316 of 342 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Pen/Faulkner Award - Fiction) (Hardcover)
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I was sick on Mother's Day this year. So I stayed in bed... with this book. I read for 8 straight hours and had to make myself stop before my eyes exploded. I finished it the very next day. Now, I'm in book mourning. You know that feeling, when you finish an amazing novel and are certain no other book can ever be so good as the one you just closed the cover on? That's where I am.
Fowler breaks all of the rules in this book. And she does so beautifully. It takes a true master of the craft to manipulate language and story as she has done. She manages to weave all sorts of scientific information into the narrative without me ever feeling I somehow landed in a text book.
Rosemary is immediately likable. I could relate to her, despite growing up without a chimp-sister. Her need to hide who she is rings true for so many people. She didn't sugarcoat her brother, either. Lowell is painted as the loyal loving brother he was, but also clearly angry and unstable.
Possibly my favorite aspect of this novel: Memory. Rose is honest about her memories and her uncertainty of their truth. The way her parents remember her childhood and the way she remembers it are world's apart, but both are correct.
There are longer more in-depth reviews posted, and I am sure they did a beautiful job of dissecting and recommending this novel. I am still in a place of book euphoria. All I can really say is, this story is amazing. Order your copy right now.
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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 6, 2013 12:57:07 AM PDT
judith straffin says:
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2013 5:14:11 AM PDT
The blurb on the back of the book clearly states Fern's identity. It was never a secret.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2013 5:58:52 PM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2013 6:02:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 16, 2013 6:04:24 PM PDT
I'm sorry you feel that way. If Amazon agrees, I will change my review without complaint. But I maintain that my review includes nothing not clearly stated in the book's summary. It was a fact I knew before opening the cover and it did not diminish my reading experience in the least. To the contrary, it is why I decided to read this book.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2013 7:46:20 AM PDT
Carolyn Cullison says:
Arthor was on NPR revealing a lot more earlier this week.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2013 5:52:36 PM PDT
Lisa Baker says:
If you read the back of the book it CLEARLY states who Fern is. I thought the review was wonderful. The book is fantastic! The book isnt a mystery about 'who is Fern', it is about the family dynamics on what happens when Fern is 'gone.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2013 11:22:04 AM PDT
Thanks. It really is a wonderful book. One of my top reads for 2013.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2013 11:22:30 AM PDT
I'd like to hear her talk about it.
Posted on Aug 31, 2013 9:20:54 AM PDT
I also read this novel pretty much nonstop. It is beautifully written. When I realized where the story was going regarding the sisters (a few pages before it was revealed), I was worried that the plot would turn silly. I was wrong. This is one of the best novels I've read in a long time.
Posted on Aug 31, 2013 9:23:23 AM PDT
Oh, btw, I do think other reviews reveal too much as do the blurbs on the book jacket.