We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler

Original book title: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Author: Karen Joy Fowler
Publisher: Lavender Lit, 377 pages
Language: Swedish
Original language: English
Year of publication:  2013

This is a difficult review to write. I neither liked this book, nor disliked it. It was very difficult for me to understand the story and the characters.

This is the story about Rosemary, who grew up with two siblings: Lowell and Fern. Both deeply loved and now both disappeared from her life. Something happened, something so awful that it left the family in shambles. None of them could imagine Ferns fate.

We follow Rosemary when she talks about her childhood and her family. We get to know her family through her, and the more we know about them the stranger they get.

My biggest problem with this book was that I couldn’t relate to any of the characters. Rosemary was an unsympathetic, difficult and sometimes annoying character. Her whole family was very difficult to understand. They were dysfunctional and emotionally disturbed, it was simply difficult to understand them.

The writing is quite okay, Karen Joy Fowler is a good writer, but she was too focused on details that weren’t interesting to the story.

In the middle of the book, a big “secret” is revealed, something that makes the story take a different turn. Until the big revelation I enjoyed the book, but after that, I lost interest. It is too unrealistic and crazy if I’ll be honest. There is clearly an interesting story, but Fowler’s biggest mistake, according to me, was her character, Rosemary. Rosemary reduced the story with her memories and feelings, which ultimately proved to be unreliable.

This whole book was pretty confusing for me. I did not understand much of what was happening. There were some interesting facts and it was in them, I found the joy of reading, but with that said I think Fowler started at the wrong end when she wrote this book.


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