We Are Not Ourselves
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Destined to be a classic, this “powerfully moving” (Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding), multigenerational debut novel of an Irish-American family is nothing short of a “masterwork” (Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End).
Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.
When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream.
Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.
Through the Learys, novelist Matthew Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art; one that reminds us that life is more than a tally of victories and defeats, that we live to love and be loved, and that we should tell each other so before the moment slips away.
Epic in scope, heroic in character, masterful in prose, We Are Not Ourselves heralds the arrival of a major new talent in contemporary fiction.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
This book was so fantastic. I read the sample and counted the days, really until the book came out.
For many reasons, this book will appeal to many for a variety of reasons. That is impressive in itself.
I cannot say enough about this book and it's author, Matthew Thomas.
We are not ourselves
This book was emotionally and intellectually
Reverting. It's brilliance is the four step move most of us made......family home , rented starter apartment - owned house with extra income apt and final dream house. Each move is supposed to make you happier. But you learn where you live doesn't change anything important. Nor does money or friends This is a family love story. And it's one of the best I've read in a long time
This book was wonderful and I could not put it down. The family saga is absorbing and touched me greatly . I was brought to tears a number of times with this sad and sensitive story.