‘We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves’ by Karen Joy Fowler

We Are All Completely Beside OurselvesstarstarstarstarWhen the Man Booker Longlist came out, there was only one title I recognized because it was on my coffee table waiting to be read!  It was there because of a recommendation from a friend who had read it a few months ago (thanks Connie!).  I enjoyed it, and would love to ask the author how she thought of the idea for it and how she did her research. The topic was fascinating.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much about the book, it’s better that you don’t know. But there are plenty of excellent reviews worth reading afterwards, since they contain spoilers.

The Guardian
New York Times, Barbara Kingsolver
The Independent

I can say that the novel is about an unusual family, but what family isn’t? The author uses a witty and breezy style and a clever arrangement in the order of the story, beginning in the middle. You know that something terrible has happened and that Rosemary thinks it’s her fault. She hauntingly repeats “what you accomplish will never matter so much as where you fail.” She also continues to say that she never talks about her family, but then she draws the reader in with a second person narrative. The whole book feels like an intimate conversation as a result, as if you are the only one she can trust to help her sort it all out. And sort it out Fowler does. The ending is brilliant and satisfying. It’s a very readable literary novel for the Man Booker Prize. I hope it makes the shortlist.

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