What happens when a novel begins in the middle of the story? There is a certain awkwardness. You can anticipate that there will be a lot of skipping around, which requires concentration. Is it worth it? In the case of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, the answer is yes. As the author explains in this interview, starting at this point allowed her to introduce the two sisters when their similarities were most apparent. The brilliant structure of this novel is one of many reasons to savor it. It’s about “Everyfamily” and the challenges that come from facing the truth.
Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, (London: Serpent’s Tail, an imprint of Profile Books Ltd, 2014), p. 2.