From Goodreads: The three Andreas sisters grew up in the cloistered household dominated by their Shakespearean professor father, a prominent, eccentric academic whose reverence for the Bard left its imprint on his daughters’ names: Rosalind (As You Like It), Bianca (The Taming of the Shrew), and Cordelia (King Lear). The siblings eventually left home and escaped their ponderous monikers with nicknames, but their mother’s medical maladies brings them back. Before long, their unwelcome reunion reveals that they all have problems: Rose is force-feeding a troubled relationship; Bean is entangled in a big city case of embezzlement; and unmarried Cordy is pregnant. Eleanor Brown’s first fiction has justly won praise as “thought-provoking… poignant… sparkling and devourable.
Read this book. Do yourself a favor and read this book. And if you have sisters, READ THIS BOOK. I used the Goodreads description but it really doesn’t do this story justice. It’s so much more than Cordy’s pregnant, Bean’s in financial trouble, Rose’s relationship isn’t working, and their mother is sick. It’s about the fundamental gifts and curses of family. It’s about how sisters fall into roles and how we hate and love them for it. It’s about all the reasons you don’t like your siblings very much may just be the reasons you love them.
I spent equal amounts of time loving and being driven crazy by the Andreas sisters which is very much the way I feel about my own sisters (and I’m sure they feel about me). They make choices that make me scratch my head, they miss what’s staring them right in the face, they assume without knowing. In short, they are very, very real. And I love them for it. But before you think they’re maddening women you can’t like, think again. The thing about these sisters is in the end they try, to be more open, more loving, to be better.
But, hands down, without a doubt the thing I love about this book is every member of the Andrea family are readers. Big time readers. There is never a moment in their lives it seems where they don’t have a book. Last week’s Teaser Tuesday I used a quote from this book about reading I just love. I have said before I’m always surprised more characters in books don’t read. After all, aren’t most writers readers? I would think there would be more reading in reading. I feel a special connection to characters who read and in this book boy do these girls (and their parents) read. I’ve had the privilege of speaking with Eleanor Brown through who website (ain’t the internet grand?) so I was able to tell her how much I loved this book but let me take the opportunity here to say it again. Thank you Eleanor for becoming a writer and for writing this book. I am eternally grateful. And again thanks to your parents for making you a reader.
Oh, one more thing I almost completely forgot about. She writes this in the first person plural. As if all three sisters are telling the story at once. Isn’t the wild? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before and I loved it. It made perfect sense and made the story so captivating.