“Hi AnetaThanks very much for this thoughtful and generous review. I’m glad you liked the book.With best wishesAnn”
I bought this ebook on sale for 3 euro. ”Beside Myself” by Ann Morgan is one of those rare books that drag you in and you just have to keep reading. It was a gem, dark and intense. The style of the writing itself is worth noting, the use of phrases without verbs have added an artistic feel to it. The author introduced a narrator in the second and third person alongside, which worked well and served its purpose; the second person rather unique, rarely seen in other books.
The plot was intriguing, built up fast and kept you turning pages. The characters were complex. A lot of deep and insightful thought was put into their psychological aspect. Throughout the whole book we see what impact can certain events have on us. How they can brake and damage us, how then we pass it further to the others. It also shows that the way others perceive us, can have a strong impact on our lives. How people are social animals and can waste away when they are abandoned and left alone.
The book is about a couple of twins, young girls who one day come up with a plan, one that must have crossed minds of every identical twin on Earth, what if we swapped places for a while? They spend one afternoon practicing being the other and giggling on their way home. It comes easily for Helen, the extrovert and confident twin, so they focus more on Ellie, on trying to turn her from the shy self into the leader. Surprisingly, Ellie gets it and rises up for the challenge. Furthermore, she enjoys it and doesn’t want to go back to being herself again, often picked at and laughed at, so she persists and claims to be Helen.
The real Helen is the protagonist of the book. She is fed up and wants things to get back to normal, she wants to be herself again but nobody believes her. Time passes by. Her sister thrives, she is popular at school while things are tough for herself, just like they used to be for her sister. With her identity stolen her life slips out of her hands and takes one bad turn after another. She takes on a role of a Cinderella in the family, every one sees her as the weaker, less talented or even plain stupid version of her sister. Their Mother blames the cord getting wrapped around her neck during the birth and simply accepts the situation. The girl screams inside. As they reach their teenage years, she rebels. She hurts herself the most in the process, but she doesn’t know who she is anymore, having lost that long ago as a child. She decides she is a nobody and doesn’t want to feel anything, because it hurts too much. She becomes deeply depressed but her family turns a blind eye.
The twins despise each other and have no contact as grown ups, until one day they paths cross again. The new Hellie is a successful woman with a family, while Smudge, as the former Helen calls herself, is alone and still struggling. Will she be able to rebuild her life, to finally be her former self or maybe a new person altogether? Has life been really that good and easy for her sister, always pretending to be someone else?
Congratulations, 5 paint brushes, easels or binoculars, a must read.
Paint brushes, easels or binoculars rating:
– one of the best books I read
– good read
– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better
– don’t waste your time