That’s What She Read: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves


Photo Courtesy of Marian Wood Books


This is going to be a super short review, as I don’t wish to reveal the twist at the heart of this very odd, beautifully written novel. What I can tell you is this: run to your local library or bookseller, get this book, allot yourself enough time (because you won’t want to put it down) and read it. Then you will have to read it again, as the family mystery, once revealed, calls in to question everything you’d read so far.

I picked this up at Skillman because the cover blurb referenced a college student, and I’ve been reading college-themed books of late. I wish I’d looked closer at the cover art (hint, hint) but even if I’d had, I don’t think I could have guessed who the character, Fern really was.

The bare bones of the story: Rosemary Cooke has a brother and a sister, a father and a mother. Something terrible happens to the family, causing the Rosemary to suppress her childhood memories and stop speaking. Her older brother is on the run from the FBI, wanted for acts of terrorism. Her parents are diminished and estranged from the trauma. And where is Fern, Rosemary’s alleged twin sister? What happened to her?

This is one of the oddest, most compelling and utterly irresistible novels I’ve read in a long time; a heartbreakingly beautiful tale of a family and the love that both entwines and divides them. Do not miss this one!