By: Ann Morgan
Narrator: Lisa Coleman
Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 1/12/2016
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Helen and Ellie are identical twins – like two peas in a pod, everyone says.
The girls know this isn’t true, though: Helen is the leader and Ellie the follower.
Until they decide to swap places: just for fun, and just for one day.
But Ellie refuses to swap back...
And so begins a nightmare from which Helen cannot wake up. Her toys, her clothes, her friends, her glowing record at school, the favour of her mother and the future she had dreamed of are all gone to a sister who blossoms in the approval that used to belong to Helen. And as the years pass, she loses not only her memory of that day but also herself – until eventually only ‘Smudge’ is left.
Twenty-five years later, Smudge receives a call from out of the blue. It threatens to pull her back into her sister’s dangerous orbit, but if this is her only chance to face the past, how can she resist?
Beside Myself is a compulsive and darkly brilliant psychological thriller about family and identity – what makes us who we are and how very fragile it can be.
Review to follow.
‘Beside Myself is a dark and urban fairytale in which the stuff of nightmares is made literal when twin sisters decide to play an innocuous-seeming game. A most modern and metropolitan fairytale … Fabulous’ --Lucy Caldwell, winner of Dylan Thomas prize ‘A gripping, savage tale about a lost generation, shipwrecked in a brainless celebrity culture or choosing rebellion, drugs and rage. Full of twists and surprises, this thrilling novel will leave you both shaken and stirred’ --Patricia Duncker, author of Hallucinating Foucault and James Miranda Barry ‘An exquisitely written and chillingly suspenseful debut. This story unnerved me in all the right ways with its constant surprises and unexpected twists. Ann Morgan has made her mark with this powerful novel, and I look forward to whatever she writes next' -- David Bell, author of Somebody I Used to Know 'Crisp language to delight in, and I churned with the quirks and toughness of Helen’s dilemmas. This is a debut novel to root for' --Martn Goodman, author of Ectopia ‘For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train … Morgan’s stunning debut is a thrilling and thought-provoking psychological drama’ --Booklist starred review ‘The novel is a deep, troubling, painful exploration of identity, genetics, and mental illness, but along the journey, the main character (Helen/Ellie/Smudge) becomes truly fascinating … Ambitious and gritty; a modern take on the age-old question of fate versus free will’ --Kirkus
‘A dark tale of addiction and mental illness… This sinister thriller is set for big things next year’ --Selected by Stylist for one of the ‘must-read thrillers’ for 2016 ‘A compulsive, dark and strikingly well-written novel that grips from the first page until long after the last’ --Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall ‘A very clever and compelling novel about the ways in which we construct our own identity, and the ways in which it is constructed for us … This is such a powerful and satisfying novel’ --Rebecca Wait, author of The View on the Way Down and The Followers
About the Author
I'm a freelance writer and editor. My book Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer, inspired by my year-long journey through a book from every country, was published in the UK by Harvill Secker on February 5, 2015 and as The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe in the US by Liveright Norton in May 2015.
My next book is a novel, a psychological literary drama called Beside Myself. It will be published worldwide in English by Bloomsbury in January 2016, in simplified Chinese by United Creadion, in Thai by Amarin and in French by Presses de la Cité.
When I'm not writing, I can often be found performing with some of London’s top professional choirs. Singing has taken me to such far-flung destinations as the Red Sea, the Arctic Circle, India, and Texas, as well many places in between.
I graduated from Cambridge University with a first-class degree in English literature and went on to do a master's in creative writing at UEA. I also have training in sub-editing from the London College of Communication and a postgraduate diploma with distinction from the London School of Journalism. Read More