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 drama about family and identity - what makes us who we are and how very fragile it can be.
As gripping as Room, as powerful as Elizabeth is Missing, Beside Myself is the story of twin sisters, a childhood game with devastating consequences and the slippery nature of identity.
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 Ann Morgan's Beside Myself is 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 Sophie and Sibyl This is 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. It's also a poignant reminder of the sense of powerlessness we feel as children, and how firmly and definitively our lives are shaped by others whilst we're still young. I raced through it, but it lingered in my mind after I'd finished it. This is such a powerful and satisfying novel -- Rebecca Wait, Author of The View on the Way Down and The Followers 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, author of All the Beggars Riding
Ann Morgan is a freelance writer and editor based in London. Ann's writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Independent, the Financial Times, the Australian and the New Internationalist, and she was a finalist in the Guardian's International Development Journalism Competition 2010. She has also sub-edited for publications including Tatler and Vanity Fair. Following the success of her project to read a book from every country in 2012, Ann continues to blog about international literature at ayearofreadingtheworld.com. Her first book, Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer, was published to great critical acclaim in 2015. Beside Myself is her first novel.