You don't have to have a sister or be a fan of the Bard to love Brown's bright, literate debut, but it wouldn't hurt. Sisters Rose (Rosalind; As You Like It), Bean (Bianca; The Taming of the Shrew), and Cordy (Cordelia; King Lear)--the book-loving, Shakespeare-quoting, and wonderfully screwed-up spawn of Bard scholar Dr. James Andreas--end up under one roof again in Barnwell, Ohio, the college town where they were raised, to help their breast cancer–stricken mom. The real reasons they've trudged home, however, are far less straightforward: vagabond and youngest sib Cordy is pregnant with nowhere to go; man-eater Bean ran into big trouble in New York for embezzlement, and eldest sister Rose can't venture beyond the "mental circle with Barnwell at the center of it." For these pains-in-the-soul, the sisters have to learn to trust love--of themselves, of each other--to find their way home again. The supporting cast--removed, erudite dad; ailing mom; a crew of locals; Rose's long-suffering fiancé--is a punchy delight, but the stage clearly belongs to the sisters; Macbeth's witches would be proud of the toil and trouble they stir up. - Publishers Weekly
I found it was easy to relate to the sisters and there were familiar themes throughout the book. I'm not familiar with a lot of Shakespeare, but found it interesting how the quotes were worked into the dialogue. I was a tad disappointed that all three sisters' plot lines were resolved neatly. It would have been interesting to see a little more diversity and strife for them to adapt to.
Most of the book was written in first person plural which at times was a little confusing. The book was a good look at university and small town life. I liked that Bean was able to adjust and become the town librarian and I was slightly jealous that she got to be a solo library in a little town. I always felt that I would like to be a solo librarian in a small town one day. I also related to the whole family bringing a book to read when going out. I am known to always having some type of reading material with me in case I get stuck somewhere and need to occupy myself.