In Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are Completely Beside Ourselves, the narrator begins in media res.
Rosemary is a well-educated, unreliable narrator. She tells readers she is in mourning because her sister disappeared seventeen years ago and her brother disappeared ten years ago.
In no way is We Are Completely Beside Ourselves a typical missing person story. There’s a lot more at play. Rosemary’s brother is a domestic terrorist and Rosemary’s sister is a chimpanzee for starters. Her father is a psychologist who is keen on treating his children like the psychological subjects he is studying.
Tragic and compelling, this novel explores many tantalizing subjects such as the fallibility of memory, the notion of humanity, and the debilitating effect of family secrets.
For another book about a family’s misadventures in animal experimentation, try We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge.