We are completely beside ourselves
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy FowlerMeet the Cooke family. Our narrator is Rosemary Cooke. As a child, she never stopped talking; now that shes started college, she has wrapped herself in silence: the silence of intentional forgetting, of protective cover. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone—vanished from her life. Her once lively mother is a shell of her former self, her clever and imperious father now a distant, brooding man. And there was something unique about Rosemarys sister, Fern.
Youll have to find out for yourself what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
The Million Copy Best-Seller Rosemary's young, just at college, and she's decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we're not going to tell you too much either: you'll have to find out for yourselves, round about page 77, what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. There's something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. And it was this decision, made by her parents, to give Rosemary a sister like no other, that began all of Rosemary's trouble. So now she's telling her story: full of hilarious asides and brilliantly spiky lines, it's a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning.
If the British obsession is with class, then the American obsession is surely not with money but with family. Karen Joy Fowler is best known to us for The Jane Austen Book Club, an immensely popular and intelligent novel about people looking for love.
Did no one warn Mrs Cooke to be careful what she wished for? Rewind to the day back in s Indiana, when narrator-heroine Rosemary is separated from her beloved "twin" sister, Fern, and sent, aged five, for a week's visit to her grandparents. She senses that she has committed a heinous crime, for which her punishment is expulsion from the bosom of the family. But no. There are no explanations. Soon afterwards, Rosemary's stormy teenage brother Lowell absconds, also without discussion, leaving her bereft again.