Destined to be a classic, this "powerfully moving" (Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding) multigenerational debut novel of an Irish-American family is nothing short of a "masterwork". (Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End).
Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.
When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream.
Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son, Connell, try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.
Through the Learys, novelist Matthew Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art; one that reminds us that life is more than a tally of victories and defeats, that we live to love and be loved, and that we should tell one another so before the moment slips away.
Epic in scope, heroic in character, masterful in prose, We Are Not Ourselves heralds the arrival of a major new talent in contemporary fiction.
©2014 Matthew Thomas (P)2014 Simon & Schuster
The wonderful writing.
The author's writing, The language the writer used to weave the story was unbelievably beautiful and touching. Even the most mundane activity was described in a fascinating way.
No, but her melodic performance brought out the writing in a beautiful way.
Our story will help you find who we should be, just as it did for us.
I can't wait to read another book by Matthew Thomas.
empathy, sadness, reality
Eileen, because she was the energy of the three generations. She was the glue that connected her father to herself and to her son to become a teacher whhile managing a 51 year with Alzheimer's disease.
Ed's letter written to his son when he first learned about the disease not to be given to him until after his death.
The book was very good, but for me would have been just as effective without the sexual references. We all know about those and don't need the distraction. It is the only thing that might keep this book from being a Pulitzer.
Absolutely. This book is disturbing, riveting, insightful, and will leave you pondering in the aftermath. It's unique - beautiful literature, character development, everything you'd expect in a good old fashioned classic novel, yet written by a young man.
Probably the best of 2014.
Mary Coin, Someone, Maine
Yes, but too many narrators have adopted the habit of placing the emphasis on the end of each sentence instead of reading it the way it was intended. It sometimes alters the meaning. She has a lovely voice but this book merits perfection. It's not enough to be facile with accents.
Eileen Leary, yet all the characters.
This may become a classic.
This was well reviewed but I don't get what the critics liked about it. Narrow-minded people with narrow-minded lives simplistically described. Literary language? Hardly.
An Unnecessary Woman
I think this was my first Mare Winningham and I liked everything about her performance. She made the best of a tiresome book.
There isn't anything I would change.
Yes, it is a story told well. However it is just not my taste.
She was amazing. I enjoyed listening to her
Very slow read. It just kept going on and it was written very well, but boring
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