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Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

Ann Morgan's Beside Myself starts with an intriguing 'what-if' premise. Helen and Ellie are twin sisters, still little girls. Helen is confident, capable and popular, while Ellie - born second, with the cord wrapped around her neck - is shy, withdrawn and struggles at school. One day, as a game, they decide to swap places ... but then Ellie refuses to swap back. Robbed of not only her identity but also of everyone else's positive perceptions of her, Helen flounders without her friends, her mother's approval and her perfect school record - while Ellie, in her new role as Helen, flourishes. The psychological impact on Helen, assumed by everyone else to be Ellie, is profound, and the rest of the book deals with the terrible fallout. When we meet Helen again as a dysfunctional, chaotic adult her true identity is so completely erased that she's taken to calling herself Smudge, as if that's all that's left of her.

Beside Myself is a book about a fundamentally …

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