Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shakespeare and Sisters

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown is a story about how childhood connections haunt us into adulthood.  Three sisters return to their Andreas family home to care for their ailing mother.  Cordelia discovers their mother is ill through a veiled letter from her father, a Shakespeare scholar at the local college, who communicates through quotes from Shakespeare's plays.  The note arrives with this message - Come, let us go; and pray to all the gods/For our beloved mother in her pains.

The sisters, Cordelia (Cordy), Rosemund (Rose) and Bianca (Bean), know each other as well as they know The Bard's plays and sonnets. At least they know the childhood siblings that they grew up with. The adult sisters don't see one another often and have tried to escape the college town they grew up in.

Brown allows the sisters to tell the story by varying the point of view.  The misunderstandings are funny and poignant.  The sisters develop adult relationships while revisiting their childhood and taking care of their mother.  In the meantime, they gain a bit of insight into themselves.

My favorite passage in the book is an homage to the life of a true reader, one who will find time for books no matter what else is happening.  Sound like anyone you know?

Eleanor Brown will be at Flyleaf Books for a reading Thursday evening 16 February at 7:00.

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