In The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown, three sisters in their 30’s return home when their mother is diagnosed with cancer. Their arrival is less an act of altruism than an attempt to escape their own fears and failures, however, as all three arrive with secrets they dread revealing.
Despite their obvious flaws, everyone in this off-beat family is drawn with humour and compassion. The matching of the girls’ personalities with their birth order—the caretaking eldest, the carefree, immature youngest, the middle child striving to be noticed—is a bit of a cliché, but the characters are fully-developed and interesting nonetheless. I sympathized as the girls’ problems were revealed, worried as they struggled to acknowledge and overcome them, and when they finally arrived safely at successful and believable resolutions, I closed the book with a silent, jubilant cheer.
Brown’s writing style is in turns witty, thoughtful and touching, making for a thought-provoking, entertaining and involving story. Her use of third person plural as the narrative voice is an unusual choice, but in this case effective. It forces the reader to respond to the story intellectually as well as emotionally, and emphasizes the underlying similarity and solidarity between the sisters even though they are consciously focused on their differences, conflicts and individual rivalries, and prepares the reader for their growth in the end. This is one of the best books I have read in a while.
About Jane Ann
Causes Jane Ann McLachlan Supports
Lifewater, CCFC, CLWR,