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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
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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.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2013
ISBN: 9780399162091
0399162097
Branch Call Number: FICTION FOWLER 2013
Characteristics: 310 p. ;,22 cm

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Coming of age in middle America, 18-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.

DO NOT READ ANY REVIEW OR SUMMARIES OF THIS BOOK! Just dive in and read! It's beautifully written and totally surprising.


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This is how good this book is. When my copy came in at the library, I realized that I had actually read it not long before and just didn't recognize the title. It didn't matter. I sat down and read the whole thing over in two sittings. Mesmerizing, unpredictable, with not a false note in it.

Nov 05, 2014
  • samdog123 rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

A difficult book to read simply because the main character, Rosemary is so dysfunctional. Raised until the age of 5 with a chimpanzee named Fern, the two grew as sisters. When Fern disappears, its a devastating loss to the entire family and each one finds their own way to cope. Despite the recommendations of my fellow librarian colleagues, it was not my favourite.

Sep 20, 2014
  • mclarjh rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Easy to read, light, the characters remind me of those from a comic book; don't know if the reader is supposed to take this story seriously or not; reads more like porpaganda. Can't believe it was shortlisted for the Booker!

2014 Man Booker Prize nomiee

2014 PEN/Faulkner Award winner for fiction

Jul 24, 2014
  • katejay42 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really loved this book, it is one you still think about long after it has been returned. I am glad I did not know "the secret" before I read it, it added a whole different dimension to my read (and I am one who usually reads the end first). I too will not soon forget Fern.

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.

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.

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.

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