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The Weird Sisters Hardcover – January 20, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam; First Edition edition (January 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399157220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399157226
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (483 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2011: The Weird Sisters in Eleanor Brown's delightful debut could have been weirder, considering their upbringing. Their professor father spoke primarily in Shakespearean verse, and while other kids in the bucolic Midwestern college town of Barnwell checked the TV lineup, the Andreas girls lined up their library books. They buried themselves in books so completely that while they loved each other, they never learned to like each other much. And when adulthood arrived and they pursued separate destinies, each felt out of step with the world. When news of their mother's cancer makes a terribly convenient excuse for attention-hog Bean (Bianca) and Cordy (Cordelia), the “baby” who always got off easy, to boomerang back to Barnwell from New York and New Mexico, respectively, they return bearing the guilt (and consequences) of embezzlement and pregnancy-by-random-painter. They're most terrified of admitting these failures to Rose (Rosalind), the responsible eldest, who stayed in Barnwell to teach Math and cling to her caretaker-martyr role. With lively dialogue and witty collective narration, the sisters' untangling of their identities and relationships feels honest and wise, and the questions they raise about how we carry our childhood roles into our adult lives will resonate with all readers, especially those with their own weird sisters. --Mari Malcolm

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. You don't have to have a sister or be a fan of the Bard to love Brown's bright, literate debut, but it wouldn't hurt. Sisters Rose (Rosalind; As You Like It), Bean (Bianca; The Taming of the Shrew), and Cordy (Cordelia; King Lear)--the book-loving, Shakespeare-quoting, and wonderfully screwed-up spawn of Bard scholar Dr. James Andreas--end up under one roof again in Barnwell, Ohio, the college town where they were raised, to help their breast cancer–stricken mom. The real reasons they've trudged home, however, are far less straightforward: vagabond and youngest sib Cordy is pregnant with nowhere to go; man-eater Bean ran into big trouble in New York for embezzlement, and eldest sister Rose can't venture beyond the "mental circle with Barnwell at the center of it." For these pains-in-the-soul, the sisters have to learn to trust love--of themselves, of each other--to find their way home again. The supporting cast--removed, erudite dad; ailing mom; a crew of locals; Rose's long-suffering fiancé--is a punchy delight, but the stage clearly belongs to the sisters; Macbeth's witches would be proud of the toil and trouble they stir up. (Jan.)
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More About the Author

Eleanor Brown is the New York Times, national and international bestselling author of The Weird Sisters. The Weird Sisters was an IndieNext pick, an Amazon and Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Month, and a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.

Eleanor lives in Colorado, where she is at work on her next novel.


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Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book -- funny, entertaining, a good read.
Vicki Mattingly
Excellent story of three sisters - their differences and likenesses, their bonds, their journey, their successes and failures, and the ultimate love of family.
Casey M. Voss
I liked the overall premise of the story, but to me the character development was a bit flat, and I never really got to know the sisters.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

312 of 324 people found the following review helpful By A. George on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Well, what a breath of fresh air. I just loved this. Eleanor Brown has a unique and compelling voice, which she marshals to brilliant effect in this deeply affecting story about three sisters who have lost their way and retreat to the questionable comforts of their childhood home. She draws all her characters with deft precision and you can't help but care for them, no matter what faults they may have (and they all have faults.) Warning: this is one of those books which is best read alone. There are nuggets on every page that you'll want to share with whoever is sitting close to you, but they'd probably prefer just to read it for themselves. And it's funny as hell, too. Highly recommended.
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148 of 163 people found the following review helpful By Deborah VINE VOICE on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books that I don't feel worthy to write a review about. I absolutely loved this book. Right from the beginning I was immediately sucked into the story. Any book about sisters and reading gets an automatic 5 star in my book. Coming from a family of three girls who all love reading, I felt drawn to this family like a moth to the light. I may not have loved everything that these sisters did but I loved reading about them, learning about them, and discovering more how their lives had an effect on everyone they came in contact with.

The story is deeply engaging and right from the beginning I felt as if I was connected with the characters. I both felt sympathized and got angry with all three women and their decisions. Even though we don't meet Cordy until a bit later on in the book, I felt as if I already knew her through Bean and Rosalie's views. Each sister holds a sad story but eventually overcomes it and finds a better and new outcome in life for herself.

The best part of the story for me was the obvious love of books. One of my favorite scenes in the book was when Bean is trying to explain to an ex boyfriend why she has time for reading. She talks about how she doesn't sit for hours in front a TV mindlessly watching. She always has a book on her so that way when she's at line in the store or in a waiting room she can just pull out her book and start reading. I just absolutely love how the whole family loves books. Another favorite part of the book was the different reading styles of the three sisters. From reading out front in everyone to avoiding everyone because of reading to hiding your reading from everyone, the three girls still know how to enjoy a good book. In this retrospect, they sound just like my family.
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172 of 198 people found the following review helpful By Jill I. Shtulman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The thorny relationship between sisters has offered a mother lode of material for writers dating back to the start of time. Shakespeare tackled it in King Lear; in modern times, authors that vary from Louisa May Alcott to Julia Glass and Jane Smiley have put their personal spin on this theme.

Now debut author Eleanor Brown takes her turn. Meet Rosalind, Bianca, and Cordelia, three sisters named for Shakespearean heroines by their eccentric and professorial father. These are women who look very much alike, maintain a common family bond, but if truth be told, don't like each other very much.

Ms. Brown defines the roles that sisters are inevitably forced to play within the structure of the family. She writes, "Who would Bean be if she dropped her beautiful mask? Who would Cordy be if she stepped up to the plate in her own life? And who would Rose be if she weren't the responsible one anymore?"

These are the questions the three sisters are forced to explore when twists of life bring the two younger prodigal sisters back to their collegial hometown, just at the point when their mother has received a breast cancer diagnosis. Each is at a cross point: Rose must decide whether to burst free from her self-imposed safety net, spread her wings, and follow her fiancée to his once-in-a-lifetime job in London. Bean is running from significant debt that she needed "to play her part effectively: the shoes, clothes, the makeup, the drinks at bars and clubs where a bottle of water alone ran nearly ten dollars." And Cordy? The baby of the family has discovered that she herself is pregnant with her own baby.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I almost gave this book up in the middle, it just never really engaged me. I liked the overall premise of the story, but to me the character development was a bit flat, and I never really got to know the sisters. I did finish the book just because I was curious to see how the author ended it.
I didn't care for the tense the book was written in. I'm sure that there is a technical term for it, but it was confusing to me to have the narrator speak as one of the sisters, "our parents" for example, but then talk about each sister individually as a separate person describing what they were doing. I think that for me, that threw off the rhythm of the book, trying to figure out the voice of the narrator kept me from really connecting to the story.
Overall, an okay vacation read, but I probably won't read anything else by this author.
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