Come and chat to PEN Faulkner Award winner and bestselling author Karen Joy Fowler about WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES, and her previous books, Tue 29 July, 9-10pm

(86 Posts)

There are many unusual families, but few are quite as unusual as Rosemary's. Rosemary is the bright, quirky and very funny narrator of Karen Joy Fowler's award winning novel WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES. Rosemary used to have a sister and a brother, but both have disappeared. And because this is such an extraordinary family, with an extremely surprising story, it is better that Rosemary tells you herself how it all happened.

Please keep your spoiler alert antennae well-tuned, and try and discuss the book without giving the game away...

You can find out more at our book of the month page, and at Karen's website which includes an excerpt and stunning reviews from her legions of fans, from Alice Sebold to Barbara Kingsolver.

Serpent's Tail have 50 copies to give to Mumsnetters: to claim your free copy, please fill in your details on the book of the month page. If you're not lucky enough to bag one of those, you can always get your paperback or Kindle version here.

We are delighted that Karen will be joining us to discuss WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES, her previous novels and her writing life on Tuesday 29 July, 9-10pm. So please feel free to (carefully) discuss the book here throughout the month, pop up any advance questions and we will see you all here, Tue 29 July.

TickTock123 Mon 16-Jun-14 21:17:47

This book sounds like it was written about me?
Oddball and different to any other living being
I would like to read this on holidays and find out the hype is as true,as the book seems to be living it up at the moment
Please make me your happy smiley winner

AmyTanFan Thu 19-Jun-14 00:34:07

It's rare that I finish a book and then want to go back to the beginning and read it all over again to catch every nuance. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is just brilliant.

lotterylucky13 Wed 25-Jun-14 14:41:46

Would love to read this book.Sounds very interesting.Thankyou

weathermum Thu 26-Jun-14 11:18:15

I have just received this book from Profile books I think it must be one of your giveaways if so thankyou so much I will post a review once I have read it

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 27-Jun-14 16:45:57

It's great to hear the books have now arrived. Please do feel free to discuss the book throughout the month but if possible (and I appreciate this is a big ask) try not to reveal any twists until the eve of the webchat with Karen Joy Fowler (on 29 July). If this is impossible please do paste a mahoosive 'SPOILER ALERT' note at the top of your post. I read this book without knowing anything about it at all and enjoyed it all the more for reading it this way.

JimmyCorkhill Tue 01-Jul-14 23:05:50

Thank You! AMAZING book. Read it in one go. Poor DDs were totally ignored blush. Just loved it. I really liked the fact that I am the same age as Rosemary too, I really enjoyed the return to uni days!! Good pace, twists, turns. Thoroughly gripping. I wish it hadn't ended.

U2TheEdge Wed 02-Jul-14 12:00:28

I loved this book. I think it is probably my best read of 2014 so far. I am gutted I have finished it.

Not being able to give much away I suggest everyone read it but do not google it or read any reviews until after you have finished it.

chris69 Thu 03-Jul-14 15:14:44

I really loved this book! Received as a mumsnet giveaway i was not sure what to expect, but this novel is wonderfully written, takes you on an emotional journey, with characters I really liked. I just love it when I discover an author that I no nothing about and love their work Thank you MumsNet xx

Sarah3kids Fri 04-Jul-14 13:03:06

Great Book - really didn't know what to expect - received as a giveaway. It is a light book with plenty of depth, great summer read - if you don't mind getting emotional by the beach!! Being of my time - made me think of what I knew about the issues from history. Left me wanting more - thinking about Rosemary's family - perhaps there could be more books!! - from each member of the family, thanks Mumsnet.

khuliloach Mon 07-Jul-14 18:02:57

I'm going to start reading this tonight, hope I'm not to late to leave my comments!

FernieB Mon 07-Jul-14 18:18:01

Thank you for this book - loved it. A real emotional journey examining family and the effects of it upon the individuals. The unusual nature of the sibling relationships were revealed slowly and it felt as though the reader was learning with the protagonist.

It's difficult to say much without spoiling it but I am now stuck as to what to read next. I don't know how to follow it.

Cherrypi Mon 07-Jul-14 18:53:31

Thank you for the free copy of this book. I was intrigued at the beginning and certainly didn't see the twist coming. After that I lost interest to be honest . It wasn't a topic that provoked me to read on.

RunningKatie Mon 07-Jul-14 20:16:38

I've read one of Karen's books before and really enjoyed it.

I'm half way through this book and am not finding it a page turner to be honest. I just cannot empathise with the main character and her family. I took it on holiday and it wasn't a gripping page turner. I will persist and see if it improves!

Fram Mon 07-Jul-14 20:49:31

Ooh- I hadn't seen this giveaway... but I loved one of her other books I read. Think I might treat myself to the kindle version. smile

redandyellowbits Tue 08-Jul-14 20:34:21

I was intrigued at the beginning and certainly didn't see the twist coming. After that I lost interest to be honest . It wasn't a topic that provoked me to read on. cherrypi I was the same as you.

It did warm up again a little towards the end and I'm glad I finished it. Just a little different to what I expected it would be.

First of all, thank you so much to Mumsnet for kindly sending me a free copy of this book. Feels like such a treat to have a brand new book to read.

I think it's a very difficult book to discuss, without giving away any spoilers. I had watched a documentary, just a couple of months back, about a similar set-up to the one described in the book & feel it must have heavily influenced the story. The subject of the documentary even gets a brief mention in the story. I appreciated the section at the back of the book explaining how the story was inspired.

Will try & drop back when everyone else has completed the book, so it can be discussed fully.

pamish Mon 14-Jul-14 00:40:44

The best of my Mumsnet freebies so far, by far.
Many years ago I studied psychology and the book's themes were then just interesting experiments - the moral conundrums were brushed aside. This very cleverly picks apart the effect of such ideas on all the protagonists, which I'd not really thought of before though I had been uneasy about the effect on the main subject.
I was a bit annoyed by Harlow, she was the least believable of them all, though a necessary plot device.
.

Thanks for my copy I found it an interesting read. It made me think. I thought it was an interesting subject and well handled, I liked the structure of the narrative with jumping around in time and unreliable memories being a theme. It took me a while to get into but that is probably because I read a lot less these days than I used to, not so much time. At times I found I had put it down because it was slightly disturbing (deliberate? or maybe just me), but I'm glad I persevered to the end.

Anyway, interesting and thought provoking, thanks again.

Costacoffeeplease Mon 14-Jul-14 15:25:47

I've just given up on this about half way through - it just hasn't held my attention and I really don't see what all the fuss is about - all in all a bit disappointed really

weathermum Mon 14-Jul-14 17:50:30

thankyou so much for the book.. sorry I am late with a message I intend to start this tonight as I have not been able to before..I will come back again with how I get on.

Hobbes8 Tue 15-Jul-14 09:45:28

My first mumsnet freebie - thanks!

I really enjoyed the book. Unfortunately I had read a review which gave away the 'twist', but given it is revealed early on in the story it didn't spoil things for me.

The family set-up is obviously quite unusual. However, Rosemary's feelings as she grows up and explores her feelings about her childhood - secrecy within the family, growing distance from her parents, alienation from her peers - were well written and easy to relate to.

ladymalham Tue 15-Jul-14 13:27:44

Great to win a copy of this book - thank you! Very close to finishing and really loving it. Did take a while to get into but now am enjoying the characters and story. An interesting twist!

ricecakeaddict Wed 16-Jul-14 16:52:10

I didn't get a book through the giveaway but the positive feedback here encouraged me to read it...and I'm really pleased I did.

I think the unique focus, and interesting issues it raised, will stay with me for a long time....

The only thing I didn't like is the fact I knew which page the twist happened on in advance so didn't really concentrate and get absorbed into the book until I reached that page! Until then I thought it was going to be a normal dysfunctional family book but it got much better after that!

khuliloach Thu 17-Jul-14 16:39:32

Firstly, thank you very much for the book. I have just finished it today. I really enjoyed it though not sure I understood it all! I've never been to uni/college or America and some of the words and phrases I just didn't get, maybe it's just me.

Also my fav character was Fern but felt there wasn't enough about her. I loved the first quarter of the book, didn't like the middle so much and liked the end a bit more than the middle. I would recommend it as a read but wasn't one of my favourite books I have to say.

Interesting story though and very cleverly written.

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