Finished October 3
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
This novel follows the three Andreas sisters: Rosalind (Rose), Bianca (Bean), and Cordelia (Cordy). Their father is a Shakespearean scholar and professor at the college in Branwell, Ohio. The women are all in their late twenties or early thirties and they are all at turning points in their life. Rose has been the daughter who did what was expected of her. She got her Ph.D. and became a professor of mathematics at a college close to home. She has recently become engaged and is in the planning stages of her wedding. Her fiance Jonathan is doing a visiting professorship at Oxford and is urging her to join him, but she feels the need to be home and support the rest of her family, particularly her mother who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Bianca always had her eyes on the big city and making it there, and she made a beeline for New York. She's been working there as an office manager, but has recently lost her job and has financial issues that have caused her to question her life, and go home to regroup. Cordy has been a wanderer, moving around the country, picking up odd jobs and doing what she feels she has to to find a meal and a bed when she needs them. She has just realized that she is pregnant and doesn't know what she wants to do about it, but realizes that the life she is living is not sustainable for her anymore.
Rose keeps trying to take charge and organize everyone else, but she is scared to take risks and go beyond her comfort zone in her own life, and this summer will push her to stop being the tender of her family and make a life for herself. Bean is forced to find a job and evaluate her own motivations as she deals with her financial responsibilities and the bad decisions she has made. Cordy also must find a job to support herself, and look inward to find her own strengths instead of running from life.
This is a coming of age story for these sisters, but also made me think about fears, motivations, and taking chances in life. I really liked the way the whole family used quotations from Shakespeare as a kind of language with each other to question, comfort, and challenge each other as they found a new way of relating to each other.