My advice on this book: do not read any reviews, blurbs, synopses, or even the back cover (or front, for that matter)! Just read the book! It's one of those rare books that you need to approach blind; just dive in and experience it. The less you know, the better. You will fall under its crazy spell. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club introduces a middle-class American family that is ordinary in every way but one in this novel that won the PEN/Faulkner Award and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize.
Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. "I was raised with a chimpanzee," she explains. "I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren't thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern's expulsion...she was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half and I loved her as a sister." As a child, Rosemary never stopped talking. Then, something happened, and Rosemary wrapped herself in silence.
In We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler weaves her most accomplished work to date — a tale of loving but fallible people whose well-intentioned actions lead to heartbreaking consequences.
"A gripping, big-hearted book...through the tender voice of her protagonist, Fowler has a lot to say about family, memory, language, science, and indeed the question of what constitutes a human being." —Khaled Hosseini
“Readably juicy and surreptitiously smart....this is a story of Everyfamily in which loss engraves relationships, truth is a soulful stalker and coming-of-age means facing down the mirror, recognizing the shape-shifting notion of self.” Barbara Kingsolver, The New York Times Book Review
“Cognitive, language and memory skills all come into playful question....We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is Fowler at her best, mixing cerebral and emotional appeal together in an utterly captivating manner.” The Seattle Times
“Rosemary's voice is achingly memorable....This brave, bold, shattering novel reminds us what it means to be human, in the best and worst sense.” The Miami Herald
“Rosemary's voice — vulnerable, angry, shockingly honest — is so compelling and the cast of characters, including Fern, irresistible. A fantastic novel: technically and intellectually complex, while emotionally gripping.” Kirkus (Starred Review)
“Piquant humor, refulgent language, a canny plot rooted in real-life experiences, an irresistible narrator, threshing insights, and tender emotions — Fowler has outdone herself in this deeply inquisitive, cage-rattling novel.” Booklist (Starred Review)
“A strong, unsettling novel....Fowler explores the depths of human emotions and delivers a tragic love story that captures our hearts.” Library Journal (Starred Review)
“Fowler's great accomplishment is not just that she takes the standard story of a family and makes it larger, but that the new space she's created demands exploration.” Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Karen Joy Fowler, A PEN/Faulkner and Dublin IMPAC nominee, is the author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Sarah Canary, The Sweetheart Season, Wit's End, Black Glass: Short Fictions, and Sister Noon.