When Anton goes missing and the only clue is a postcard sent from Istanbul, Ali leaves her life in Berlin to find him. Without her twin, the sharer of her memories and the mirror of her own self, Ali is lost.
With ever-shifting points of view and evolving transitions in time and place, it will take careful reading to keep up with this intricate exploration of identity and family. This won’t be a problem for fans of Gone Girl (2012) and a novel to which Beside Myself will inevitably be compared for good reasons, The Girl on the Train (2015). Morgan’s stunning debut is a thrilling and thought-provoking psychological drama.
Be forewarned: identity, nationality, and gender are all fluid here—histories intertwine and conflict, narrators change and prove unreliable, and pronouns are a challenge throughout ... Salzmann’s multilayered first novel should find resonance with cosmopolitan Stateside audiences, most especially with internationally savvy LGBTQIA readers.
... strange, fascinating ... Ali’s own perspective isn’t entirely intelligible. This is partly due to Salzmann’s cool, disaffected narrative voice, which is a wonder to behold but can also be a little too distancing: Anton never solidifies as a fully fledged character, and neither does the twins’ father, to whom much of their unhappiness is attributed. Still, these are relatively minor flaws. Salzmann has an expansive vision, and their experimentation with the form of the novel, even when it doesn’t always pan out, consistently intrigues ... An experimental novel spanning continents as well as generations explores the intertwining of family, gender, and identity.