Monday, 22 September 2014

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

"When there is an invisible elephant in the room, one is from time to time bound to trip over a trunk."

I've been 'hanging out', pardon the pun, to read this novel shortlisted for this year's Man Booker Prize and winner of the 2013 Pen/Faulkner award for Fiction. I remember a rather intriguing discussion of the reveal on the First Tuesday Book Club. Let's just say there was no attempt to hide any spoilers with the paperback edition, the cover and the blurb pretty much give the game away.

Rosemary is an imperfect heroine and perhaps that explains her appeal. There is something so 'human' about her voice that draws you in. I particularly like the way everyone in the novel is represented as having their own revisionist viewpoint of history, it certainly has a ring of truth about it.

If someone had told me what the entire story was about, I'm not sure I'd be clamouring to read the novel, yet I thoroughly enjoyed it. My only quibble was occasionally, and perhaps its only natural as the protagonist looks back, Rosemary appeared of indeterminate age. Maybe, that was a reflection of her other-ness, having begun her life in such extraordinary circumstances. 

4 out of 5 apes like me will enjoy.

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