Sunday, 21 February 2016

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: Book Review

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

If you're looking for a book with a humdinger of a plot twist, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is absolutely the book for you.

It's narrated by Rosie, an American college student in her twenties telling the story of her upbringing, specifically, the disappearance of her two siblings, Lowell and Fern.

Rosie's older brother Lowell, it becomes clear early on, ran away from home and never returned. Fern, on the other hand, is more of a mystery. We find out she is Rosie's twin, We know she's not dead. Then, on page 77, we find out the truth about Fern. It's gasp-out-loud-on-the-train stuff.

Karen Joy Fowler also wrote The Jane Austen Book Club, which if I'm honest, I found a bit wishy-washy, so I was dubious when my colleague, the lovely Zoe, singled me out as someone who should definitely read this book. Her reason for thinking this also remained a mystery until the all-important page 77, when suddenly the penny dropped.

Compared to other books I've enjoyed recently, this one's a bit of a slow mover. I didn't really feel connected to any of the characters, even Rosie - although this may be intentional on the part of the author. Yet something that I couldn't quite put my finger on kept me reading all the way to the end.

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