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The Folger Spotlight

'The Weird Sisters' by Eleanor Brown

Folger Book Club returns on Thursday, December 14 with a discussion of The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. To get ready for the conversation, we’ve compiled some introductory information on this family story threaded with Shakespearean references.

What is The Weird Sisters about?

The beloved New York Times bestseller from acclaimed author Eleanor Brown about three sisters who love each other, but just don’t happen to like each other very much.

Three sisters have returned to their childhood home, reuniting the eccentric Andreas family. Here, books are a passion (there is no problem a library card can’t solve) and TV is something other people watch. Their father—a professor of Shakespeare who speaks almost exclusively in verse—named them after the Bard’s heroines. It’s a lot to live up to.

The sisters each have a hard time communicating with their parents and their lovers, but especially with one another. What can the shy homebody eldest sister, the fast-living middle child, and the bohemian youngest sibling have in common? Only that none has found life to be what was expected; and now, faced with their parents’ frailty and their own personal disappointments, not even a book can solve what ails them…

Critical Reception

“This smart, hopeful novel by Washington-born author Eleanor Brown will be the winter’s tale for any book lover who likes her entertainment laced with a touch of Shakespeare … it’s easy to recommend ‘The Weird Sisters.’” – Washington Post

“Good sense and good humor … buoyant.” – The New York Times

“There are no false steps in this debut novel: The humor, lyricism, and realism characterizing this lovely book will appeal to fans of good modern fiction.”– Booklist

Why did we choose this book?

The Folger Shakespeare Library’s collection explores not only Shakespeare’s life and works, but also the plays’ historical context, source material, critical and performance histories, and the ways in which they inspire and are adapted by contemporary novelists.

This charming story focuses on a family whose interpersonal relationships and history are continuously understood through Shakespeare’s words and Shakespeare-related memories, giving us an opportunity to consider intersections between Shakespeare and family structures and how his works help us process every day life.

About the author: Eleanor Brown

Eleanor Brown is the New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters and The Light of Paris, and the editor of the anthology A Paris All Your Own. Born in Washington, DC, Brown teaches writing workshops and conferences nationwide, including for The Writers’ Table and Lighthouse Writers workshops in Colorado where she lives with her family.

Content Transparency

The Weird Sisters includes references to potentially sensitive subjects. Expand below for a list of content.

December’s Bookstore Partner

This month, we are excited to partner once again with One More Page Books, an independent bookstore in Arlington, VA offering books, wines, and chocolates. Their mission is to provide a place for community to come together to share a love of reading through author events, book clubs, and open conversation. Check them out at

Order online or by phone (703.300.9746). Curbside pickup is available at the shop from Tuesday-Sunday and shipping is available.

You can also order this title as an audiobook through

Purchase your copy from One More Page Books

We would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support of this program

Capitol Hill Community Foundation
Junior League of Washington

Join us for an upcoming event

Sneak Peek of the "New" Folger Shakespeare Library

Sneak Peek of the "New" Folger Shakespeare Library

Teachers are invited to join this free Folger Education professional development session.
Mon, Jun 17, 2024, 8pm ET
Imprints in Time

Imprints in Time

This special exhibition at the Folger features rare books from the collection of Stuart and Mimi Rose that present literary, cultural, and historical high points.
Fri, Jun 21, 2024 – Sun, Jan 5, 2025
Rose Exhibition Hall
Into the Vault: Books of the 1620s

Into the Vault: Books of the 1620s

See books from the Folger collection that were printed in European cities in the decade from which the Shakespeare First Folio emerged.
Opening Fri, Jun 21, 2024
Rose Exhibition Hall