Book of the Week, November 15th 2014

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

WEBESIDEThis strikingly original novel starts when narrator heroine, Rosemary, is a 22 year old college student. She is an outsider; quiet, lonely and strangely different from those around her. We soon find that her difference is understandable – for she spent the first five years of her life with a twin sister, Fern, who disappeared. And Fern was a chimpanzee! Rosemary’s psychologist father, ran an experiment bringing up a chimp in his own family with a team of researchers analysing their behaviour. Rosemary grows up feeling a part of herself is missing and the part that is left has unusual behaviour patterns – nobody else at school needed to be taught not to put fingers in anyone’s mouth or jump on tables when excited. Rosemary’s search for her true identity is a moving and, at times, comic exploration of family, friendship, trust and animal rights.