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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Beside Myself’ by Ann Morgan


Out into the garden, sunlight blaring. Ellie lumbering after. Run along you two and don’t get into mischief. The leaves of the apple tree blotching us with shadows.

Away from the dark house with the curtains pulled shut. The cushions huddling. The mumbles and sighs that boil up into yells and sobs at the sight of water rings from the bottom of a glass. A manner missed. Not me – it’s always Ellie. Never my fault. I’m the good one because I was born first.

Chapter 1

Ribbons of sound. The bright streamer of a child’s giggle, an icecream van’s flourish swirling like a sparkler in the gloom, the chatter of a long-finished game. Birdsong spiralling, then stiffening and falling to the earth, congealing into something hard and metallic, measured out in mechanical portions, a harsh trilling. Again. A pause. Again.

Check out the full premise and author biography here ..


A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City ReaderWould the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • Both the prologue and the first chapter sound captivating and just a wee bit sinister. Interesting descriptions in that first chapter. Yep, I think I would want to read more. 🙂

    • Hi Kelly,

      It looks as though this is going to be a story with some quite vivid and descriptive writing, which personally I always enjoy, but which I know some readers find quite off-putting and unnecessary.

      The lines from the prologue are particularly disturbing, as it sounds remarkably like Ellie might be getting set up for all the misdemeanours in this household, where everything seems as though it has to be kept perfectly tidy and pristine …. I can remember those days!!

      Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • Hi Anne,

      I had exactly the same thoughts about the poetic quality of the writing, particularly the second excerpt from Chapter 1.

      It is the kind of lyrical writing which would have me on edge though, it’s as if something terrible is about to happen – the calm before the storm maybe?

    • Hi Cleo,

      I must admit that I have had this one in my TBR pile for some time and I should imagine that Ann is wondering if I am ever going to get around to reading it! On the whole though, the reviews and ratings posted to date have all been very positive, so perhaps my omission will be overlooked 🙂

      I shall look forward to your review if you get there first!

      Have a good weekend 🙂

  • Although I enjoyed the opening, I’m not sure I could read a whole book written in this manner. But maybe it’s something a reader would get used to. The author’s voice is definitely intriguing, and I’m already curious about this character.
    My Friday post features FEVER SEASON.

    • Hi Sandra,

      Whilst ratings and reviews of the book have generally been very high, the common comment being shared amongst those who have expressed their doubts about the story, have included several to do with the overly descriptive writing, which rather bogged them down and which they believed to be somewhat superfluous.

      Personally, I rather enjoy descriptive writing, which may be because I have always had the tendency to over-elaborate and use ten words when perhaps one would do! At school, the English teachers’ rule used to spend more time across my knuckles for writing too much, than being used as a pointer for the English language rules he used to take so much delight in putting up on the blackboard !

      Thanks for visiting this week and ‘Happy Reading’

  • What can I say that Kelly hasn’t already said. Loving the cover, the summary and that little taste from chapter one. Wonderfully descriptive, it has the hairs on the back of my neck standing on edge.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I have had a really good run of psychological thrillers this year, including the one I currently have on the go, ‘Flowers For The Dead’.

      Each author has had their own unique writing style and have developed storylines with the power to have the hairs on the back of my neck standing on edge, as you so succinctly put it.

      Interestingly, many of the authors have been British – so does this mean we are a nation of readers who enjoy having the bejesus scared out of us? 🙂

      Hope you are having a good weekend and thanks for joining in the discussion this week.

    • Hi Vicki,

      I too, love the cover art of this book. It sets the teeth on edge before you even read the synopsis!

      When ordering a book via NetGalley now, they always offer you a choice of 4 options, as to why you decided to request the book and cover art is one of those choices. ‘Beside Myself’ definitely gets a big tick in the cover art box!

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you have a good weekend 🙂

    • Hi Nikki,

      ‘Beside Myself’ is Ann’s debut novel, however I think you might be interested in her unique claim to fame, which I have to admit does sound amazing!

      In 2012, to coincide with London hosting The Olympics, Ann decided to read her way around the world, well at least all 196 independent countries, plus one extra territory, as chosen by her blog visitors.


      She then tried to make sense of the often difficult challenge of reading a book from every nation (Quite often things are lost in the translation), by publishing ‘Reading The World’, a book of her own …


      ‘Beside Myself’ took Ann in the completely different direction of the psychological thriller, however I think I might well read ‘Reading The World’ as well, despite my usual aversion to reading non-fiction.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

    • Hi Maria,

      If you enjoy the occasional psychological thriller, then this definitely sounds like a book you would like.

      Thanks for visiting this week and enjoy your weekend 🙂

    • Hi Lauren,

      If you think those opening lines are creepy, you should check out the premise for the book … Now that’s spooky!

      This is going to be a psychological thriller in the literal sense, mind games are all important here!

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comment 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      I guess it is so easy to perceive twins as a single entity and assume that they think, act and behave in a similar way. This book is certainly out to scotch that myth, right from the start. These prologue lines leave the reader in no uncertain doubt about the relationship between the twin sisters. To be fair, I don’t know yet whether Ellie is really the instigator of all the misdemeanours and trouble, or not. My gut reaction is that Ellie is probably on the receiving end of whatever her ‘older’ sister dishes out, but is set-up to get all the blame!

      All this discussion and that arising out of just the first few lines. I can see a pretty thought provoking and possibly uncomfortable read in the offing!

      Thanks for stopping by and selecting your favourite line 🙂

Written by Yvonne