We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler

we are all completely beside ourselvesREAD FOR BOOKERTHON

Rosemary Cooke reveals the awful truth about her sister who was sent away aged five

✎ This book opens when the main character is a College student, revealing her strained relationships with her mother, father and brother. A return to the family home for Thanksgiving and news her estranged brother, Lowell, is looking for her causes Rosemary to reflect on the past. In particular about her other sibling, named Fern, who the family gave up when she was five years old.

It is difficult to discuss the plot much more without giving away the surprise details about Fern. However, it’s fair to say mot of the rest of the book is about Fern and her five years spent with her family. Rose and Lowell reminisce about the highs and lows of those five years, of the unusual and very public experiment their family was part of, and seek resolution and explanation for what happened at the conclusion of those five years.

You know how everything seems so normal when you’re growing up, she asked plaintively, and then comes this moment when you realize your whole family is nuts?

✎ “This is not what I expected from Fowler at all, and it really is impossible to talk about the book without giving it all away. What I can say is this book is highly emotive, educational and gripping, with Kafka references. By the end I did think Fowler was using fiction as a platform to push her beliefs, but it was so well done, I forgave her! This book just needs to be read. Read it!” – Rachel

✎ “Honestly can’t say much without giving the most important plot twist away.  This book really resonated with me – I loved it so much and would recommend it heartily to everybody.” – Suzy

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Published 2014
Serpent’s Tail
336 pages

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