Sometimes a fiction novel is so completely absorbing, that when you finish it, you look at issues in the real world in a whole new light. Such was the case with We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
This delightfully quirky novel, had me laughing one minute and on the verge of tears the next. Rosemary Cooke, the narrator of her family’s story, brings the reader on a rollicking ride of growing up in her academic family and the mystery of how her original family of five dwindled, by the time she was in college, to a family of three.
While reading this roller coaster of a novel, the narrator and the whole family itself for that matter, almost subconsciously start you thinking not only about their family but families in general. Questions about how families end up as they do, how two siblings raised by the same parents can end up on such totally different life paths, and family secrets, kept and remembered, with answers bubbling up years later, are all concepts that keep running through your mind. It makes you realize that what you perceive through a child’s eyes may be totally different when seen through those same eyes as an adult.
I will warn those animal lovers out there, this book does touch on animal testing and experimentation, although only a paragraph or two get graphic. Which is another great subtlety of this book. Without many detailed descriptions it still makes you think about the right and the wrong around this issue. This novel reminds us all that we are not the only feeling, caring animal that inhabits this planet. This book touched me on a deeper level than I have been touched by a novel for quite a while.
This is Fowler’s sixth novel, others have included such notables as The Jane Austin Book Club. I now anticipate going back to the library to check out her books. We Are Completely Beside Ourselves, is a book that will stay with you long after the last page is turned.
This book among many other gems await readers at the library where I find all the books I just have to read!