The Weird Sisters

The Weird Sisters

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

An Aries sent me a copy of this, and I never got around to it, lingering in the “Read it soon” stack, for more than a year now. One of the “Weird Sisters” handed it to my friend, and when she was done with it?

    “Here, you’ll love it.”

Proceeded to quote a line about a lover who was perfect, only, he didn’t read any books, so what’s the point? (Page 71–2.)

Me? I get that.

“Our parents had wanted us to believe, but they had also taught us, outside of the church, to question nearly everything.” Page 50.

Funny, but oddly poignant — ask my sister, it’s also how we were raised — question everything. In part, that’s the joy of being raised by an empiricist. Our father was an engineer — luck of the draw. Church-going, but, yeah, the unspoken rule, “Question everything.”

Early in the text, like any good teacher, the deeper meaning about the term, “Weird Sisters” is explicated. Not weird, like, “Keep Austin Weird,” but possibly the older meanings. “Wyrd.”

The potential problem with reading a non-digital copy of the book? I can’t randomly tap on quotes and fragments to access my own way to correlate the Shakespeare quotes and fragments. Some of the use of quotes is, in fact, sarcastic, and even caustic, at times. Scholarship that adds edgy levity. Or purposely misused quote to cut and hurt.

Family can be so rough on each other. Especially sisters.

“…and had our tongues burned off by tamales in Austin.” Page 119.

Oh, please. Seriously. A former favorite place to grab food? The Tamale House (#3), on Airport, 51st & Airport, but even with that as a name? It was good for breakfast tacos, but these days? Most south-side taco joints — in San Antonio — are exponentially better, for both breakfast tacos and tamales. Especially tamales.

One Sister looked at me and just rolled her eyes, “Austin? Really?”

The novel bears comparison to Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, as a “Compare and contrast” note, and given the literary aspirations of the characters?

In Shakespeare’s King Lear, there are three siblings, the youngest Cordelia. In the book, three siblings, the youngest named for Shakespeare’s Cordelia.

Intense, occasionally ironic, quotes mixed with an oblique, early-modernist, extended metaphor, and the book does make it all work.

I was, personally, really thrilled to read the Shakespeare quotes, used both in, and out, of context, but always executed correctly. Near as I could tell, even the occasional dual-meanings played with the story’s direction and flavor. Text that was properly seasoned.

Except for the mention of tamales in Austin. That was badly rendered. It was a glaring, historical mistake.

The Weird Sisters – Eleanor Brown

The Weird Sisters

“And they all lived happily ever after.”

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