LR#07: “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler

We-Are-All-Completely-BesideI don’t quite know what to make of this book.

I was intrigued by the plot outline and the questions posed – why did Rosemary, an over talkative child, suddenly stop talking? What happened to her sister Fern? Where did she go? Why didn’t she return to the family home? And what happened to their older brother, Lowell?

The tale is mostly told in an easy, familiar style that initially pulled me in. Rosemary’s voice is interesting and the conversational tone of the narrative is engaging. I quite enjoyed the way in which the story was told in a non-linear way, switching between different timeframes so that we uncover the whole story in a manner that keeps us guessing as to how things will pan out.

The main characters were reasonably well drawn without being exceptionally memorable. My favourite ones being Ezra, the building supervisor, and Madame Defarge. The dialogue was quite well written and suited the characters and the cultural references were well observed. Additionally, I found some moments to be very witty.

However, you guessed there was a “however” coming didn’t you?, after the initial revelation about Fern, I found there was insufficient to keep me really hooked. I felt that some parts of the story where akin to being lectured to and some of the themes were not especially interesting to me. I wanted this book to entertain and engage me but, sadly, I found it a little bit of a chore to get through.

The ending was a little disappointing given the mystique in the build up and left me feeling a little “short changed” after I had put in the effort to complete the journey.

The-Mustachioed-Reader

My Rating: 2.0* out of 5.0*

PUBLICATION DATE: July 2014 (anticipated)


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