From the New York Timesbestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club, the story of an American family, middle class in middle America, ordinary in every way but one. But that exception is the beating heart of this extraordinary novel.
Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and our narrator, Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. "I spent the first eighteen years of my life defined by this one fact: that I was raised with a chimpanzee," she tells us. "It's never going to be the first thing I share with someone. I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren't thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern's expulsion, I'd scarcely known a moment alone. She was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half, and I loved her as a sister."
Rosemary was not yet six when Fern was removed. Over the years, she's managed to block a lot of memories. She's smart, vulnerable, innocent, and culpable. With some guile, she guides us through the darkness, penetrating secrets and unearthing memories, leading us deeper into the mystery she has dangled before us from the start. Stripping off the protective masks that have hidden truths too painful to acknowledge, in the end, "Rosemary" truly is for remembrance.
We are all completely beside ourselves
As part of leaving Bloomington for college and my brand new start, I'd made a careful decision to never ever tell anyone about my sister, Fern. Back in those college days I never spoke of her and seldom thought of her. If anyone asked about my family, I admitted to two parents, still married, and one brother, older, who traveled a lot. Not mentioning Fern was first a decision, and later a habit, hard and painful even now to break. Even now, way off in 2012, I can't abide someone else bringing her up. I have to ease into it. I have to choose my moment.
Though I was only five when she disappeared from my life, I do remember her. I remember her sharply her smell and touch, scattered images of her face, her ears, her chin, her eyes. Her arms, her feet, her fingers. But I don't remember her fully, not the way Lowell does.
Lowell is my brother's real name. Our parents met at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona at a ...
I never felt I was reading a book about “issues” because Fowler imbeds [her subject matter] in deft prose and captivating characters. She unravels a tale begun in the middle, by taking the reader through a young woman’s memories and heartbreak to a believable happy ending. She captivated me completely.
(Reviewed by Judy Krueger).
Full Review (1144 words).
People have debated the rights of animals since early times. The relationship between people and animals has generated many different and widely varying perspectives. Here's a quick trek through some of them, following in animals' footsteps whether four-footed or two:
In the 6th century BCE, Pythagoras taught that both animals and humans had souls that reincarnated between the two. However, Aristotle in the 4th century BCE, in his writings on animal classification, placed non-human animals below humans in what became known as the Great Chain of Being.
Considering that the Book of Genesis tells us that Adam was given dominion over all other living creatures, leading to a widely accepted interpretation of animals as things to be ...
If you liked We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, try these:
Noted science writer Virginia Morell explores the frontiers of research on animal cognition and emotion, offering a surprising and moving exploration into the hearts and minds of wild and domesticated animals.
A young woman follows her fiancé to war-torn Congo to study extremely endangered bonobo apes - who teach her a new truth about love and belonging.
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