Monday, August 10, 2015

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Reviewed by Ambrea

After spending years consciously avoiding Barnwell, their quiet Midwestern hometown, Bianca (curiously nicknamed Bean by her family) and Cordelia (Cordy) Andreas have returned home and rejoined their sister Rosalind (Rose) in caring for their ailing mother.  But their family reunion is far from happy:  Bean, pregnant and uncertain of her future, and Cordy, faced with criminal charges after embezzling money from her former employer, are struggling to right their lives and take control—and even responsible, dependable Rose isn’t above keeping her own secrets.

Faced with their mother’s growing illness and their own shortcomings, Rose, Cordy, and Bean must learn to accept the challenges and changes in their life to grow into the women they were meant to be.

The Weird Sisters is a uniquely entertaining book that incorporates life, the good and the bad, into a twisted tale of family and all the things that can be strange, go wrong, or just drive a sibling crazy.  Well-written and fairly easy to read, Eleanor Brown’s novel is a pretty enjoyable story.

The one thing I never understood about The Weird Sisters, however, was the narrator.  While I give her credit for creating a unique narrator, I can't say it made the novel any better or even made me appreciate the work more.  The narrator uses inclusive terms like “we” and “our,” which makes this anonymous, omniscient being sound like one of the sisters.

But the narrator obviously isn’t.

Despite seeming to manifest as one of the sisters, the narrator remains decidedly separate, located within the sisters’ midst but simultaneously not, almost like a collective consciousness that is all and none at the same time.  It’s an unconventional vehicle for the story and I will say it’s interesting, but, more often, I found it a confusing literary tic because I was immediately flummoxed by the narrator and his/her/its relationship to the Andreas sisters.  Honestly, it left me pondering over exactly who or what is telling the story, looking back to see what tidbit of information I missed.

(Note:  there was an earlier review of The Weird Sisters here.)

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