Thursday, February 9, 2012

It was just weird. That's all.

You know how I read when I'm working out? I just finished reading The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown, and I have to say . . . meh.

It's about 3 sisters who grow up in a small college town in Ohio with a Shakespeare loving professor for a dad and a scatter-brained mom.

Again, meh.

I'm not a huge fan of Shakespeare. I prefer Christopher Marlowe [Dr. Faustus? COME ON!] and Ben Jonson [Volpone was a fave] but I do like his work, so I don't think that's what was so off-putting about the book.

I was offended, somehow, by the artifice of the writing style.

First, the dad pretty much only speaks in Shakespeare - an affectation the sisters also adopt on occasion. I know I quote movies and tv until I don't have an original thought in my head, but on me, it's charming. In the book? It was NOT a natural flow.

Second, the omniscient/prescient/amorphous narrator just kept getting on my nerves.  At first, I couldn't figure out who was talking, and then it just grated.

Trying to pull off something unique in writing, particularly when it is an integral part of the book, is tricky at best and deserves some applause.  However, it's a high wire act that shouldn't be attempted unless you are truly on top of your game. Because when it fails, as it did here, it fails spectacularly. 

Finally, it was too religious without being religious.  There was a religious undercurrent, and it came off as more morality play than anything real or exciting.  Sister is pregnant? She will keep the baby.  Sister is a slut and a thief? She will become the town librarian [spinster, anyone?] and repay the money.  The dull sister - the oldest, Rose - will go and live with her fiance even though there's the opportunity for the job of her dreams coming.

I was underwhelmed.

BlogHer Book Club paid me to read a book and write a review, but my words and thoughts are my own. As if you couldn't tell.


  1. It sounds like one I'll skip over. . .

  2. Sounds like a real riveting way to get pumped up during a workout!

  3. Hello there madam. It's good to have the time to be blogging again. This book sounds like it was written by the guy from The Actor's Studio. I'm reading a book called Lamb by Christopher Moore and it's aight. I recently read A Confederacy of Dunces and thought it was amazing.

  4. I haven't read it, but, in reading the reviews, it sounded like the author created quirky characters, having "quirky" as their main character trait . . . they weren't deep, they weren't lovable, they weren't complicated, they were just quirky. And, if I can't get into the characters, I don't want to read.

    Thank you for validating my laziness :-)

  5. I honestly think u just don't me to pick up a book again...;)

  6. I want to get paid to read books, how do I land that gig too?

    Am reading Lunatics. Crazy unbelievable story, but mostly fun.

  7. I think I'll skip it. I need my books to have sex, murder, something.

  8. I've heard about the weirdness of this book (the use of "we"?) and the whole idea of it kind of put me off. But some people loved it. I, however, think I would react like you did.

  9. I read it - it's actually based out of a college town very close to where I live. And I read it thinking I'd be all "cool" I know this place. But I'm with you - it was "meh." A little hard to finish actually.

  10. I'm terrified of recommending reading to you ever since the Sophie Kinsella debacle but I just finished a book that knocked me out. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. Holy shitballs, that woman can write about women like no-one else. I loved it. Just sayin.

  11. Is it weird that now I want to read this book just so I can agree with you?

    I know. Weird.

    Also, you'd think I had more time on my hands.
    But I don't.

  12. Shakespeare gives me a rash.

    Thanks for the warning, I'll skip it in lieu of another Gabaldon book.

  13. I've been reading The Best if Disney Princesses for weeks now - over and over and OVER - and I have to tell you, I'm always surprised when the delicate princess with the unrealistic breast-to-hip ratio gets rescued by the prince...


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