Beside Myself

Publisher details

Author
Ann Morgan
Publisher
Bloomsbury
Genre
Fiction
Released
02 January, 2016
ISBN
9781408870297

Beside Myself

Buy now

Retail partners

Synopsis

 Beside Myself grabs you from the first page, and holds you in its vice-like grip, until the last. The story of identical twins Helen and Ellie is desperately sad and scary but thoroughly entertaining and at times darkly humorous.Helen and Ellie are twins living in the suburbs of London. Helen is the confident, domineering twin; younger twin Ellie is timid and a little slow. Helen treats Ellie with disdain and cruelty, until one day Helen invents a game and they swap places. Only problem is, at the end of the day, Ellie won’t swap back. No one, not her mother, friends, teachers, will believe Helen when she wants the game to end. In what should be an implausible outcome – but in Morgan’s capable hands is entirely believable – Ellie becomes Helen.At this time in their lives, Helen and Ellie’s mother barely gets out of bed, after their father’s ‘Unfortunate Decision’ – the family’s euphemism for his suicide years earlier. That is, until the arrival of scoutmaster Horace, their mother’s lover. While their mother views him as the saviour of the family, the former Helen hates him and only wants her identity back.  Her mother insists that everyone conform to their new ‘happy life’ so she won’t stand for the elder twin’s nonsense when she wants to return to her old self. From this point, Helen’s life starts to spin out of control with casual sex, drugs and mental illness.In alternate chapters we meet the grown-up former Helen – now known only as Smudge – a broken woman living on welfare. Her life has unraveled since the game but when her now successful and famous twin is hurt in a car accident all memories of the past are dredged up and Smudge finally faces what happened that day and all that has happened in between. Beside Myself is a compellingly dark novel that examines issues around inherited mental illness and sense of identity. It makes us wonder how much of ourselves is influenced by other people’s perception of us and how much is real. It’s thought-provoking in its depiction of how childhood trauma can affect our lives and Morgan’s depiction of Helen/Smudge’s bipolar episodes – her manic behaviour, voices in her head and her highs and lows – are vivid and fully of sympathy.Ann Morgan is a journalist and writer whose extensive work has appeared in the Guardian, theFinancial Times, and the Independent. Her first book, published to acclaim in 2015, was a year-long journey through a book from every country, Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer. She now blogs at ayearofreadingtheworld.com. When she’s not reading, writing or blogging, she can be found singing in professional choirs.
Ann Morgan
About the author

Ann Morgan

Ann Morgan is a freelance writer and editor. Her first book Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer, inspired by her year-long journey through a book from every country, was published in the UK by Harvill Secker on February 5, 2015. Her next book is a novel, a psychological literary drama called Beside Myself. It will be published worldwide in January 2016.When not writing, Ann can often be found performing with some of London’s top professional choirs. 

Books by Ann Morgan

Related articles

Breaking News: Announcing the 2024 Better Reading Top 100

News | Awards

2 May 2024

Breaking News: Announcing the 2024 Better Reading Top 100

    Where is the Green Sheep? Activity Pack

    News | Book Life

    16 May 2024

    Where is the Green Sheep? Activity Pack

    Bluey Mother's Day Colouring-In Activity for the Whole Family!

    News | Book Life

    16 May 2024

    Bluey Mother's Day Colouring-In Activity for the Whole Family!

    Podcast: Garry Disher on His Unique Approach to Crime Fiction

    Podcast

    13 May 2024

    Podcast: Garry Disher on His Unique Approach to Crime Fiction

      2024 ABIA Winners Announced!

      News | Awards

      10 May 2024

      2024 ABIA Winners Announced!

        Activity: Into the Blue by Cristy Burne

        News | Book Life

        9 May 2024

        Activity: Into the Blue by Cristy Burne

        Q&A: Lisa Ireland, Author of The Studio Girls

        News | Author Related

        9 May 2024

        Q&A: Lisa Ireland, Author of The Studio Girls

          Teacher's Notes: Cora Seen and Heard by Zanni Louise

          News | Author Related | Book Life

          8 May 2024

          Teacher's Notes: Cora Seen and Heard by Zanni Louise

          7 Great Self-Care Audiobooks for Mother's Day

          News | Book Life

          7 May 2024

          7 Great Self-Care Audiobooks for Mother's Day

            2024 Better Reading Top 100: Aussie Authors Continue to Dominate Our List!

            News | Awards

            7 May 2024

            2024 Better Reading Top 100: Aussie Authors Continue to Dominate Our List!

              Podcast: Geoffrey Robertson on The Trial of Vladimir Putin

              Podcast

              6 May 2024

              Podcast: Geoffrey Robertson on The Trial of Vladimir Putin

                COMMENTS

                Leave a Reply

                Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *