Three sisters grow up in Barnwell, Ohio, the daughters of a Shakespeare professor who talks to them in lines from the Bard’s plays. They see themselves as the “Weird Sisters” from Macbeth, since the word is derived from Wyrd, meaning fate. Though the sisters love each other, they do not like one another very much: it is always “two against one or three opposed, but never all together.” Rosalind (Rose) is the oldest and an adjunct professor of math at Columbia University; Bianca (Bean) works in the human resources department of a law firm in Manhattan; and Cordelia (Cordy) is the youngest and has been a vagabond for many years. When their mother gets cancer, their father sends letters to the youngest two and they begin to make their way home.
Rosalind is thirty-three years old and engaged to Jonathan, a chemistry professor who is spending the year doing research in Oxford. Since he is gone, she has moved back home to help her parents but knows that she is not really needed here. She is oddly relieved that her mother’s cancer gives her a reason to stay and something to accomplish. She is always the first.
Bianca lives an outrageous and outrageously expensive lifestyle—and steals from her employer to pay for it. She has accumulated clothes, accessories, and men, none of which she particularly cares about. She is finally called in by a senior partner of the firm and told that if she resigns and promises to repay what she stole, the firm will not prosecute her. Immediately she buys a junk car, throws all of her expensive belongings into it (disgusted that this is all she has to show for all the money she stole) and leaves immediately for Ohio. Though she is always second, she is the first to arrive home.
Cordelia is her father’s favorite and has never been denied anything. She left college seven years ago, stifled by the weight of impending adulthood, and has been drifting around the country living by her own wits, her willingness to whatever she must to survive, and occasional infusions of cash from her father when she is desperate. Lately she has been feeling as if she is an adult among children in this Bohemian life in which she is always dirty and hungry. Cordelia steals a pregnancy test to confirm her suspicions: she is pregnant. She hitches a ride and is the last sister home; she is last at everything.
Looking a mess after driving all night, Bianca only tells her...
(The entire section is 2281 words.)
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