KDL Recommends > Staff Picks > August 2013

KDL Recommends

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

ISBN: 0399162097

Title: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Author: Karen Joy Fowler

KDL Description:

“This story of a family’s adjustment to life without the chimpanzee who was raised as a family member for many years will linger with the reader for a long time. Recent headlines such as the notice that the National Institute of Health is planning to stop using chimps for medical research take on new significance after reading this novel.”—Helen Kay at KDL’s Spencer Township branch

Amazon Description:

From the New York Times–bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club, the story of an American family, middle class in middle America, ordinary in every way but one. But that exception is the beating heart of this extraordinary novel.

Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and our narrator, Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. “I spent the first eighteen years of my life defined by this one fact: that I was raised with a chimpanzee,” she tells us. “It’s never going to be the first thing I share with someone. I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren’t thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern’s expulsion, I’d scarcely known a moment alone. She was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half, and I loved her as a sister.”

Rosemary was not yet six when Fern was removed. Over the years, she’s managed to block a lot of memories. She’s smart, vulnerable, innocent, and culpable. With some guile, she guides us through the darkness, penetrating secrets and unearthing memories, leading us deeper into the mystery she has dangled before us from the start. Stripping off the protective masks that have hidden truths too painful to acknowledge, in the end, “Rosemary” truly is for remembrance.