WE ARE COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES
Chick lit mashed up with psychology and Kafka makes this novel difficult to pigeonhole but interesting to read. It’s all about the internal journey and introspection but still does a good job of creating fully rounded characters. Leaping between past and present makes the tale feel disjointed, less immediate and less emotional, but for innovation in concept and spot-on narration, Fowler nails it.
The Cooke family might describe itself as a mother, father, son and two daughters. But the outside world would see it differently — one of the daughters is a chimp. This one fact frames everything in Rosemary’s life. All grown up, she tries to understand her own place in the human world, exploring what are true memories and what are tricks of her mind, especially the time when her chimp-sister was exiled from the family — or appeared to be exiled. She also tries to re-assemble her family from her sought-by-the-FBI brother to her chimp sister. In the end, Rosemary finds peace by accepting her past and reconciling with her sister. (PUTNAM, Jun., 320 pp., $26.95)