Book Review – We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We are all completely beside ourselves / Karen Joy Fowler.

If there is one thing that novels, television, and movies have taught me, it’s that having a psychologist for a parent does not augur well for an untroubled childhood. And so it goes in this novel.  This is a story that, by the first-person narrator’s own admission, starts in the middle, but it does get to the beginning before it gets to the end. Forty-something Rosemary reveals, non-chronologically, bits of her life, and her not entirely typical childhood.

This novel is about family; relationships between siblings, and relationships to parents. Part of the way into the book there is a very interesting reveal about the family, that, while I knew something wasn’t quite right, what the actual something is, was a surprise. It’s quite a significant reveal, though, the Large Print edition that we have at the library, published by Thorndike Press, gives this bit away on the cover (!?!??). That said, the book still works even if you do know the surprise before you begin. It’s just great writing and a great story.

It was shortlisted for the 2014 Booker prize (which was won by Aussie Richard Flanagan for The Narrow Road to the Deep North).

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - book cover

The paperback cover doesn’t give anything away

Have you read We are all completely beside ourselves?  Let me know what you thought of it, in the comments.


Lawley

Author: Lawley

Technology Coordinator for Cockburn Libraries.  Most recent reads: Gotham / Nick Earls -- The Life and Death of Sophie Stark / Anna North -- Universal Harvester / John Darnielle -- The handmaid's tale / Margaret Atwood.

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2 Comments

  1. Chantelle

    I’m part way through this one – enjoying it, learning lots of big words too.
    Being the curious type I am, I had to peek at the large print cover – thanks for ruining the plot twist!

    Post a Reply
    • Lawley

      I warned you! The original hardback cover gives it away as well (though not as obviously), as does the American paperback edition

      Post a Reply

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Book Review – We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

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