Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
We are all completely beside ourselves [a novel]
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Find It' section below.
Find It
Map It
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club) has written a strong, unsettling novel that draws on true accounts of animal behaviorists raising chimps with infant children. Narrator Rosemary Cooke, now nearing 40, tells a heartbreaking story of her family and a pivotal event that has haunted her all her life. When Rosemary was a month old, her psychologist father brought a three-month-old chimp named Fern into the family to be raised as a sibling to Rosemary and her older brother, Lowell. This experiment, complete with interns moving in to record their observations, comes to an abrupt halt when Rosemary is five. Fern simply disappears, and Rosemary finds the loss of her simian playmate emotionally devastating. Rosemary struggles to understand and to accept that, innocent mistake or not, her actions were possibly responsible for Fern's being sent away. Taunted at school by the nickname "monkey girl" and later distressed by the sudden disappearance of Lowell, on the lam from the FBI, Rosemary fights her demons to alleviate the damage. -VERDICT Fowler explores the depths of human emotions and delivers a tragic love story that captures our hearts. [See Prepub Alert, 11/25/12.]-Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Palisade, CO (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

It's worth the trouble to avoid spoilers, including the ones on the back cover, for Fowler's marvelous new novel; let her introduce the troubled Cooke family before she springs the jaw-dropping surprise at the heart of the story. Youngest daughter Rosemary is a college student acting on dangerous impulses; her first connection with wild-child Harlow lands the two in jail. Rosemary and the FBI are both on the lookout for her brother Lowell, who ran away after their sister Fern vanished. Rosemary won't say right away what it was that left their mother in a crippling depression and their psychology professor father a bitter drunk, but she has good reasons for keeping quiet; what happens to Fern is completely shattering, reshaping the life of every member of the family. In the end, when Rosemary's mother tells her, "I wanted you to have an extraordinary life," it feels like a fairy-tale curse. But Rosemary's experience isn't only heartbreak; it's a fascinating basis for insight into memory, the mind, and human development. Even in her most broken moments, Rosemary knows she knows things that no one else can know about what it means to be a sister, and a human being. Fowler's (The Jane Austen Book Club) great accomplishment is not just that she takes the standard story of a family and makes it larger, but that the new space she's created demands exploration. Agent: Wendy Weil, the Wendy Weil Agency. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Meet the Cookes: mother and dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, andour narrator, Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has herreasons. "I spent the first eighteen years of my life defined by this one fact:I was raised with a chimpanzee. It's never going to be the first thing I sharewith someone. I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren't thinking ofher as my sister. But until Fern's expulsion, I'd scarcely known a momentalone." Rosemary was not yet six when Fern was removed. Over the years, she'smanaged to block a lot of memories. With some guile, she guides us through thedarkness, leading us deeper into the mystery she has dangled before us.
Librarian's View
Displaying 1 of 1