Unfortunately, one of the hazards of buying second hand books is of course you don’t know how the previous owner has treated it. And so after picking up The Luminous Life of Lily Aphrodite, it fell apart on me. Like a deck of cards.
So I’ve had to make an emergency update to the books I’ll be reading. This week I have replaced Lily Aphrodite with We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler.
Meet the Cooke family. Our narrator is Rosemary Cooke. As a child, she never stopped talking; as a young woman, she has wrapped herself in silence: the silence of intentional forgetting, of protective cover. Something happened, something so awful she has buried it in the recesses of her mind.
Now her adored older brother is a fugitive, wanted by the FBI for domestic terrorism. And her once lively mother is a shell of her former self, her clever and imperious father now a distant, brooding man.
And Fern, Rosemary’s beloved sister, her accomplice in all their childhood mischief? Fern’s is a fate the family, in all their innocence, could never have imagined.