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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Fowler, Karen Joy (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves


Item Details

Coming of age in middle America, eighteen-year-old Rosemary evaluates how her entire youth was defined by the presence and forced removal of an endearing chimpanzee who was secretly regarded as a family member and who Rosemary loved as a sister.
Authors: Fowler, Karen Joy
Title: We are all completely beside ourselves
Publisher: New York :, G.P. Putnam's Sons,, c2013.
Characteristics: 310 p. ;,22 cm.
Notes: "A Marian Wood book."
Summary: Coming of age in middle America, eighteen-year-old Rosemary evaluates how her entire youth was defined by the presence and forced removal of an endearing chimpanzee who was secretly regarded as a family member and who Rosemary loved as a sister.
Local Note: 1 6 15 16 17 18 24 27 35 53 57 60 65 67 69 79 80 97 109 112 118 122 133 138 143 148 149 151 156 167 172 173 175 182 188 193 198 210 211 216 222 226 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 242 243 244 245 250 258 261 263 264 278 280
ISBN: 0399162097
9780399162091
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Report This Apr 19, 2014
  • sjacobson1112 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Such a good book addressing some of the issues with keeping chimpanzees as pets.

Report This Mar 11, 2014
  • Cynthia_N rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The story was good but not really captivating until the last section. I would have enjoyed it more if it had focused on the relationship between Rosemary and Fern.

Report This Mar 05, 2014
  • smc01 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

An excellent study of what loss does to a family, and of enduring love. I'll not soon forget Fern and Rosemary.

Report This Jan 29, 2014
  • ownedbydoxies rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

It's very difficult to discuss this book without giving too much away. I've recommended it to friends, but told them they have to trust me on this and I can't tell them anything about the book! You need to discover the characters on your own, otherwise it loses its immediacy. But while the subject matter is often heart-rending, the author manages to inject so much love and humor into her main characters and into their relationships, she leaves the reader loving her characters, too, complete with all their faults and foibles.

Report This Dec 30, 2013
  • gracindaisy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Meet sisters Rosemary and Fern, a girl and a chimpanzee, both raised together by their family. One day, Fern disappears and every member of the family is forever changed. Recommended by NPR.

Report This Dec 13, 2013
  • Michael Colford rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Karen Joy Fowler's novels are a joy to read. Best known for The Jane Austen Book Club (certainly the most straight-forward of her books) Fowler got her start writing science fiction, and she first caught my eye with the complex, challenging novel, Sarah Canary. With We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Fowler tackles the challenges of a family torn apart by grief and lies, and a burgeoning animal rights movement in the 1970s. To say too much about We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves would be to spoil its somewhat shocking moment revealed about one quarter of the way through. It's enough to know that Rosemary is our narrator, one member of a family forever changed by the loss of her sister Fern. As Rosemary informs the reader, her story starts in the middle, while she is attending college at UC Davis, then leaps backwards and forwards to unspool a tale rooted in a part of our country's recent history that was both sensationalistic and little known. But at its core, Fowler's novel succeeds winningly as a family tale, and one young woman's difficult difficult journey to adulthood. I love that Fowler's novels always possess a sliver of unreality or otherworldliness even when rooted in realism. I look forward to each and every one of her books.

Report This Nov 06, 2013
  • Laphroaig rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

An interesting, quirky story, though a bit preachy at times.

Report This Oct 30, 2013
  • annieloublue rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I did not finish this book and do not ever care to read any of her other books. I know this is in contrast to many other reviews but I really did not like it. One star is more than it deserves.

Report This Oct 21, 2013
  • jtkretzschmar rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

One of the more surprising concepts for a book that I have read in a long while. It was made even more surprising by the fact that I didn't read the blurb before delving into this novel. I really enjoyed it, but I most enjoyed the authors ability to tear preconceived concepts about the protagonist from my head time and time again.

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