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We Are Not Ourselves (2014)

by Matthew Thomas(Favorite Author)
3.81 of 5 Votes: 4
147675666X (ISBN13: 9781476756660)
Simon & Schuster
review 1: I'm not sure whether to rate this 3 or 4 stars. By the end, I'd give it 4 but for much of the book, just 3. Very well-written and interesting, but it often felt like a chore to read it--maybe because that's how the characters seemed to view their lives a lot of the time. But I did enjoy it and think it's a worthwhile story to tell--a family dealing with disease (don't want to give too much away, tho' it became obvious to me what was going before it did to the characters, probably on purpose). Characters are very distinct with strong voices, but at times I felt I was missing something about them. Like we get told late in the story about how beautiful the mother, Eileen, is and I hadn't pictured her that way at all. The book covers a great deal of time and the sense of place... more and time are very clear and specific. The characters are not particularly likable but I did come to care about, or at least understand, them by the end. I'll give it 4 with the caveat that it's not really for everyone and can be a bit of a slog sometimes.
review 2: Awful. Over-written, not a single likable character -- especially not the chronically disagreeable, selfish protagonist and her socially awkward and selfish son. (Does every teenager in American literature HAVE to be a socially awkward, self-pitying loser?) Even the Alzheimer's victim, while sympathetic, was not particularly likable. I wanted to quit reading several times but soldiered on because a friend said it was her "favorite novel ever." Ugh. After reading 90% of this endless novel, I finally accepted that it was NEVER going to get better and bailed. less
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Could barely get through the end because it was so sad, but really worth it. Such a great read!
What was said in 620 pages could have easily been condensed to 200 pages.
Beautifully written story, with very interesting character development.
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