The Other Me, by Saskia Sarginson

As a child, Klaudia Meyer is terrified of her father, and is also deeply ashamed of being his daughter due to the crimes he committed in his past. When she escapes to university, she uses it as a chance to reinvent herself – becoming the confident Eliza Bennett who follows her dreams.

But when something happens that forces Klaudia back home, she becomes trapped inside her double life. Unexpected secrets from her father’s past lead her to face up to her real heritage. It is then that she discovers she may not be the only one in her family with a hidden identity.

The Other Me was inspired by Saskia Sarginson’s own life. She was in her 40s when she discovered who her real father was. While he died before she could meet him, she remembers the moment that she found out he had been Dutch and Jewish and that members of his family were killed in the Holocaust.

Sarginson’s own feelings around her new sense of identity come through loud and clear in the novel. It makes for an emotional journey where your prejudices of certain characters will melt away as the story progresses. Each character – from the timid Klaudia and confident Eliza, to the authorative Ernst and forgiving Cosmo – are well rounded, lovable in their own ways and will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

The Other Me is fast paced and an easy read to get lost in. While some threads of the story are left unresolved, it’s a succinct read that you won’t be able to put down. By drawing on her own experiences, Sarginson has woven a heartbreaking and honest story that will capture you from the very first page. The Other Me is a powerful story about learning to accept who we really are.

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TITLE: The Other Me
AUTHOR(S): Saskia Sarginson
PUBLISHER: Hachette
RRP: $37.99
ISBN: 9780349403373

Rebekah is an Otago-based mother of two young girls. The former journalist and primary school teacher has a soft spot for New Zealand authors and young adult fiction. Follow her on Twitter.

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