of Shakespeare quotes often strives to retain credibility, along with my patience, Brown seems to make it all come together.
“The Weird Sisters” is written in first-person plural. The sisters are speaking as a single voice– as though all three sisters are somehow hovering above it all, telling the story together — it gives the book a theatrical feel.
As a discourse on sibling dynamics, and their ability to grow closer through the challenges of their mother’s disease as well as the reality of living together again, the book very much succeeds. While each sister’s story of self-improvement is fairly predictable, echoing Shakespeare: “all’s well that ends well,” Brown seems to pull off the sentiment conveyed by the book’s tag line: “We love each other. We just don’t happen to like each other very much.”