Rosemary's started college, and she's decided not to tell anyone about her family. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. There was something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. You'll have to find out for yourself what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other.
©2014 Karen Joy Fowler (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd
"A dark cautionary tale hanging out, incognito-style, in what at first seems a traditional family narrative. It is anything but." (Alice Sebold)
Yes, enjoyed the story, but the narrator was dry and un-emotional in such an emotional story.
There was no change in character, just switching between life stages - but entire performance was dry
Inspired more thinking about animal testing and the psychological similarities and differences between humans and (spoilers)
Great twist in the story - would prefer to read than listen to this one.
Absolutely not what you might expect, but refreshingly engaging without replying on cliffhangers or cliches
Wonderfully narrated, the voice brought the character to life and really sold the story
This is a book you should just pick up and read, don't research anything about it before you start.
If actually be interested to go back and re-listen to the first part of the book after I learnt more information about Rosemary's life.
I found it slightly humorous- I enjoyed the flat stories of her college days. There's still intrigue about some of her family at the end however I think it was ended well.
I did love this book., the telling was wonderful once I got a handle on the switch between past and present.
The subject matter was alluring and disturbing and I laughed and cried and felt slightly sick sometimes too.
This book surprised and delighted me.
I found this hard to get into at first as the narrators voice was monotonous and very little happened at the start BUT stick to it! After the first bit I was then hooked and it was really easily listening and highly enjoyable.
I absolutely loved this book! The only reason im taking a star off is because I did feel like I was missing a main story as I read it. But it felt real. and I was able to imagine myself in rosemary's shoes.
"Heart achingly subversive"
Nothing could have surprised me more than the experience of listening to this story. Highly suspicious of being bludgeoned into supporting any cause unwittingly, it was nonetheless extraordinarily fine to be pushed into uncomfortable places by the writer on numerous occasions.
Crafting together family dysfunction with wry humour and the inescapable tragedy it engenders in yet another way is a real accomplishment. Being human. What a gift, too often squandered.
The actor 's voice often threatened to make the tone far, far too sombre but on reflection, it seems appropriate.
This is an extraordinary book that deserved to win the Booker - it will stay with you long after its finished - told with humour and wit, and giving insight into how we might be, if we'd been raised only a little differently. A reflection on our place in the world.
"Not entirely convinced"
People who like to be outraged about how the human race treats anyone who is not human, but don't really do anything other than to be outraged and like Facebook pages of animal cruelty.
Naff, boring, disappointing.
Naff and boring. Once you find out about the alleged "twist" (which is not really a twist in my opinion) you stop caring about the story altogether. The main character is extremely dull and there's nothing to her. The story might be better if told from the brother's perspective. I just wanted to shout "get over it" to the main character throughout most of the book. Even though the subject of the story is interesting, the author (probably with the narrators help) managed to keep me completely uninterested, to the point that I can't even remember the main characters name, and I probably won't be able to remember the rest of the story by the end of the month.
"Most awful narrator ever!!!"
I didn't enjoy this book at all. I didn't find the story at all compelling and the narrator had the most awful intonation, a cracked and scratchy voice that sounded as though she was smiling the whole way through. Inflection at the end of EVERY sentence!!!! Drove me nuts.
"An amazing story with some powerful messages for humanity"
I loved this book so much. I was delighted to learn of its strong messages about compassion and empathy for the non-humans of this world who endure so much suffering at the hands of humans. We need more books like this to encourage the people to 'rise up already'.
"Fab story beautifully told"
Very thought provoking story I was sad to finish it as I enjoyed it so much I wanted to learn more! Highly recommend!
really enjoyed this book would definitrly revommend it. Perhaps initoally hard to get into but well worth hanging on. Good discussion at our book club about the like ability of characters, memory & early development in formative years effects later relationships. Split opionion aboit the ending amongst the group.
"A beautifully told , touching story."
I loved it. I could feel the pain of the story teller. My tears flowed and my heart was heavy.
"Utopia is not utopia for everyone."
I will not discuss the plot or the theme just the merits of this book.
it is as beautiful as it is sad; it is not as funny as it is real which can be funny at time. it is brutally honest, I would say painfully so; perhaps the most honest book about us the contemporary us, humanity us, western science, money driven society and yet it is a book about a family a nuclear family is all the senses you can get out of that word.
It explores language and communication and question their very essence. But mostly it is about regret and love and the power they have in our lives.
I loved the reader in this book, she was natural and created believable voice characters.
"Ignore idea of a 'twist' for more satisfying read"
I would; I think Fowler is a very talented writer, but this subject possibly obliges her to write in great slabs of 'reported' events, which tend to nullify some moving writing.
I think the ending goes some way to recovering the previous two-thirds of book. It justifies Fowler's approach, but it doesn't quite rescue it.
I wouldn't seek her out. The marriage of her somewhat stoner monotone with the psychologically distant and unreliable narrative made for quite a dreary listen. There were quite a lot of mispronunciations too, which may indicate the product was rushed a little.
It inspired me to look into how far companies were go in securing the safety and effectiveness of their products. A vexed and emotive area indeed.
This book has largely been promoted on its 'twist' on page 77; I strongly recommend you don't see this as a twist, but as a necessity in getting the reader to look at the subject in a particular way, i.e. by dropping their prejudices. That's not a twist, and the book doesn't benefit from looking at it as one.
"Brilliant story - terrible narrator"
A truly original story - informative, observant and heartbreaking.
However, the narrator is terrible. She has a horribly robotic voice with a 'smug' undertone. I would advise READING it. The only reason I persevered with the audio version is because I needed something for the dog walk!
That said, the book itself is wonderful and I would highly recommend it.
After an interesting start this story tailed off three quarters of the way through the book.
Madame Defarge - I didn't get that bit!
"Kept my attention"
This probably ranks lower than some of the other books I have listened to. It held my attention and I am glad I chose it, however I finished the book not really caring about anybody in it.
I wouldn't compare this to another book. It came with a certain amount of hype attached to it which influenced my choice. If you are interested in sibling rivalry then this is for you.
Probably not. I found her voice slightly depressing but then that could have been the subject matter.
Yes, partly to get it over with.
Well written and thought provoking. I pride myself on usually being able to guess what is coming but I was surprised by the twist.
"My favourite quotation :"
You learn as much from failure as from success, but no one admires you for it . How true is that!
"Listen to this now!"
Couldn't put this down. Loved it so much. Sorry to have reached the end. Will try some more of her books soon.
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