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We Are Not Ourselves

A Novel

Matthew Thomas

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

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.

Publishers Weekly Review

Apr 21, 2014 – In his powerful and significant debut novel, Thomas masterfully evokes one woman’s life in the context of a brilliantly observed Irish working-class milieu. Eileen Tumulty was born in the early ’40s, the only child and dutiful caretaker of alcoholic parents. As a young woman, she hopes to leave her family’s dingy apartment in Woodside, Queens, and move up the social ladder. Eileen falls in love with and marries Ed Leary, a quiet neuroscientist whom she sees as the means to an upper-middle-class future. But Ed is dedicated to pure scientific research, and he turns down lucrative job offers from pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions. The couple’s apartment in Jackson Heights is a step up from Eileen’s parents’ apartment, but she wants a home in tony Westchester County. Later, Eileen pursues an arduous career as a nursing administrator to secure a future for their son, Connell. But once she gets her gracious but dilapidated fixer-upper in Bronxville, in southern Westchester, Ed is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, and the family slowly endures “the encroaching of a fathomless darkness.” Thomas works on a large canvas to create a memorable depiction of Eileen’s vibrant spirit, the intimacy of her love for Ed, and the desperate stoicism she exhibits as reality narrows her dreams. Her life, observed over a span of six decades, comes close to a definitive portrait of American social dynamics in the 20th century. Thomas’s emotional truthfulness combines with the novel’s texture and scope to create an unforgettable narrative.

Customer Reviews

So moving!

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

Outstanding!

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.

We Are Not Ourselves
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  • $1.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Aug 19, 2014
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 640 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book was designed for an iOS device and some features may not work as intended with a mouse or trackpad. To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later.

Customer Ratings