Meet the Cooke family. Our narrator is Rosemary Cooke. As a child, she never stopped talking; as a young woman, she has wrapped herself in silence: the silence of intentional forgetting, of protective cover. Something happened, something so awful she has buried it in the recesses of her mind.
Now her adored older brother is a fugitive, wanted by the FBI for domestic terrorism. And her once lively mother is a shell of her former self, her clever and imperious father now a distant, brooding man.
And Fern, Rosemary’s beloved sister, her accomplice in all their childhood mischief? Fern’s is a fate the family, in all their innocence, could never have imagined.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a story unlike any other I’ve ever read. It’s witty, sad, mysterious and absolutely lovely.
There’s really not that much to tell about the story without giving away too many spoilers, but the story of Rosemary trying to make sense of her family and upbringing is both heartbreaking and wonderful. And the big question is where is Fern? What happened to the long lost sister? When forced to think back to the memories of her suppressed childhood it turns out that not everything happened the way that she thought it did.
I love the way that Fowler writes about her surroundings with the loveliest and most peculiar details.
This book is an absolute gem!
One of my favorite quotes from the book:
“When there is an invisible elephant in the room, one is from time to time bound to trip over a trunk.”
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