Book Review – We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Again – this is a recommendation from a friend (I love that I have so many book loving – I’m not going to put geeky, because we’re far too cool for that, but actually we are – friends!)

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

The Amazon blurb is brief:

“By the author of worldwide bestseller The Jane Austen Book Club: you can’t choose your family, but they can make choices for you. Big, life-defining choices.”

Although there are lots of Amazon reviews praising this beneath the blurb. It was also nominated for the Man Booker Prize, and the blurb on there is slightly longer:

“As a child, Rosemary used to talk all the time. So much so that her parents used to tell her to start in the middle if she wanted to tell a story. Now Rosemary has just started college and she barely talks at all. And she definitely doesn’t talk about her family. So we’re not going to tell you too much either: you’ll have to find out for yourself what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone – vanished from her life. But there’s something unique about Rosemary’s sister, Fern. So now she’s telling her story; a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice.”

Basically – there is a massive important factor to this book 25% in (can you tell I read it on my Kindle – otherwise it would have been ‘about a quarter of the way through’!) and not giving this away I think is fundamental to the book. The friend who recommended it had been told by her mother about what this twist was – and she thinks therefore made the book less enjoyable for her – hence me not revealing it. (As people who know me in real life will attest – such self restraint is amazing!!)

It is beautifully written, different, believable and keeps you engaged throughout. I could not put this in a specific ‘genre’ – but would definitely recommend you read it!


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