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Summary

Adults meets little scratch in this bold, funny and tender debut, which captures the pain of heartbreak and the universal heat of female shame through a very unique journey towards self-acceptance.

The idea of a curse was divisive, but the assertion that I had, for some time now, been 'laden with something dark' was disconcertingly unanimous.

I wondered if this was something you also saw in me, if that was why you left.

There is something wrong with Mathilda.

She's still reeling from the blow of a gut-punch breakup and grieving the death of a loved one.

But that's not it.

She's cried all her tears, mastered her crow pose and thrown out every last reminder of him.

But that's not helping.

Concerned that she isn't moving on, Mathilda's friends push her towards a series of increasingly unorthodox remedies.

Until the seams of herself begin to come undone.

Tender, unflinching and blisteringly funny, What a Shame glitters with rage and heartbreak, an offers up the joy of self-acceptance through an extraordinary rite of passage to overcome the prickly heat of female shame.

©2021 Abigail Bergstrom (P)2021 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Critic reviews

"Absorbing and clever, I fell in love with Mathilda." (Cathy Rentzenbrink)
 

What listeners say about What a Shame

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    3 out of 5 stars

Amazing, but needed trigger warnings

This book is beautifully written and performed. I loved the premise and wish I could finish it. I genuinely mean this as constructive feedback if the author or her team see this - there was no trigger warning for r***/SA on audible (I can’t speak for anywhere else as I haven’t looked) but as an audible user there are none. As a survivor I have to be in the right mindset to tackle such subjects and with no prior warning I was very triggered when the main character was r***d. It was very unexpected and I have returned the title without finishing as I don’t know what to expect going forward. Again this is not meant to be negative or a complaint, just a plea to please add trigger warnings in the description for others, so they can have a choice. I am sure many others will love this and I hope it does well as a debut, very promising!

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A book I wish I read at the start of heartbreak

Whilst listening to this book, I had to go back a few times because the similarities with Mathildas life and mine were, eery. I was in advertising, I liked copy over art direction but dabbled in a few, and the heart break I experienced was sudden and unexpected.. and the grief I held for a loved one mixed withtrauma at 17 and all of the things she tried to do, curses, spiritual journey etc.

I feel this book was written beautifully. I only wish I had read this at the start of my heartbreak grief because I’m finally where she was at the end of the book. I grieved a life I thought was going to be mine and I was already grieving a loved one so it would have been nice to have felt like I wasn’t a strange person for it taking so long to be in the headspace Mathilda was at in the last few chapters, to move forward.

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Best audio book ever!

The narrator is fantastic. You could almost be watching a movie with all of the different voices, dialect and sound effects. A welcome change from some of the books on audible that sound like they are being read by a sat nav!