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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler

“We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler is a remarkable and thought-provoking novel that explores the complexities of family, identity, and the bonds that connect us. Through its captivating narrative and unique premise, the book challenges readers to question their assumptions and invites them on a journey of self-discovery.

The story revolves around the Cooke family, particularly Rosemary, the narrator, and her unusual upbringing. Rosemary reveals that she was raised alongside a chimpanzee named Fern, who was treated as her sister. This unconventional family dynamic sets the stage for an exploration of human-animal relationships, nature versus nurture, and the blurred lines between species.

As Rosemary recounts her childhood and adolescence, the narrative delves into the aftermath of Fern’s sudden disappearance and the impact it has on her family. Fowler skillfully weaves together past and present, unraveling the secrets and emotions that have shaped Rosemary’s life and relationships.

Through Rosemary’s introspective voice, readers are immersed in a deeply personal and emotional journey. The novel tackles themes of memory, guilt, loss, and the search for identity. Fowler raises profound questions about the nature of humanity, empathy, and our responsibility towards other living beings.

“We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” is not only a thought-provoking exploration of family dynamics but also a poignant commentary on the ethical treatment of animals and our interconnectedness with the natural world. The book challenges readers to reconsider their perceptions of intelligence, emotions, and the boundaries of human-animal relationships.

Fowler’s writing is compelling and evocative, drawing readers into Rosemary’s world with vivid descriptions and nuanced characterizations. The author skillfully navigates complex emotions and moral dilemmas, offering a nuanced portrayal of flawed and relatable characters.

One of the strengths of the novel lies in its ability to elicit empathy and compassion from readers. It forces us to confront our own biases and assumptions, ultimately encouraging a more compassionate and interconnected view of the world. Through Rosemary’s journey, we witness the transformative power of understanding, forgiveness, and the resilience of the human spirit.

“We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” is a literary gem that combines elements of family drama, coming-of-age, and social commentary. It invites readers to question societal norms, to challenge the status quo, and to embrace the inherent interconnectedness of all living beings.

This book is a must-read for those who seek a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant narrative. Karen Joy Fowler’s “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” is a powerful testament to the enduring bonds of family, the complexities of our relationships with animals, and the profound impact our actions can have on those around us.

Additional information

Weight 0.29 kg
Dimensions 20 × 13 × 2.5 cm