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Author Topic: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown  (Read 5578 times)

SusieQ

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #45 on: March 21, 2013, 10:06:39 AM »
OH Chat, I'm sorry to hear about your nephew.  My heartfelt condolences to you and your family.
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SusieQ

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #46 on: March 21, 2013, 10:20:42 AM »
I've been reallly busy with work and it's tapering off and hopefully by next week, things will be back to normal. I really enjoyed the book and I think that there is a little of Rose, Bean and Cordy in all of us. The wild child, the fixer and the girl who wants center stage. 

This is just my opinion, I think that the parents loved the girls and gave food on the table and roof over their heads but they I don't think they were really there for the girls growing up.  Rose was the oldest and felt that she had to fix and care for everyone. Did she not get this from get this from her parents?  Bean, wants to please everyone at any cost. Did she not get enough attention growing up from her parents?  Cordy, no one sees her because she's the youngest and was in relationship after another. Did she not get enough physical attention from parents?

I'm just rambling right now since it's been weeks since I've picked up the book.  :puzzled: 
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chataround

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #47 on: March 21, 2013, 12:24:30 PM »

That's a great point, Susie, and I agree with you, those parents dropped the ball parenting all three. It sounded like the mother was very flaky and needed taking care of, herself,
(she sounded awfully distracted from the few instances that were mentioned as the girls were growing up) and I just didn't like the father at all. I can appreciate that someone is a scholar and an intellectual, but it was obvious that he had no clue how to really meet the needs of his girls.

   In your own lives, how did your parents do? Mine were very loving but there were so many secrets and lies. My sister and I were only allowed to be "happy" all the time,
otherwise it made my father unhappy and made my mother nervous because she always needed to keep him stable (bipolar). I think that lack of attention was what precipitated my own promiscuity. Always looking for love and attention.   
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makinalist

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #48 on: March 21, 2013, 06:45:44 PM »
Chataround - You have my deepest sympathy for your loss.  It is so hard to lose a young person.
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SusieQ

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #49 on: March 21, 2013, 08:56:32 PM »

That's a great point, Susie, and I agree with you, those parents dropped the ball parenting all three. It sounded like the mother was very flaky and needed taking care of, herself,
(she sounded awfully distracted from the few instances that were mentioned as the girls were growing up) and I just didn't like the father at all. I can appreciate that someone is a scholar and an intellectual, but it was obvious that he had no clue how to really meet the needs of his girls.

I wasn't crazy about their father, too.  :)
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Styyna

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #50 on: March 22, 2013, 11:39:45 AM »
Chataround, My condolences on the loss of such a close family member.

Regarding the father, he reminded me of my strict, stern Norwegian father whom I loved dearly. As a child, though, he was pretty remote, focusing his loving attention on my mother with whom he was deeply in love. It was only in adulthood that I realized how similar my father and I were and became close to him.

My mother, unfortunately, probably suffered from undiagnosed chronic major depression and so wasn't very available to my siblings and me even though she was a SAHM (at my father's insistence, I might add). In many ways we were left to fend for ourselves as far as finding ways to pass the time when we weren't in school and I was always timid about pushing boundaries, unlike my siblings. I never doubted their love for us. Ironically, after all those years of being the "good girl" I am the one who has been a marital disaster zone and experienced one crisis after another as an adult.

It seems to me that the three siblings in the story experienced the same remote parents that I did and that the whole family escaped by reading, anything and everything even though there was a strong Shakespearean influence. Once they reached adulthood the sisters were left without a sound framework upon which to base their decisions. Thus they each initially chose somewhat stereotypical, and not particularly healthy, lifestyles for themselves.

Regarding the question posted by chataround, I think that had the family been focused on something other than reading they would have experienced more social interactions and likely would have turned out quite differently. However, if the whole family had been focused on a particular activity, they may have ended up much the same as they would have had a narrower view of their world. I have no idea how they might have been different if the reading hadn't been so focused on Shakespeare.
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makinalist

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #51 on: March 23, 2013, 01:22:27 AM »
Chataround - I think you really nailed the three sisters' insecurities and what caused them.  Their parents didn't seem to be very aware of the problems either, did they? Although the mother did reach out to Rose in encouraging her to go to London with Jonathan. 

My own parents divorced when I was young.  I had a step-father, but that wasn't quite like being daddy's little girl the way some daughters grow up.  A friend and I have discussed this at length and we believe this is the reason for our failed relationships early on.  We have both been divorced twice and are in third marriages currently.  Neither of us ever expected to end up like this, either.

If the father quoted an author other than Shakespeare, I think his words would have been less obscure.  Twain would be plain-spoken and even humorous.  Poe would be dreadfully depressing.  If they were musicians or athletes, however, they would have interacted a lot more and been much healthier in doing so.
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chataround

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #52 on: March 23, 2013, 06:04:17 AM »


Styna, how very interesting that as an adult you can see so clearly how similar you are to your Dad.Sorry to hear about your Mom, that must have been so hard on all of you.

   Very cool, that you consider the reading an escape, I never considered that before. Makes sense!!
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chataround

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #53 on: March 23, 2013, 06:11:07 AM »

Makinalist that is a great point about the subtle differences if the family were to read a different author. I could not answer that question, so glad that you did.

My hope for you is that "third time is the charm" (or something like that, LOL) saying, regarding your marriage. Marriage sure is hard and us humans are so broken,
each in our own way.

   Thirty three years later I am actually rather shocked that my husband and I are still together, and on most days, still have love and good feelings for the other.
To imagine making a choice as such a tender age, choosing a life mate, and then each doing such natural maturing in so many ways, it's good when it can somehow keep working. My husband and I come from parents with long solid marriages (my parents were married 54 years before Dad died and my husband's parents are still going strong at 60 years married) and my daughter, who is getting married next year, also has that legacy since her future in laws have been married since they graduated high school together. Maybe it means nothing at all, but it is somehow encouraging to me. 
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chataround

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #54 on: March 23, 2013, 06:12:28 AM »
2. The narration is omniscient first person plural (“we” rather than “I”). Why do you think the author chose to write the novel in this way? Did you like it?
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makinalist

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #55 on: March 23, 2013, 02:31:45 PM »
Isn't it wonderful that books help us see things in our own lives that we might otherwise miss? 

I loved the unusual narrative voice and quickly adjusted to it.  (I don't think everyone did, however.)  For a book about sisters, it was the perfect tool to express experiences that all three shared.  It was economical, actually, to describe how the sisters interacted with their parents. 

It also worked for two sisters to talk about the other one, in all possible variations.  Being omniscient, of course, meant that their thoughts and feelings could be included.  The author's use of the narration as a tool to further her plot was charming to me.

I don't think I would have liked it nearly as well if she had not been writing about siblings.
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makinalist

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #56 on: March 25, 2013, 01:04:45 AM »
I am so happy to see that you all enjoyed the book, since I was worried about choosing it.
I meant to tell you that I think you did an excellent job of choosing our book this time! :)
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chataround

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #57 on: March 25, 2013, 07:47:45 AM »
 
   I totally loved the "collective voice" of the sisters, too. I think that was so wildly innovated, I give the author so much credit for getting it to ring true throughout the entire
book. I think it's actually the main reason I enjoyed the story so much, because no matter what happened between the sisters that brought disharmony, they were bound to one another through this "voice" that was thicker than blood. So awesome.
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chataround

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #58 on: March 25, 2013, 07:48:33 AM »
3. Which sister is your favorite? Why? Which sister do you most identify with? Are they the same character?

4. Do you have any siblings? If so, in what way is your relationship with them similar to the relationship among the Andreas sisters? In what way is it different?
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makinalist

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Re: Book Club Discussion - "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown
« Reply #59 on: March 25, 2013, 12:30:58 PM »
I wanted very much for Cordy to figure out her life and get on with it.  I was pulling for her all the way through the book.  I identified most with Rose, however, because I like to fix everything for everyone.  One of my faults is that I end up thinking nobody else can do these things as well or as carefully as I can.  The sin of pride, I think you would call it. :eek:

I have a younger brother but no sisters to compare with the story.  He and I share those things that only a sibling recognizes.  Someone else who grew up hearing the same comments, learning the same lessons, and living the same life at home.  My mother gave music lessons at home, so whenever DB and I get together we sing out lustily on the exercises her voice students always had to do.  Of course, I sing on pitch.  Bro' does not.

All together now:  ♪♪♫♫ Moy me may meee, moy me may meee, moy me may meee, moy me may meee. ♫♫♪♪
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