Wednesday, 13 May 2015

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

The blurb: What if you grew up to realise that your father had used your childhood as an experiment?  
Rosemary doesn’t talk very much and about certain things she’s silent. She had a sister, Fern, her whirlwind other half, who vanished from her life in circumstances she wishes she could forget. And it’s been ten years since she last saw her beloved older brother Lowell. Now at college, Rosemary starts to see that she can’t go forward without going back, back to the time when, aged five, she was sent away from home to her grandparents and returned to find Fern gone.

Rating: 3/5 stars

This is completely different from anything I’ve read before, and that’s all I can really say without giving away the twist! The best way to read this book is to go in knowing as little as possible, so this is going to be a very short review as I really don’t want to give anything away that might spoil it for any new readers.

I will say that this was a very compelling, smart and thought-provoking read with a highly interesting subject matter. The blurb intrigued me right from the start and it went straight on my to-be-read list, and I’m very glad that it did. Rosemary’s father is a psychologist (not technically a spoiler, if you’ve read the description!) and although some of the things discussed were already familiar to me from studying an A-Level in Psychology, I have come away feeling like I’ve learned so much. I didn’t feel like this was forced either; the book was very well paced and easily digested despite dealing with a complex issue.
You might be wondering why I’ve given it only three stars if I liked it so much, and that’s because I felt like most of the last part of the book was quite irrelevant. I’m just one reader so this might be different for everyone, but I felt that I got all the answers I was seeking about Fern, Lowell and what happened in Rosemary’s family about two thirds of the way through, and everything that followed seemed unnecessary and harder to stick with. I think it’s obvious that the author feels very strongly and had more to say about the things discussed throughout the story but I did feel a bit preached to by the end, and I just think it could have ended earlier and still had the same effect on the reader. Other than that, a fantastic read – highly recommended!

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