Book Review: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Title: The Weird Sisters
Author: Eleanor Brown
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books, Putnam, Penguin Group
ISBN: 978-0-399-15722-6
Genre: Literary Fiction
Price: $24.95 (Hardcover Format)
PP: 318 pages
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

So comes along a book once in a while which is every booklover’s delight – it is about reading and books and family that reads and about three sisters who love each other but do not like each other. This is one of those books which I finished in one sitting (well almost) and there was so much I wanted to say while reading it, however now I am writing what I feel like at the end of the book. For me, “The Weird Sisters” by Eleanor Brown was a read that is one amongst the many – closest to my heart as at the core it has to do with the love of reading.

While the story may seem pretty simple, it isn’t. There are layers to the writing and that is what every reader (at least I) likes in a book. There has to be that substance that keeps you glued to the book and The Weird Sisters has that and more in abundance. The Shakespearean sisters – Rosalind, Bianca and Cordelia (named after their father – a renowned Shakespeare professor) return home to their parents, after their mother is diagnosed with cancer. Each has come back with their own baggage – their own fears and insecurities and that’s when the past blends with the present to surprising consequences.

From a personal standpoint, I loved the book. Almost every aspect of it. That is also because the book resonated with me for a very long time, as a reader of books. The idea of combining an-almost-close-to-dysfunctional-family with books is marvellous and I lapped every page of it. It isn’t so much about the books mentioned or the several Shakespearean references (which were obviously bound to happen), but the way it is written that sometimes took my breath away. For instance, I clearly remember this one on Page 70: “How can we explain what books and reading mean to our family, the gift of libraries, of pages?” To also the extent that one of them broke-up with a man, because he wouldn’t read and I totally get that sentiment. All readers do.  

The writing style is lucid and brilliant. It makes you turn the pages more so, as the narrator/s is/are all the three sisters. Their lives are spread out like a feast for us – readers and writers alike. The book spoke to me on many levels – it made me look back at my relationship with my siblings, what we were and what we have become to understanding my passion with reading better and reaching a deeper place with it.

The Weird Sisters is a remarkable debut by a writer who knows what words can do and the power they contain. At places it did not seem like it was her first book. It felt like Ms. Brown knew what she was doing like the back of her hand. For me it was one of the best books for sure that I have read in 2011. Make it yours as well. Read it for the pure pleasure of reading.

You can purchase the book here on Amazon:

The Weird Sisters

Or from Flipkart:

Buy The Weird Sisters from


2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

  1. RFW

    Although I enjoyed the book, I was not as overwhelmed by it as your review suggests. Despite my background in English literature, i found the references to Shakespeare a little over done. But, it was still a good read, and I have passed it on to another who also enjoyed it. Thanks for your review.

  2. Eleanor

    Thank you so much for such a beautiful review – the book was definitely in large part a love letter to books and reading and the power stories have had in my life, as well as to the people who have introduced me to wonderful books over the years (like book bloggers!). Thank you so much.


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