Thursday, 28 August 2014

Reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Guys, I have almost caught up with my "Read 52 books in a year"-challenge. By the time that this review goes up I should be reading my 34th book. I'm not quite there yet because George RR Martin killed any chance of finishing the third A Song of Ice and Fire book within a week if you also have any other commitments. (Like a job...)

I'm going to jump ahead in this review and tell you that I gave We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler five stars. (Really, this is all you need to know.) Rosemary Cooke decides to start her story in the middle, in 1996 when she's at university in Davis. Her sister is long gone and her brother left the family ten years previously. The disjointed narrative pieces together the puzzle of what it was like to grow up in Rosemary's unique family and living in the conditions placed on them by her father who is a psychologist. I would urge you to not look up anything else about this book.

I loved this book. As I don't want to spoil the story, I can't tell you what the plot is. But on a more general level it's about family dynamics, about going through life trying to suppress something very unique about yourself and about not thinking about loved ones. The story is told with a wry wit and (for me at least) it is obvious that the author grew up with a researching psychologist. I hope the anecdotes about Rosemary's father are as amusing to everyone as it is for someone who does research in psychology. I can think of several people who may receive this book as a Christmas present from me...

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