Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reading The Weird Sisters

The cool thing, I think, about a book club is that you read books that you might never have picked up on your own. If my reading material was always left to my own selection, I'd choose the same cozy mysteries, history texts and occasional psychological thrillers over and over again.

This month, the BlogHer Book Club selection was The Weird Sisters, a New York Times bestseller by Eleanor Brown. Left to my own devices, I would be suspicious of a book with this many glowing reviews, described with words like delightful, hilarious, winsome and poignant. How can something be both hilarious and poignant? And if it somehow manages that delicate balancing act, then surely I'll cry my way through the entire thing, a la Fried Green Tomatoes. Nope, this is definitely not a book I would have picked up on my own, and man, would I have missed out.

Three sisters, raised by a college professor who quotes Shakespeare to describe life events and a mother who's fight against breast cancer provides the perfect excuse for the sisters to move home. All in their 30s, all confused by the places in which they've found their lives and all resenting the security that home and family provides. The book is written in first person, with the narration switching from sister to sister. It should be disorienting, but it's not. It's charming, and the voice sweeps you into the middle of the family until you become as involved in their lives as the sisters are.

I think, for me, the charm lies entirely in the writing. The sisters are from a family who reads as casually and voraciously as some people eat popcorn at the theatre. Therefore, when one of the sisters finds herself dating a man who doesn't read, the result is foregone:

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 that is the sort of nonsense up with which we will not put.

I'm looking forward to the discussions at BlogHer over the next few weeks! If you want to find out more about The Weird Sisters, check out the discussion page at BlogHer Book Club.

This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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