This review was written for American Book Center’s You Review. The advanced reading copy of We Are Not Ourselves written by Matthew Thomas was gracefully provided by ABC.

Matthew Thomas (debut novelist) gives the coming-of-age novel a completely different perspective and I might even go as far as calling We Are Not Ourselves THE coming-of-age novel. The book is an epic journey through the life of a woman trying to succeed in life, chronicling her years lived between 1951 and 2011. Yes, this does mean it’s a rather long book, but definitely a book worth reading if you’re up for it.

From being a daughter, Eileen Tumulty turns in to a wife and a mother. As a daughter of Irish immigrants, Eileen is trying to create her own American Dream. She decides to marry a mad scientist (who is nothing like her father) and plans to have a better life than her parents did, for herself as well as her child. When her son finds his way into adulthood, something life-changing happens that turns Eileen’s life – and the plans she made – upside down.

This book really has it all, everything that life has to offer or – actually – doesn’t have to offer. Personally I found the book book a bit too long, but in a strange way I couldn’t put it down either. You really start to know and love the characters in the book and after a while it gets hard to leave them. The book is really precise and gives you a realistic look into the life of a woman dreaming her American Dream. It’s about real life and real problems that come along and mess up your dream life.

Written by Charlotte de Heer
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Charlotte de Heer is the oldest of the founding sisters. Even though she’s too busy for her own good, she’ll find the time to write about books she’s reading and places she’s going.

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