Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Weird Sisters; Eleanor Brown


Author: Eleanor Brown
Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Edition: audio book
Reader: Kirsten Potter (very good)

Source: Library 
Date Completed: 3/11/2011
Setting: Ohio
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Recommend: no


After reading many rave reviews of this book, I decided to try it for myself; unfortunately, I was not as impressed.

The Weird Sisters are Rosalind (Rose), Bianca (Bean), and Cordelia (Cordy) Andreas. Their father is emotionally distant and obsessed with Shakespeare, even insuring his daughters were named after women from Shakespeare's plays. When the going gets tough, Shakespeare becomes even more important to him.  He teaches at the university in Ohio. The family still lives in the home where the sisters were raised.  When the mother finds out she has breast cancer, the sisters return home, supposedly to support and care for her through her surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. However, the women also have their own issues, and reasons for returning to their small hometown.

Each of the sisters bugged me in some way. Bianca was so self-involved, manipulative and annoying throughout most of the story; a constant complainer. Her need to project some sort of an image even caused her to embezzle from her employer.  Cordelia was a free spirit who dropped out of college and traveled from place to place, and had a number of men in her life.  Rose, is controlling. She was the responsible one who took it upon herself to be the caregiver, and even as a child seemed to take on more of a mother-role to the family. She sacrifices her own dreams as a result. Without going into details, throughout the novel things happen, and through a process of self discovery the sisters change, and the support of family is what helps them through all their life struggles.

There is a lot going on in the story: cancer, pregnancy, embezzlement, love and much dysfunction. What I did not like about this story was constant quotes from Shakespeare; it really got on my nerves after a while.  I also thought the writing fell flat at times, parts of the story were conveniently contrived, and the ending seemed too rushed (although I was anxious for the book to end). I found the writing style, first person plural, a style rarely used, was tough to get use to but it was clever and effective conveying the viewpoint of all of the sisters. I truly understand I am in the minority here, but this is one book that I will not be encouraging others to read.

36 comments:

  1. The title is an eye catcher, tho I can see why u passed on it... btw love the new page and your header.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Diane, first of all, I LOVE the new look of your blog!!

    Yours is the first review I've read that didn't gush about the book. I plan to read it but it may not be until the paperback is out. Thanks for your take on it - I appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is good to see someone bucking the trend with this one! I have seen nothing but raving praise so far, but have resisted becasue I don't think it will be for me. It is quite reassuring to know I'm not missing out on a book which is universally worshipped.

    ReplyDelete
  4. First of all, let me say how this is such a beautiful template/look you've created!! Really gorgeous, simple and elegant.

    Then, this book has intrigued me for quite awhile now. I've been seeing it everywhere, and I'm glad to read your thoughts on it.

    Finally, I'm withdrawing my name from your give-away for The Tiger's Wife because I got carried away with excitement and bought a copy myself a few nights ago. Thanks for igniting that fire! XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm so glad you felt this way - me too! And I would add that although I got used to the multiple first person point of view, I still found it disconcerting the whole way through!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for a review of a book which has been seen all over the blogs these last two weeks. Yours is the first review I read of it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I definitely take your opinion to heart. This one was on my list and from the rave reviews sounded like something I would enjoy. It will remain on my list but I'm not compelled to rush out and read it now.

    Thanks for your honesty.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have read some not so great reviews for this one, enough to read other books. But then I keep seeing wave reviews too. Interesting...

    Sorry you didn't love this one.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your review made me feel, finally, that I was not the only one who didn't love this book. At the time I reviewed it, I had not seen one iffy review.
    I love the new look for your blog, by the way :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've been debating on this one as well...it's so nice to read a review with so much detail about what you liked and what you didn't like...I'll probably read this...the 3 sisters thing has my attention bc of my 3 daughters, but I will definitely wait until the paperback or get it from the library.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yours is definitely the first review of this that I've seen that's been anything but thrilled with this novel. It sounds like it does have its irritating points, but I imagine I'll probably still give it a try at some point.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I started this book a few weeks ago and like you didn't warm up to the sisters at all. I had to stop to read some review books and I'll come back to it at some point, but I'm glad to know my lukewarm reaction isn't unusual.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yours is the first less than glowing review I've read so far.. Thanks for your honesty. Part of me feared it might not be my kind of book and you perhaps confirmed that for me.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh! I haven't read it yet, but I have it to review. I am sorry you didn't like it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've read so many reviews raving about this book that I stopped reading them. I'd like to read this book one day, and I knew if I didn't stop reading reviews raving about this book I would sit down to read it with the preconceived notion that I'm about to read the best book of the year, or some such thing. Too many amazingly positive reviews and that's what sticks in my head. And, usually, the book, movie, song etc. doesn't live up to my expectations. So, I guess in a way, your review was a relief!
    As soon as I saw in the beginning of your post your rating and that you didn't recommend the book, I felt I could breathe easier and read your review.
    That said, I'm sorry you were disappointed by this book and didn't like the characters much. It saddens me when I have such a reaction. Fortunately there are plenty of books to read. We can't like all of them! I hope the next one you read sits better with you, Diane :o)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love the new look!

    I'm actually glad to hear that you didn't care for this one--I always start to get suspicious of any book that every one loves. Thanks for your honesty.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh dang, sorry you didn't like it! I've been wanting to read it.

    BTW, I like your new header!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh I can really relate to weird sisters!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for visiting my Saturday Snapshot post.

    I came here to see if you had posted a snapshot, but was drawn into your review.

    Interesting that we had such different reactions to this book. But that's what's great about sharing books...to see the perspective of others. I just reviewed Freedom on my Going out on a Limb site...and only gave that one three stars. There were parts I really enjoyed, while the large midsection dragged endlessly....

    ReplyDelete
  20. Diane! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new look of your blog! Absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

    Thanks for your honest review, I was very curious about this one but now will pass.

    Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've been on the fence about this one, so I really appreciated your review. Maybe leave it on the TBR for now, but I'm not in a rush!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Uh oh! I just bought this on audio too although it will take me a while to get to it. I'm interested to see what I think of it now.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Aww... I loved this one. But I loved hearing your opinion - it's always nice to hear the other side, when people like me get so blinded by what we loved about it (and vice versa)!

    Btw, love your new look! Really appeals to my geeky side - LOVE the metallic shades you have up!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I like the title, but the story doesn't much appeal to me.

    ReplyDelete
  25. That's too bad...I really did love it. But that's what so fascinating and wonderful about sharing books right????

    The blog is looking great too!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I liked the book but like all books published under the Amy Einhorn imprint, it was light at the end. Her books are what I consider fiction-lite. They could be much deeper and have good premises but they never seem to go all the way.
    The sisters annoyed me at times but I have a hard time with characters (and people) that seem to let their life happen. Not as good as the hype but I think it was as good as I had expected it to be. I still haven't written my review yet

    ReplyDelete
  27. I finished Weird Sisters last week and while I liked it, I didn't love it. I thought it was pretty formulaic and a lot lighter read then I expected but I did like the Shakespeare twist.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm so sorry you didn't enjoy this novel. I happen to disagree completely but that's what book blogging is for - to give our own personal opinions. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for the honest review as I was ready to rush out and get this one now I think I'll put it on the backburner. I think the constant Shakespeare references would annoy me too.

    Your new look is wonderful, especially your new header pic.

    Have a great week and happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is the first tepid review I have read of this book, and I so appreciate your honest take on it. I am going to be reading this one soon for book club, and now I am wondering what I will think of it. Thanks for sharing your gut reactions to the book.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I appreciate your honest review! Yours is the only one I've seen where the writer has dared to go against the hype. I think I'll probably read this one eventually, but it won't be right away.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I keep hearing great reviews of this book, too, but it just didn't sound like something I'd like. Your review confirmed it, Diane! Just from reading summaries, I thought the emphasis on Shakespeare quotes sounded a bit overdone - sounds like you felt the same way.

    Thanks for the thoughtful review, as always!

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks for the honest review. I like Shakespeare to a certain extent, but I think the numerous quotes would be a turn off. Still not sure if I want to give this one a try.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I've seen some mixed reviews on this one although a lot of people seem to be raving about it. I'll probably give it a try and see for myself ... maybe audio version if my library has it.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm bummed you didn't enjoy this one. My library has it available so I still might give it a try, but my expectations have been lowered.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)