** We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas


We Are Not Ourselves is a depressing novel, as our heroine, Eileen, seems to jump from her alcoholic parents to a not-quite-right husband, who will turn out to be struck by early Alzheimer’s to boot (again?) But it is not the reason for my lack of enthusiasm. Rather, it’s the trivia of everyday life, minutely recounted down to the rate of the mortgage on each house purchase, that wore me down. I also felt that some of the plot points and musings of Eileen’s did not seem very credible from a woman’s perceptive. Still, Eileen’s dad is a strong and sympathetic character (albeit a cliche of an Irish immigrant, and soon dead, to boot) and it’s easy to get caught in the story. What will happen next? Not much, it seems, after 600 pages.

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