Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

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Look for We are All Completely Beside Ourselves in our fiction section (FIC FOWLER).

First off, I want to say that I loved this book. A few pages in, before I even knew where it was headed, I was hooked by the voice of the narrator, 22-year-old Rosemary, socially awkward, humorous, self-effacing, still trying to find her way out of college, still trying to figure out what happened to her family.

When Rose was 5, her sister disappeared; seven years later, her older brother ran away. After Fern left, the family did not talk about her – too upsetting for everyone. A story was concocted for the remaining children, but family relations were strained and never the same again. Her brother left at age 17 when he learned the truth about where Fern had gone.

This novel is about memory: the real ones, and the possibly false ones that replace them over time. It’s about the impact of our earliest childhood experiences, and how they affect our later behavior. It’s about sibling love, and human-animal connections. It’s about what the avoidance of truth can do to family relationships. It’s about trying to make things right.

This novel was wise and beautiful, and fun to read, too.

Reviewed by Nancy

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This entry was posted on January 16, 2014 by in Book Review, Fiction.
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