I have 3 of my own sisters and we have been, on occasion, described as weird… among other things. Naturally I was drawn to this book by Eleanor Brown though I’m always hesitant when there’s the possibility for assigning family members isolating and cliche stereotypes. Thankfully, this book contained none of these and created each sister full of contradictions and flaws. Their love for each other is unconditional yet one gets the sense that they might not even be friends if they weren’t born into the same family.
One of the most enjoyable parts for me was their peculiar father who spoke
primarily in Shakespearean verse and named each daughter after a character: (Rosalind; As You Like It), Bean (Bianca; The Taming of the Shrew), and Cordy (Cordelia; King Lear). While it’s enjoyable for the reader to see how applicable these verses are to daily life, the sisters felt a bit differently – “Sometimes we had the overwhelming urge to grab our father by the shoulders and shake him until the meaning of his obtuse quotations fell from his mouth like loosened teeth”.
All the girls are drawn home to deal with an unfolding tragedy but their motives are far from innocent. If you’ve ever had the sense of sinking back into childhood patterns and roles when you return to your own home of childhood, you’ll sympathize and laugh at how easily 3 grown women can act like such young girls. Being the “second” sister in our line up, I’m as guilty as anyone for picking fights with my third sister, letting the oldest make all the decisions and still treating the fourth like a baby when we all get together. Pick up this great debut novel for yourself, your sister, your mom or anyone in your life who fancies Shakespeare – currently 20% off at PuddnHead!