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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson

THE OTHER ME spans from 1930s Germany to 1990s England as Saskia Sarginson explores whether our identities are tied to where we came from, and if it's possible that sometimes history doesn't get the story right.
1986, London - Klaudia is about to start high school. She's embarrassed by her German father, never knowing what he may or may not have done during the war.
In 1995 Leeds, Eliza is a young woman in love - with her life as a dance student, and with her boyfriend Cosmo. But Eliza is living a lie, running away from a past of which she was always ashamed. But when her mother dies and she is called home, she can no longer deny her roots, even if it will cost her everything.
And woven throughout the novel is Ernst's story - Ernst is one of two brothers growing up in Nazi Germany. One rallied for the Fuhrer, one held back. One dedicated his life to the Nazi regime, one did not.
When Eliza learns a long-buried family secret, it will completely change how she views her past and her future.
By exploring identity, memory, and history, Saskia Sarginson deftly shows that it is the people we think we know the best who sometimes surprise us the most.
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.
Review: The Other Me kept me guessing up until the very end - and not many books do that! As the secrets started to unravel in Klaudia/Eliza's life, the plot simply thickened leading to more and more questions. The main character is pained, confused and gets herself into a deep mess trying to hide her past, but the more you learn about her life, the more you come to understand why and how that happened. The romance element is very important, but by no means the biggest feature of the book. The ending is explosive, sad but also with a little hope - not everything is always as it seems!

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