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The Other Me Hardcover – January 12, 2016
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“I raced through The Other Me in just a few short sittings. Part coming-of-age story, part consuming family history, and part gripping mystery, The Other Me deftly moves between WWII Germany and London, nearly half a century later, until the storylines collide. This enthralling read will keep you up long into the night.”
―Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood
“The Other Me is the kind of novel I adore, precisely because it crept up on me and I suddenly realized I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. I loved the complex relationship between the brothers and all the uncertainty surrounding them. The difficult decisions they were forced to make during the war were so intriguing. The love story is wonderful. And I was rooting for Klaudia and Eliza from the very beginning. It’s an incredibly thought-provoking book. All in all, I loved The Other Me. It’s a beautifully written, gripping novel.”
―Louise Walters, author of Mrs. Sinclair’s Suitcase
“There are some books which are so compelling, the plots so engaging and the writing so perfectly paced and accessible that simply captivate the reader, and this for me was one such book…Tragic, haunting and affecting, it’s a truly immersive emotional experience and a read that you’ll want to share and discuss.”
―We Love This Book (UK)
“This book blew me away. It was brilliant. Compelling, emotional, and heartbreaking.”
“Gripping and spectacular, The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson is storytelling at its best.”
―Sarah Jio, New York Times bestselling author of The Look of Love
About the Author
SASKIA SARGINSON was awarded an MA in Creative Writing after a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University. Before becoming a full-time author, she was a health and beauty editor on women's magazines, a ghost writer for the BBC and HarperCollins, and a copy-writer and script editor. She lives in south London with her four children. Her first novel, THE TWINS, was chosen for the Richard & Judy autumn bookclub 2013 and received outstanding international review coverage.
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What followed was a real beautifully written complex tale about identity, family and finding yourself in this big confusing world. Thanks to flashbacks we get to read about Klaudia/Eliza's childhood. A very difficult one, that is. She was bullied when she started high school for being the daughter of a German as everyone thought he was a Nazi. Klaudia, who had been home schooled until then, was quite naive and actually have no idea about her father's past so soon adopted some misconceptions about him and his life and started counting the days until she could leave him and her old life behind. I found this topic really interesting to read, especially through young Klaudia's eyes. Her story truly captured me and made me think a lot about identity and what defines a person, their upbringing and surroundings or the choices they make...
Also, I was positively surprised to see that the story had a third narrator (if you count Klaudia and Eliza as two different ones) in Ernst, Klaudia's uncle. I love reading historical fiction and Ernst's chapters are set in Prewar Germany and also during the war and tell the story of him and Klaudia's father. A story I found really interesting in its own but that also had clear links to the present. This search for the feeling of belonging and how we see ourselves through other's eyes.
I can say that I thoughtfully enjoyed The Other Me from cover to cover and that it really got to me in some moments. Saskia's style was captivating and involving. While reading this story, I couldn't think of anything else. Klaudia's story (and also Ernst's) is one I won't forget in a long time. A highly recommended read for me.
Much of the novel concerns Klaudia's efforts to live with what she believes to be the truth about her father. I found her to be a bit of what my mother used to call "a pill" -- she came across as weak and whiny, someone who doesn't try to look for remedies so much as avoid conflict. Her romance with Cosmo was entirely unbelievable, from his ancestors to his capacity for dealing with Klaudia's neuroses.
The story of Ernst, Klaudia's uncle and Otto's brother, runs alongside Klaudia's. Beginning in 1931, we see the Nazi regime come to power and some major historic events, as well as Otto's life through Ernst's eyes. Ernst's war experiences and his life afterward were for me the highlight of the book, but interesting was the most I can say for this novel. I never found myself racing to turn the pages, and I saw "surprises" coming almost from the beginning. Most annoying, the novel leaves us with unanswered questions.
I was eager to get my hands on this one.
Its a very different read to what I was expecting, but that doesn't mean I didn't like it, on the contrary I did.
Klaudia Meyer was bullied at school, we learn of the hardships she went through and her emotional state.
But for reasons within this book we learn that Klaudia Meyer had to reinvent herself and now she is known as Eliza.
Bringing us up to date, she has the life she always wanted.
Escaping her past might seem easy, change your name, get a new area to live, change your identity. But you can never escape your past no matter how hard you may try and Eliza learns that running away from guilt is impossible.
This has me engrossed. I have to say though, because this character is two different identities, two different names, a past and a present and then surrounding that is the lies, secrets and past, it can take your "gray matter" a while to piece it all together, but fear not, you will manage it and it will become so worth the time.
Another fabulous read from Saskia Sarginson
Thanks to Little, Brown Book Group UK for my copy