One of the positives about e-books is that the reader isn't spoiled by
inside flap/back cover novel summaries/spoilers. I read Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Complete Beside Ourselves based
on general positive reviews and a catchy title (am always a sucker for
those!). Other than knowing it was a story of a family and that a
chimpanzee was involved, I knew little else, (and after the fact, certainly not any of the
details that the Goodreads or any other book site blurb gives out).
While I am not sure anything would have necessarily been spoiled, it was still nice to not know the story. It is a rather odd and quirky one which I also tend to be a fan of, but for ultimately the novel did not do much for me. While the novel nicely explores themes of what makes (and un-makes) a family and of the intangible and moving target that are memories, particularly childhood memories, similarly I just couldn't quite find my grasp with the characters -- well, with one exception, Fern the chimpanzee. The easiest way to my heart is a story of an animal and Fern's story was heartwarming, but more heartbreaking, that that alone had me debating adding one more star on my rating.
Overall, I felt this had a lot of potential. I like the premise, just not some of the subplots (most branching from the protagonist's college era) and an ending that was perhaps too tidy and closure-seeking, tho still appropriately bittersweet. I find giving out 3 stars to be a near diss, but again try to remind myself in Gooreads-land that it means "liked it" -- and that's true, just wanted to "really like it" and it didn't quite get there.