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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

A Novel

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

“A gripping, bighearted book.” —Khaled Hosseini

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014

Winner of the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award


One of the New York Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books of 2013 and named by The Christian Science Monitor as one of the top 15 works of fiction

The New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club introduces a middle-class American family, ordinary in every way but one.
 
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.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 22, 2013 – It’s worth the trouble to avoid spoilers, including the ones on the back cover, for Fowler’s marvelous new novel; let her introduce the troubled Cooke family before she springs the jaw-dropping surprise at the heart of the story. Youngest daughter Rosemary is a college student acting on dangerous impulses; her first connection with wild-child Harlow lands the two in jail. Rosemary and the FBI are both on the lookout for her brother Lowell, who ran away after their sister Fern vanished. Rosemary won’t say right away what it was that left their mother in a crippling depression and their psychology professor father a bitter drunk, but she has good reasons for keeping quiet; what happens to Fern is completely shattering, reshaping the life of every member of the family. In the end, when Rosemary’s mother tells her, “I wanted you to have an extraordinary life,” it feels like a fairy-tale curse. But Rosemary’s experience isn’t only heartbreak; it’s a fascinating basis for insight into memory, the mind, and human development. Even in her most broken moments, Rosemary knows she knows things that no one else can know about what it means to be a sister, and a human being. Fowler’s (The Jane Austen Book Club) 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.

Customer Reviews

My new favorite book

I'm not the kind of person who finishes books in a day or two. I love reading, but am a bit slow to finish books in general. I started to read Barbara Kingsolver's review of this title in The Times and was intrigued by the first sentence. She basically said that if you want to read this book as the author intended, don't read anything about it, including her review. I followed her suggestion and am incredibly glad I chose to do so. I have never been so quickly and completely obsessed with a book. I had to force myself to put it down a few times not because I needed to go to bed or go to work, but because I didn't want it to end. It is my favorite book. Highest praise imaginable!

---and take Barbara's advice. You'll be glad you did.

Maybe should have ended in the middle, too

This book has a lot to recommend it, but it gets so incredibly dull and drawn out by the final quarter that I simply walked away from the last 50 or so pages -- something I VERY rarely do. If the primary character were the author, I would say this is unbelievably self-serving, but in the case of fiction there is simply no reason for so much droning on. If you're ok with putting an unfinished book down, then by all means start this one. But I guarantee you won't be compelled to finish it.

A journey unlike any before

Transcendent

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: May 30, 2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings