We Are Not Ourselves is a first novel by Matthew Thomas. I have such mixed feeling about it that I give it 3 stars. It deserves 5 stars for being well written, unrelenting and strong. For me personally, I would give it 1 or 2 stars for being slow moving and incredibly depressing. This book is the story of Eileen Leary who grew up in Queens NY to immigrant Irish parents. She is left yo raise herself due to alcoholic parents who are so depressed themselves that they have little time or attention left for Eileen. So she weaves dreams of living a better life. To her this means living in a better neighborhood, having an ambitious, upwardly mobile husband, and the perfect home.Of course, real life does not unfold kindly for Eileen. The book progresses painstakingly slowly through the rest of her life as she continues to strive for her dream at all costs, and her struggle to reconcile reality.The plot moves so slowly, it reminds me of literature from a long-ago era. At times it felt as though I was watching paint dry. But the characters were so clearly portrayed that I continued because I kept hoping they would find a way to bring hope, peace and happiness to their lives.It is a vividly conceive saga of the life of many people in the Boomer generation. It also made me so grateful that I was raised and chose to live with a heart for others and not just be consumed by my own existance.