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


We Are All Completely Beside OurselvesWe Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the story of three brothers: Lowell, Fern and Rosemary – the narrator herself.

First at all, the writer since the beginning of the book employs a different way of writing:

“I’ve told you the middle of my story now. I’ve told you the end of the beginning and I’ve told you the beginning of the end.”

This could give an impression of a confuse narrative but the produced effect is extremely opposed of this first thought.

By the middle of the book, Rosemary starts to feel the regretful loss of her sister Fern who simply vanished without any further explanation.

On the other hand, her brother starts to be involved with the “Animal Liberation Front” and as consequence, he is persecuted by the FBI.

“Anyone can join the ALF. In fact, anyone involved in the liberation of animals, anyone who physically interferes with their exploration and abuse, is automatically a member so long as the action takes place according to ALF guidelines.”

In the meantime, their mother goes into a deep depression process.

In order to avoid spoilers, I will stop to describe the plot here.

And why did I give 5 stars to this book?

For many reasons:

1. the writer uses in a magnificent way since the narrative flows naturally even if it is taken in different periods of the characters’ lives.

2. the subject of this book is quite actual and extremely relevant in my opinion. The animal’s abuse by drug and cosmetic companies have been extremely debated and quarreled nowadays. Brutal acts against animals such as slaughterhouses can not be tolerated any longer.

Which is the reader who can confess that he/she managed to contain his/hers tears after reading the book “Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell? I couldn’t!!

If you want to learn what happened with Fern, you must read the book. Not only for this reason but due also the arguments above described.

I haven’ read the other nominees for the Man Booker Prize 2014 but since this book is already listed in the short list, I do hope this book will get this award.

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5 thoughts on “Book review: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

  1. Pingback: Impac Dublin Literary Award 2015 | Pleasure of Reading

  2. Pingback: Man Booker Prize 2014: shortlist and winner for fiction | Pleasure of Reading

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