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Six-year-old Helen and Ellie are identical twins, but Helen is smarter, more popular, and their mother's favorite. Ellie, on the other hand, requires special instruction at school, is friendless, and is punished at every turn. Until they decide to swap places - just for fun, and just for one day - and Ellie refuses to switch back. Everything of Helen's, from her toys to her friends to her identity, now belongs to her sister.
With those around her oblivious to her plight, the girl who used to be Helen loses her sense of self and withdraws into a spiral of behavioral problems, delinquency, and mental illness. In time, she's not even sure of her memory of the switch. Twenty-five years later, she receives a call that threatens to pull her back into her sister's dangerous orbit. Will she take this chance to face her past?
This story is hard for me to rate. On the one hand, I LOVED the author's brilliant writing and psychological insight. On the other hand, it was a painful listen. For 12+ hours, I listened to the main character endure one psychological blow after another. I almost gave up on this one, because my empathy for the character made it a torturous listen! If I were rating the writing, I'd give it 5 stars for sure. In the end, I deducted one star because...frankly...I'm relieved to be finished with this one!
89 sur 92 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
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This book takes an in-depth look at twins in an identity crisis. I've known identical twins who swapped places to take exams in high school because each was better at one subject or other, but never considered what would happen if one refused to switch back. This is quite a gripping story, and avoids the twin cliches present in other suspense stories I've read. A true psychological thriller, full of madness and sadness and love.
45 sur 48 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
This is a sad story and pretty dark and upsetting at times, but is well written and worth a listen, but only if ur not easily upset.
56 sur 60 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
no twists or turns, just a story about a troubled twin and her family. A little hard to follow at first, a little confusing. I would categorize this as a dark drama. Interesting story but not what I thought and I'm rather confused about all the other reviews.
16 sur 17 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
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I chose to listen to Beside Myself and loved the narrator Lisa Coleman. She did a fantastic job with character voices and it was not an easy task. I was able to identify who was speaking from young Ellie (Helen) to adult Ellie (Helen) and the many different personalities. She even captured Ellie and Helen’s cruel mother in all her venomous glory.
I will warn you, none of the characters are likeable or even reliable. Ellie and Helen have an awful mother and I had evil thoughts about her. Morgan puts forth a scenario that is freaking scary and shares the consequences. The stories told through Ellie’s perspective who is the “real Helen.” Morgan uses “you” rather than “I” when Ellie (Helen) relays the story and I found it clever. Her childhood is dark, and there are quite a few triggers for those who are sensitive. View Spoiler » She grows up in the shadow of Helen the “real Ellie” and is cast into the role of underachiever, troublemaker and second best. It is all rather unnerving. Of course, the louder she protests the more she looks and acts like the real Ellie.
As adult Ellie, (the real Helen) refers to herself in third person as Smudge and is quite delusional. She is estranged from her family and refuses any contact with her sister. When her sister falls into a coma, things come to a head. She discovers her sister was on her way to see her when the accident occurred. Forced back into their circle she wonders if she may finally be able to prove who she really is. Things get complicated and twisted as truths are revealed. It was quite crazy and I found myself completely wrapped up in the unraveling of it.
Beside Myself touched on psychological disorder, dysfunctional family, the effects of trauma and more. While I found the story to be compelling there were occasions when I rolled my eyes at this collection of family members and the situations the author placed them in. Not everything that happened seemed plausible or perhaps too much happened. Either way I enjoyed listening.
41 sur 45 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
Really enjoyed the narration, but seriously thought the story would go someplace interesting, with a big twist at the end, though this never happened. Instead, the story just seemed to wrap up on a rather predictable note. Will probably return it, and use my credit on a much better book.
17 sur 19 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
This is one of those stories that you don't want to stop listening to. Filled with short comings and flaws, the characters are very human. Everyone has a relative who is like Helen and Ellie's mother. I also feel that the description of mental illness was amazing. Good listen!
33 sur 38 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
I rate books but I don't often comment. I just can't move on to the next book until I state how perfect this book is. I work with traumatized children and this book rings true in so many ways. Amazing.
45 sur 53 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
I chose Beside Myself in spite of what I thought was a schmaltzy title, because of my interest in twin-ship. I was surprised to we swept up in an engrossing story, played out on the roller coaster ride of bi-polar disorder. This is not a mystery novel with a twist. It is the heartbreaking portrayal of a woman's struggle to live with mental illness.
49 sur 58 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
I could have gone without this one. Takes the reader on a journey with a nonsense ending.
6 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.