I was really fortunate to win my signed copy of debut novel The Weird Sisters on Twitter.
Following Rose, Bean and Cordy on their journey to find themselves has certainly added depth to my week!
Starting with each sister in their different locations we get to find out the secrets they are holding close. We find out that Cordy has received a bunch of letters from home when crashing at an old haunt. Rose is engaged to Jonathan and hasn’t moved away from Barnwell. It is while out enjoying a family meal that her parents tell them the medical news about her mother that stuns Rose – she is the controller and the arranger and feels she should have known. Rose moves back into the family home and Jonathan jets off to Oxford in the UK for a professorship. Next to move back home is Bean. She’s run away from something and is lucky not to be prosecuted. Finally Cordy is back at home carrying her secret within her. Each sister feels like a failure.
What follows is their journey through their childhood and the expectations they have for themselves (stereotypes picked up from a small academic town where they have never watched TV and their father is a well-known for his Shakespeare knowledge) interspersed with getting to know each other. Entrenched so deeply in their psyches is their role within the family and the expectations of the eldest child, middle child and youngest – the universal sibling rivalry.
While we are becoming a part of who the sisters are, their lives around each other and with the community of Barnwell, there is also the journey of their mother’s illness. This does not take centre stage although is integral to the story. I thought the author portrayed this really well.
Unusual in respect to the books I have read this year, The Weird Sisters is written in the first person plural. This did work really well although we never find out who the narrator is (or I didn’t work it out!) and a couple of times I was confused when the narration included all three sisters.
I loved the quotes from Shakespeare built into the story … and of course the love of books the whole family have! I could just imagine Rose placing bookmarks in books left open face down (I think this symbolises her personality so well) and some of the reading positions!
I absolutely adored this story. We all know I love these themes of women finding themselves and their place in life and this story is no exception. I really enjoyed getting to know each sister and identified with them and how they were feeling. Watching those sharp edges soften and blur and then redefine to accommodate who the sisters were as individuals is the key to my enjoyment.