‘We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves’ by Karen Joy Fowler


2014, 336p.

One of the problems with writing a book that is almost completely reliant on a big narrative twist in the middle is that you can’t really review it, without spoiling it for others. So, I won’t do either- review it, or spoil it.

The book is told in the conversational narrative of an American woman looking back over her childhood, which was ruptured when her sister left.  And I’ll leave it at that.

How would I have reacted to this book without the ‘great reveal’, I wonder? Probably not as favourably, because there’s a sort of shocked delight in going back over your assumptions when you’ve had them turned upside down.

Once you’ve read the book, do an image search for the front cover. It’s interesting that some of the front cover designs give away the story much more than the cover on the version I read (above).

Read because: it was a CAE bookgroup selection

My rating: 7/10

8 responses to “‘We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves’ by Karen Joy Fowler

  1. I’ve had it a couple of times as an audiobook and interestingly enjoyed it just about as much the second time. Perhaps that says more about my goldfish memory than it does about the book. The characters are interesting, I don’t think it relies entirely on the big reveal.

    • That’s interesting that you enjoyed it as much the second time. I did flip back through the pages to revisit it after ‘the reveal’ but I wasn’t tempted to start again.

  2. I had this one spoiled years ago by ABC’s Bookclub show. Marieke Heidke let it drop. I’ve still never read it! But I do intend to.

  3. I was going to let this one pass me by but I saw a copy for $2 in the Op Shop…

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