We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Jay Fowler
Serpent’s Tail (paperback), 2013
BLURB FROM THE COVER
Rosemary’s young, just at college, and she’s decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we’re not going to tell you too much either: you’ll have to find out for yourselves, round about page 77, what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other.
Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone – vanished from her life. There’s something unique about Rosemary’s sister, Fern. And it was this decision, made by her parents, to give Rosemary a sister like no other, that began all of Rosemary’s trouble. So now she’s telling her story: full of hilarious asides and brilliantly spiky lines, it’s a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice.
It’s funny, clever, intimate, honest, analytical and swirling with ideas that will come back to bite you. We hope you enjoy it, and if, when you’re telling a friend about it, you do decide to spill the beans about Fern – it’s pretty hard to resist – don’t worry. One of the few studies Rosemary doesn’t quote says that spoilers actually enhance reading.
THOSE WHO KNOW ME BY NOW will be surprised to learn that I was a great talker as a child.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves will stay with me for a long time. I loved Fowler’s novel. It’s one of the best novels I’ve read this year. It’s been a while since a novel affected me as much as We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Fowler’s novel reduced me to tears several times. I actually sat crying for about fifteen minutes when I’d finished reading it. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves ticks all the boxes. Fowler’s novel has happy and sad moments, scenes that make you laugh and weep like a bug and tug at your heartstrings. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is original and brilliant. I loved it, loved it.