We Are Not Ourselves

We Are Not Ourselves

A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2014
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Eileen Tumulty grows up in the mostly Irish neighborhood of Woodside, Queens, in a four-story building by the elevated 7 train. It's the postwar boom: her father drives a Schaefer truck and her mother works behind the counter at Loft's, a fancy confectioner's on 42nd Street. They both drink heavily. From an early age, Eileen must navigate the turmoil of her parents' home--and she wishes that she lived somewhere else. Eileen comes to believe that some places contain more happiness than ordinary places. She sets her sights on Bronxville, New York and an American Dream is born. Driven by this longing, she places her stock and her love in Ed Leary, a handsome young scientist, and with him begins a family. Over the years Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house. It slowly becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper, more incomprehensive psychological shift, and when Ed is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, the foundation on which Eileen has built her life begins to crumble. Eileen, Ed, and their son Connell struggle to accept that the lives they have imagined may be different from the hands they have been dealt.
Publisher: [New York] :, Simon & Schuster Audio,, 2014
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781442378940
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file (20 hr., 51 min., 06 sec.)) : digital
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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