Rose, Bianca, and Cordelia: three sisters named after Shakespeare characters, growing up in a household that runs on books (mostly works about or by Shakespeare, but others as well) and a whole lot of scatterbrained parenting. Said sisters have reached adulthood by a decade or so, and have all returned home now due to failed attempts at their chosen lives. Plus their mother has breast cancer, though that’s really only secondary to the whole running-away-from-their-failures thing. Now, they all have to learn a little more about themselves, each other, and how to really grow up.
So, I got this audiobook from the library because I remembered seeing the title around and thought people liked it. I started listening to it awhile back, and wasn’t immediately in love with it. It was easy to listen to, though, and I like having an audiobook while I’m out walking, so I kept listening. Several times, I almost decided to quit, because the story just wasn’t doing anything for me. In the end, I listened all the way through to the end, and I felt much about the book then as I did in the beginning. Meh.
I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. They felt real enough, but not like the sort of people I tend to connect with in real life, so I guess that’s understandable. There were certain scenes I connected to – thinking specifically of Rose’s disappointment as a child when her intricately constructed play didn’t go quite like she planned, as I relate to that exact feeling/situation! – but for the most part, I couldn’t really get into the story, either. By the end, I felt like everything resolved too neat for my tastes as well.
I like the concept of what the author was trying to do – a coming-of-age story in adulthood. There are so many coming-of-age stories in children’s books and teen fiction, but not quite so much of it in adult literature. Yet, many adults don’t just finish growing at the age of twenty. Many of us grow a lot more throughout adulthood, and life can sometimes be very difficult to figure out. I did like that while Mom’s cancer in this book provided an impetus to tie the family together, it was not the catalyst for the three sisters to grow up. They had other reasons, which felt more realistic, and more true to the whole coming-of-age theme: a growth due to personal need for change, rather than because of a tragic event.
I wish I had connected more to the book. Like I said, I like what the author was doing here, and I think that if the characters had been more like people I connect with in real life, I would have enjoyed it immensely. But sadly, the disconnect was too wide for me to really get past, and in the end, the audio was fine for listening, but not something I got much out of.