This charming, clever novel features three sisters born and raised in a small Midwestern college town. Their father is an English professor at the college and his focus is on Shakespeare, which is why each daughter is named after a heroine in a Shakespeare play. Shakespeare is quoted throughout the novel and alluded to in many ways, adding to the story without overwhelming it. Brown also tells her story using first-person plural narration. It's used infrequently in fiction so it seems strange at first, but quickly takes on a comforting feel.
Rose (Rosalind from As You Like It) is the responsible oldest daughter and has spent her whole life in the town where the sisters grew up. She's even a math professor at the same college as their father. The middle child is the attractive Bean (Bianca from The Taming of the Shrew). She ran away from small-town life to New York City as quickly as she could. Cordy (Cordelia from King Lear) is the youngest sister. She's a college dropout and has spent her 20s wandering the country.
The three sisters surprise each other by moving back into their parents' house at the same time. They each claim they are there to help their homemaker mother through her breast cancer treatments and surgery, although their true reasons soon reveal themselves. As Rose, Bean and Cordy figure out who they are and who they want to be, it's a joy spending time with them. As a bonus, the story feels honest and includes plenty of light, humorous moments to even out the dark, serious ones. This is Eleanor Brown's first novel and with it she has proven herself an author to watch. Check catalog for availability.
Submitted by Amy @ MPL Central