Renee Conoulty: Beside Myself by Ann Morgan


Saturday, 16 January 2016

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

Beside Myself is a literary thriller about identical twins, Ellie and Helen, who swap places aged six. At first it is just a game, but then Ellie refuses to swap back. Forced into her new identity, Helen develops a host of behavioural problems, delinquency and chronic instability. With their lives diverging sharply, one twin headed for stardom and the other locked in a spiral of addiction and mental illness, how will the deception ever be uncovered? Exploring questions of identity, selfhood, and how other people's expectations affect human behaviour, this novel is as gripping as it is psychologically complex.

Hey! Here's my review.

I found the concept intriguing, the idea of twins swapping places one day, as many twins do, but one manipulating the other into not swapping back. I loved the exploration into nature versus nurture. Identical twins with the same genetic makeup being treated differently; the "favourite" role swapped from one to the other, and how that affected their adult lives. The characters also dealt a lot with mental health issues. It made me wonder at times whether the mental health issues caused the poor behaviour, or if it was the other way around. 

The story was told from one character's perspective, but alternating between present day third person, and past second person. The character and her experiences were so unfamiliar to me, that I didn't relate well to the second person narrative. The jumping back and forth built tension and kept me in suspense, but I did feel a little confused at times. This is the perfect example of an unreliable narrator.

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  • Where: NetGalley
  • Format: ebook


  1. Oooh, I do like twin stories too! I mean, I guess it's cliche that they switch places all the time in these kind of books. XD But I do want to know why and this makes me super intrigued! Pity about the confusion though. Bleh, that always sucks. D:
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. Usually twin swapping is a cheeky game they play together against everyone else, this story was much darker than that.
      Thanks for visiting.