Reviews for We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Library Journal Reviews 2013 October #2

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

[Page 61]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.