Book Review: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler


The first thing that struck me about this book was the quirky and excellent writing. The second thing was that on a technical point it made me realise how badly proofread The House On The Hill was as it was full of typos. This book however was not and so I praise the proofreaders in the present case to high heaven. Well done you.

The story is narrated by Rose who is a college student at the beginning of the book, and the middle of her story as the book jumps about in time, at first between her early life and her college days. It is clear from the start that she feels somewhat of an outsider and that there is something indefinable about her family life that is not quite the norm, and I found the reveal of that fact a wonderful moment where I really became involved in the story and knew that I was going to love this book.

The book is really well written and the prose is quirky and funny and I couldn’t help but become fascinated by Rose’s story and her awkward character who felt just a little outside of things. It is wonderful in a novel to get to know a character as they reveal more facts about themselves that just draw you into their experience more and more.

As always with these reviews I try not to give anything away about the stories as they are not really reviews but more just recommendations about books I’ve really enjoyed, but I found We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves one of the best books I’ve read in a long time as the bulk of it is about a young person trying to understand who she is and come to terms with her unusual upbringing. It is a really well-written, funny, involving and moving novel. It is also brilliantly proofread.


About paulcarden

I am a writer and performer from The Midlands, UK.
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