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Book Review: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler


We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Where to begin with this irresistible novel? It’s won a bunch of awards and was shortlisted for the Man Book Prize in 2014 – but don’t expect a ‘worthy’ slow going literary novel. The writing is exquisite, but the author has delivered an engaging read that will have you falling in love with the characters, that centres on Rosemary and her relationships with her siblings.

Once a talkative child, by the time Rosemary goes to college she has become quiet, and about some things she is completely silent. She doesn’t talk about her sister Fern, who vanished from her life when she was only five years old. And she hasn’t seen her older brother Lowell for ten years. But when she starts college Rosemary realises she must go back to the time she was five, so she can move forward in life.

The novel starts in the middle of the story, and moves back and forth in time until the reader learns the truth of what really happened when Fern disappeared, but also what happens to Rosemary in the future. This is an astonishing novel – charming, intelligent, surprising and thought-provoking. Highly, highly recommended!

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