Have you ever thought about starting up your own show on YouTube? Or have you been suddenly inspired to become an artist? These are two of the ways that the members of the Copeland family have attempted to navigate out of the crisis in which their family has found themselves in We Only Know So Much by Elizabeth Crane. It’s a funny, easy read that flies by and definitely keeps you entertained. We Only Know So Much is a funny, slightly off-kilter book about a family’s drama that may make your own family seem tame in comparison.
If you removed the humor from We Only Know So Much, I doubt there would be many pages left. It’s well-written with a nearly omniscient narrator who has a healthy dose of sarcasm and wit to share. As the characters interact, we can’t help but laugh, though it’s not clear if they know how funny they’re being. It’s one of those quick glimpses that if they were to look back at it later, they may see the humor. Then again, it’s the Copeland family, and they have their own brand of strange going on, so maybe not.
So we have this omniscient, or nearly so, narrator who is telling us all about this family and the crisis that they are going through. Well, change that to crises since they helped themselves a little more off the straight and narrow through their actions. At any rate, it’s not your typical novel with one character, or even multiple characters themselves telling us about what’s going on. Instead, it’s narrated by a third-party with a wicked sense of humor that makes us laugh at the unfortunate circumstances this wacky family has found themselves in – if that’s not off kilter, I don’t know what would be!
We all have dysfunction in our families, that’s just the way a family unit operates. Even the nicest people have relatives that just can’t be normal. But the Copeland’s seem to have a knack of taking that one extra step. First of all, there are several generations living in the same house – Vivian, mother to Theodore, the father of Gordon, Gordon’s wife Jean, and their two children Priscilla and Otis. Luckily, it’s a large house. Each of these characters has their own version of crazy going on, but it’s safe to say that it’s not likely there are more families with this much dysfunction happening in such close proximity.
My favorite reads in the summer are ones that read quickly and easily, don’t need too much outside thinking or knowledge, and that keep me laughing. We Only Know So Much definitely fits those guidelines, and I think you’ll find out why within the first chapter or two. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be thankful they’re not your family! You may even find a whole new appreciation for your relatives when you realize how much worse they could be. We Only Know So Much by Elizabeth Crane tells the story of an offbeat family in a unique way that is filled with humor – and perfect for summer reading.
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Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher to facilitate my review. My opinions are honest and my own.