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Content descriptions

Participant or Performer Note:
Read by Orlagh Cassidy.
Source of Description Note:
Description based on publisher supplied image on web page (viewed Apr. 30, 2013)
Subject: Families > Fiction.
Self-realization in women > Fiction.
Human-animal relationships > Fiction.
Life change events > Fiction.
Genre: Domestic fiction.
Psychological fiction.
Audiobooks.
Downloadable audio books.
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Syndetic Solutions - Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 9781470881405
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves : A Novel
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves : A Novel
by Fowler, Karen Joy
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Library Journal Review

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves : A Novel

Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Fowler's (What I Didn't See) engrossing new novel opens with Rosemary Cooke announcing she will be starting her story in the middle. With brother Lowell and sister Fern mysteriously gone, Rosemary is the only remaining child of an alcoholic researcher father and a mother left fragile by the loss of her other two children. Eventually, Rosemary reveals that Fern is a chimpanzee, raised in tandem with her as part of their father's research. Despite this sensational fact, Rosemary's narration keeps listeners grounded in convincing details of her sibling relationship with Fern. Through the stories of the three "children," Fowler examines some very difficult issues with sensitivity and balance. The exploration of ethical and philosophical issues related to the relationships between humans and the animals we interact with and carry out research on flows organically through the characters and never feels tacked on or arbitrary. -Orlagh Cassidy reads the audiobook skillfully and is pleasant to listen to, but her formal tone at times seems a bit out of step with Rosemary's more casual language. Verdict This is an intellectually rewarding novel with a first-person point of view, making it particularly well suited to audio. ["Fowler explores the depths of human emotions and delivers a tragic love story that captures our hearts," read the starred review of the Marian Wood: Penguin hc, LJ 6/1/13.]-Heather Malcolm, Bow, WA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 9781470881405
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves : A Novel
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves : A Novel
by Fowler, Karen Joy
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BookList Review

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves : A Novel

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* As a girl in Indiana, Rosemary, Fowler's breathtakingly droll 22-year-old narrator, felt that she and Fern were not only sisters but also twins. So she was devastated when Fern disappeared. Then her older brother, Lowell, also vanished. Rosemary is now prolonging her college studies in California, unsure of what to make of her life. Enter tempestuous and sexy Harlow, a very dangerous friend who forces Rosemary to confront her past. We then learn that Rosemary's father is a psychology professor, her mother a nonpracticing scientist, and Fern a chimpanzee. Fowler, author of the best-selling The Jane Austen Book Club (2004), vigorously and astutely explores the profound consequences of this unusual family configuration in sustained flashbacks. Smart and frolicsome Fern believes she is human, while Rosemary, unconsciously mirroring Fern, is instantly tagged monkey girl at school. Fern, Rosemary, and Lowell all end up traumatized after they are abruptly separated. As Rosemary lonely, unmoored, and caustically funny ponders the mutability of memories, the similarities and differences between the minds of humans and chimps, and the treatment of research animals, Fowler slowly and dramatically reveals Fern and Lowell's heartbreaking yet instructive fates. Piquant humor, refulgent language, a canny plot rooted in real-life experiences, an irresistible narrator, threshing insights, and tender emotions Fowler has outdone herself in this deeply inquisitive, cage-rattling novel.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 9781470881405
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves : A Novel
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves : A Novel
by Fowler, Karen Joy
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Publishers Weekly Review

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves : A Novel

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

It's worth the trouble to avoid spoilers, including the ones on the back cover, for Fowler's marvelous new novel; let her introduce the troubled Cooke family before she springs the jaw-dropping surprise at the heart of the story. Youngest daughter Rosemary is a college student acting on dangerous impulses; her first connection with wild-child Harlow lands the two in jail. Rosemary and the FBI are both on the lookout for her brother Lowell, who ran away after their sister Fern vanished. Rosemary won't say right away what it was that left their mother in a crippling depression and their psychology professor father a bitter drunk, but she has good reasons for keeping quiet; what happens to Fern is completely shattering, reshaping the life of every member of the family. In the end, when Rosemary's mother tells her, "I wanted you to have an extraordinary life," it feels like a fairy-tale curse. But Rosemary's experience isn't only heartbreak; it's a fascinating basis for insight into memory, the mind, and human development. Even in her most broken moments, Rosemary knows she knows things that no one else can know about what it means to be a sister, and a human being. Fowler's (The Jane Austen Book Club) great accomplishment is not just that she takes the standard story of a family and makes it larger, but that the new space she's created demands exploration. Agent: Wendy Weil, the Wendy Weil Agency. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


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