One of the best parts of discovering a book you truly cherish, is when you do so unexpectedly, and without guidance. It’s happenstance — kismet if you will.
On weekends, I prefer to leave my days open to wander about at will. I wake later than usual and bumble about my rooms. Once caffeinated, I take my wandering out to the public, often finding myself between the neat and ordered aisles of a bookstore in search of something I myself cannot define.
I recently picked up this book on a whim. I’ll admit it — I’m often drawn to interesting book covers, despite that age-old saying I won’t bother repeating here. For some unspecified reason, I bought the book and quickly found I’d gotten lucky.
Sometimes you have to warm to a story, give it a few dozen pages. At first, I wasn’t certain I’d relate to the characters, but within the first several chapters, I had already found specific characteristics in each of the sisters reflected in myself. Eleanor Brown has crafted three perfect characters, which is to say, they’re perfect in their imperfection. This is no fairytale, though faeries of the Shakespeare variety are mentioned, as are many of his other characters.
For those who have read and studied Shakespeare, you’ll find various references especially interesting. For those who haven’t, the characters within this story, as well as the plot, syntax and structure stand alone and strongly so. The sisters — Rose, Bean and Cordy — all three represent their father’s obsession with the man he’s spent his career studying. And all three seem fated to follow in the footsteps of their namesakes, a struggle only they can endure.
At first, I’ll admit, the narration threw me, neither omniscient nor traditional first-person, the story is told from the collective “we,” as in all three sisters. After a while, however, I became comfortable and even enjoyed the feeling as though the three were recounting some story to me and me alone.
One of life’s small tragedies is putting down a book you’re not ready to part with and saying goodbye to characters you’ve so enjoyed. That’s how I felt about this book so much so that I found myself attempting (unsuccessfully) to interact with the author via a Penguin Group Twitter conversation just to let her know I had enjoyed her work. While I may be tech. savvy in some areas, I still have yet to master all of the functionalities of Twitter, so I can’t be sure she received my praise, but I’ll say it here — this is a fantastic book.
If you want to check out sections of the book, or hear an audio recording, visit Eleanor Brown’s site. I look forward to reading more of her work.