26 January 2016

Today's Read: The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson

The Other Me by Saskia SarginsonHow would you feel if you discovered your family wasn't what you thought it was? When the lives of three seemingly different people—whom we meet in different times and places—collide, their worlds shift, bringing the past into the spotlight.

I have no experience of killing anything. I take extra-long strides or sudden little hops to avoid stepping on insects that cross my path. When there's a wasp in the house, I cup it inside a mug so I can set it free out of the window. Feathered remains left in our garden after a cat has slunk away make me cry. I'm practically Buddhist. So how am I going to kill him?
The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson (Flatiron books, 2016, p. ix [Prologue], uncorrected proofs)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: London, 1986; Leeds, 1995; New York, 1994
  • Circumstances as I know them so far: In 1986, Klaudia is nervous about starting high school: It's not just that her father is the school's janitor but that he's German. The British haven't yet gotten over the war. In 1995 Eliza is living her dream, trying to advance in the local ballet company, making friends, and even meeting a cute guy. She doesn't want anyone to know about her past, so she calls her mother rarely and only in secret. In 1994, Ernst, a German war veteran now living in New York, is undergoing treatments at a Manhattan hospital. Although he always believed he was tough enough to survive anything, he's beginning to have his doubts.
  • Genre: literary fiction
  • Themes: family, secrets, coming to terms with the past, ethics, hiding from the truth, war
  • Characters: Klaudia, her parents, and her classmates; Ernst and his caretakers; Eliza, her flatmates, fellow dancers, and friends
  • What I think so far: I was immediately pulled into this story, which alternates between the three settings and time periods. The writing style is atmospheric yet vivid, and the characters are immediately present, easy to envision. I'm not far enough along to know all the secrets or where the story is going to take me, but I'm fully invested. I'm trying not to read the novel too quickly because I want to savor the language and immerse myself in the characters' lives.
  • Something to know: The book is published by Flatiron Books under the direction of Amy Einhorn, who has an amazing talent for discovering and acquiring outstanding fiction (and nonfiction). If she brings a book to my attention, it becomes a must-read, and I'm confident I'm going to love it.
  • Recommendations: Got out and buy it! The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson is perfect for fans of family stories, literary fiction, and fantastic writing.

30 comments:

Tina 1/26/16, 6:26 AM  

You certainly have my attention with this review. This sounds like a great book. You have a wonderful full job.

rhapsodyinbooks 1/26/16, 6:28 AM  

Sounds very good and yes, totally agree with you about Amy Einhorn books!

collettakay 1/26/16, 7:27 AM  

Interesting! Who does she have to kill? I hope you can stop by:

http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/01/teaser-tuesday-lady-of-bolton-hill-12616.html

Colletta

hillary roberts 1/26/16, 7:37 AM  

This book sounds REALLY good!

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 1/26/16, 8:00 AM  

This one sounds right up my alley - adding to my TBR!

Stephen P. Bianchini 1/26/16, 8:24 AM  

Hello Beth, this one looks good indeed. Here's mine: http://earthianhivemind.net/2016/01/26/teaser-tuesday-january-26/

Catherine BookClubLibrarian 1/26/16, 8:40 AM  

Sounds like my kind of book. I'm off to see if my library has a copy.

Cathy Murray 1/26/16, 8:41 AM  

This sounds really good. The time contrasts don't seem that great so I'd be interested to see how that pans out. My TT today is at http://indie-bookworm.blogspot.co.uk/ and thanks for visiting earlier.

Punkiee V 1/26/16, 8:43 AM  

This is def interesting. I haven't heard of this one before, but I am going to look into it more and see if it is for me. Thanks for sharing! :)

My Teaser Tuesday
Punkie @Fluttering Hearts Reviews

Catherine 1/26/16, 8:48 AM  

Great teaser - I want to know whether she'll go through with it now, haha

Sherry Fundin 1/26/16, 8:48 AM  

Uh oh. Sounds like she has a huge problem.
sherry @ fundinmental My TT

Daryl 1/26/16, 8:51 AM  

sounds good .. i agree if a book is well written i like to try and read more slowly to savor it ... thanks!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 1/26/16, 8:54 AM  

I was reading about this one the other day and I like the intro as well. I'd read more.

Beth Hoffman 1/26/16, 9:06 AM  

You've hooked me. This book is going on my list!

Ashling Callaghan 1/26/16, 9:18 AM  

Don’t forget to stop by BOTH my blogs to check out My TT and they both have different teasers!! Echoing Books (Blog I co-own) and First Dream of Books (My Personal blog) Happy Reading!

Reading With Jade 1/26/16, 9:39 AM  

I'd keep reading. I actually have this book on my unread shelf and I think it's going to me a layered read.

Reading With Jade

Kathy Martin 1/26/16, 9:39 AM  

Who is the character planning to kill? There must be a very compelling reason. My teaser today comes from Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold. Happy reading!

Kym Thorpe 1/26/16, 9:59 AM  

Well, that's an attention-getter! I wonder who she has to kill?

Here's my Teaser/Intro for this week: http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/2015/11/looking-back-at-first-quarter.html

Kay 1/26/16, 10:03 AM  

I like the beginning a lot. So, yes, I'd keep reading and probably need to go see if I can find this one. Thanks for featuring it.

SuziQoregon 1/26/16, 10:31 AM  

This sounds excellent!

Lisa-Marie Jordan 1/26/16, 10:48 AM  

Oh, boy, this sounds good! Definitely going to have to get this book!

Laurel-Rain Snow 1/26/16, 10:51 AM  

This one is definitely going on my list. Family, secrets, the past...all of these elements are my favorites. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Margot 1/26/16, 11:23 AM  

Amy Einhorn found this one? Don't say anything else. I'll read it.

Emma Littlefield 1/26/16, 2:49 PM  

I have read another of Saskia's books (Without You?) and I really liked it so excellent start and storyline aside, I would still pick it up.

Cleo Bannister 1/26/16, 4:23 PM  

I really did enjoy this one, it was far more in depth than I imagined it would be from the cover.

Literary Feline 1/26/16, 6:46 PM  

This sounds interesting. I like the opening you shared. I admit I don't have that same philosophy. If an insect is in my house, I'm likely to kill it or let my cat play with it without any reservations. :-(

I am curious about the family dynamics of this one and will have to look for it.

Donna H 1/26/16, 6:59 PM  

It sounds like a really interesting book. I'm not sure if I would like jumping between time periods though. Girl Who Reads

Nise' 1/26/16, 8:41 PM  

Love books with family secrets.

Ms. M. 1/26/16, 9:28 PM  

Intriguing teaser. Here's mine: http://wp.me/p4DMf0-19e

rhonda 1/26/16, 9:29 PM  

Going high on my tbr list sounds like my type of book,

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