We Are Not Ourselves

We Are Not Ourselves

Audiobook CD - 2014 | Unabridged ed
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"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. Eileen can't help but dream of a calmer life, in a better neighborhood. 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 powerfully 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 each other so before the moment slips away. Epic in scope, heroic in character, masterful in prose, We Are Not Ourselves is a testament to our greatest desires and our greatest frailties."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Audio, p2014
Edition: Unabridged ed
ISBN: 9781442369986
Branch Call Number: CDA FIC THO
Characteristics: 18 sound discs (ca. 21 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Winningham, Mare


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Dec 09, 2017

Spoiler — don’t read this if you haven’t read the book.
I listened to We Are Not Ourselves in the car, and it provided a fairly entertaining story, useful for enduring a long trip and/or heavy traffic, but not much else. I didn’t like the characters, which probably contributed to my ambivalent opinion of the book. Eileen was pushy and self-absorbed, ever plotting and planning for her husband to advance in his career so she could be in an elevated social circle. Ed, her professor husband, was rather mousy; principled, but self-servingly so. The initial onset of his early dementia annoyed and inconvenienced Eileen. Then, as it progressed extremely rapidly, she re-doubled her efforts to have a “perfect” Christmas party. Alas her efforts were thwarted when their son unexpectantly picked Ed up at his nursing home (by this time he drooled and did not much else) and brought him to the party. Surprise! It did not go over well. Ultimately We Are Not Ourselves offered no wisdom or insight to carry with me when it was over. I gave it three stars instead of two in acknowledgement of the fact that I have never had to contend with a loved one having dementia and so I don’t really know what it’s like to face life changing that way.

Oct 10, 2015

Please don't offer reviews that spoil it for others! The reader is very good, albeit, with somewhat of a monotone. This is one super long read/listen, some 100+ chapters that at times I thought would never end.

It is enlightening on many levels, culture, religion, parenting, prejudice, perceptions, illness. By the time I reached this woman's life at marriage I had some compassion for her, then I grew to loath her.

An interesting read, certainly not uplifting for me. My SPOILER!!! This is a perfect example to demonstrate: what not to say to your children & how to encourage your children; how to recognize signs of memory loss; the best reasons for talking openly with your family about illness & death. Make a will with clear instructions, as death comes for all.

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