Book Review: The Weird Sisters

The Weird Sisters
Narrated By: Kirsten Potter
Format: Audiobook
Published By: Penguin Audiobooks
Publication Date: January 2011
Length: 10 hours, 25 minutes
Buy it Amazon or IndieBound
Source: Library
Audience: Adult

The Story & Writing:

This novel is so hard for me to review. First, this book is exceptionally well written for a debut novel. However, it fell short for me and I had to force myself to finish it. I kept trying to figure out what about it turned me off. Eventually, I realized that I didn't like any of the characters. Every single one of the Andreas sisters annoyed me. Therefore, spending over 10 hours of my life was painful for me. Especially since the book truly defines realistic fiction - it is just about the everyday lives of these three women that I couldn't stand being around. So while this book wasn't a favorite of mine, I can appreciate the craft of it.

I think part of my disappointment was due to the fact that I was so excited to read it. Books that I have built up in my head to be great often don't meet my expectations. I loved the idea of reading the story of a family who was obsessed with books. Also, based on the title I knew there would be quite a few nods to the Bard. The literary elements were the best part of this book for me. Perhaps I shouldn't have read this on the heels of so many paranormal books that I loved. The Weird Sisters seemed so mundane in comparison. Eleanor Brown does a phenomenal job of bringing her characters and setting to life, but this was not the right read for me at the time. Brown also is so eloquent; I did enjoy the language of this read. The style also seemed to mimic the sisters from time to time - Rose's sections were very structured, Bean's sections were somewhat disjointed, and Cordy's seemed to flow with a lyrical sense.  

Lastly, I didn't like the shifts in point of view. There would be moments when the story was focused on a specific sister and then there would be a shift to someone speaking in first person about the sisters, but who didn't seem to be one of them. It was extremely confusing and required me to rewind a few times to figure out who the heck was telling the story at that point. Perhaps reading the print version of this one could have cleared up that confusion. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had been able to like one of the sisters. I didn't relate to them or understand their choices. I don't expect characters to be perfect people, but I would like to see some redemption or some point where I can at least understand their motives. That didn't happen for me in this book. 

The Audio:

This is one of the few books where I would rate the audio higher than the writing. I really loved the cadence of Kirsten Potter's voice and how she brought the characters to life. 

One Last Gripe: I couldn't understand Rose's obsession with middle of nowhere Ohio and her lack of excitement about England. It really bugged me.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The literary allusions and quotations

First Sentence: We came home because we were failures.

Favorite Character: The mother

Least Favorite Character: Bean

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.


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