Struggling Sisters (Sibling Week)
Wednesday, April 10, is National Sibling Day, a day to celebrate brothers and sisters, good or bad, the ones we grew up with, our best friends, our worst enemies. You know the old saying: “You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.” That’s pretty much the same with family. You can’t pick your family. In my case, I was blessed with two wonderful sisters/friends I wouldn't trade for anyone. But that may not always be the case for everyone.
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown is about three sisters who move back home to care for their mother who has breast cancer. Rose is the oldest and had already moved back to tend to both aging parents, whether they needed help or not. She’s the mother hen, the one who takes control, the one who willingly and begrudgingly heaps responsibility on her own shoulders. Bianca, aka Bean, is the middle sister. She’s a self-centered thirty-year old who greedily sucks up attention much like a smoker inhales a cigarette. She also a thief, an embezzler. But wait! There’s more. You’ll have to read about her other alluring attributes, but I will tell you that I would vote her “least likely to choose as a friend.” She irked me. Finally, there’s the twenty-seven-year-old baby, Cordelia. Cordy is a free spirit, a nomad, a wanderer. She’s also pregnant, something she picked up along her travels.
The sisters are so different that they don’t always get along. Brown writes, “See, we love one another. We just don’t happen to like one another very much.”[i] While the differences grate on their relationships, they are all bound by one thing; they love books. They grew up reading anything and everything. Books are like oxygen and they will pick up any book just as long as they’re reading. Their dad is a professor of English who has devoted his life to Shakespeare. He only speaks Shakespearean, a language which is somehow endearing to the girls. All three sisters are named after Shakespearean characters, and the “weird sisters” refers to the witches in Macbeth.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a Bard fan to like this book. It’s about the sister dynamics and their individual struggles. I wasn’t so sure I was going to like the book, since I cannot truly relate to any of the characters. But I did like it, probably for just that reason. It brought me into an unfamiliar world. I think the novel would be a good candidate for a book club selection, because the discussion could center not only around sisters in general, or these particular sisters, but also about each of their personalities.
What’s your favorite book about siblings? Enter a comment or email me at Readinginthegarden@gmail.com and I will post your answer.
What did you think of this book? Post a comment or email: Readinginthegarden@gmail.com