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September 2012

The Weird Sisters

We're discussing The Weird Sisters at book club tonight. I already hear rumblings that this one is getting mixed reviews, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, it probably helps that I had two college courses on Shakespeare, one on the comedies and one on the tragedies, there may have even been third one on the histories or it may have been combined in the other two. I forget. College was a long time ago and mostly it's a haze. Not for fun reasons, but because I took so many classes, went full time through two summers and worked thirty+ hours a week. I never managed to read As You Like It, which is where one of the daughter's names comes from. I also never really followed The Tempest, that required more focus than I had to give at that point in time.

What I really loved about the book was the narration, which was a semi-omniscient voice of all the three daughters. The daughters, Rosalind, Bean and Cordy, could not seem more different. Rosalind, the eldest, reliable sister that has never strayed from home. Bean, the beautiful and stylish sister that moved to NY. Cordy, the baby and wanderer that dropped out of college and has been living on the road for a decade. What the sisters come to learn is that despite their differences and their estranged relationships, they know, understand and are more like each other than they realized. Isn't that often the truth of sibling relationships?

Here is just a tast of what I loved.

"Because despite his money and his looks and all the good-on-paper attributes he possessed, he was not a reader, and, well, let's just say this is the sort of nonsense up with which we will not put." Amen, sister. Not being a reader is a deal breaker in my book.

This one I actually posted to FB. I really couldn't have said it better myself. "We were fairly certain that if anyone made public the various and variegated ways in which being an adult sucked eggs, more people might opt out entirely."

What also spoke to me is how central reading is to every member of the family. They read like it's a religion. No one ever leaves the house without a book in hand. There are half read books strewn about the house. Reading has been like a religion for me too. It has provided me knowledge, comfort, escape, hope, opened my eyes to social injustices, made me feel less alone. When times of hopelessness and despair have threatened to drown me, my salvation has always been to turn to a book where I could find a new friend, get lost in a distant world, be comforted that I was not alone. Reading The Weird Sisters was like coming home for me.