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Giving Up the Ghost
Giving Up the Ghost: A Memoir | Hilary Mantel
13 posts | 6 read | 8 to read
In postwar rural England, Hilary Mantel is a fierce, self-possessed child, schooling herself in "chivalry, horsemanship, and swordplay" and convinced that she will become a boy at age four. Catholic school comes as a rude distraction from her rich inner life. At home, where fathers and stepfathers come and go at strange, overlapping intervals, the keeping of secrets becomes a way of life. Her late teens bring her to law school in London and then to Sheffield; a lover and then a husband. She acquires a persistent pain-which also shifts and travels-that over the next decade will subject her to destructive drugs, patronizing psychiatry, and, finally, at age twenty-seven, to an ineffective and irrevocable surgery. There will be no children; instead she has "a ghost of possibility, a paper baby, a person who slipped between the lines." Hormone treatments alter her body beyond recognition. And in the middle of it all, she begins one novel, and then another. Hilary Mantel was born to write about the paradoxes that shimmer at the edges of our perception. Dazzling, wry, and visceral, Giving Up the Ghost is a deeply compelling book that will bring new converts to Mantel's dark genius.
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Excuse me while I have a #nonfiction moment! 😂👍🏻📚🎧💙

This is the Megiest Meg thing I could do...says everyone who follows me on Litsy. Lol.

ElaineR Nothing better than a non fiction binge every so often. 2w
RachelO That‘s quite a moment! 2w
Crazeedi Non fiction rocks , need it on occasion to clean the palate!!😍 2w
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britt_brooke LOVE it!! 😆🙌🏻 2w
Megabooks @ElaineR Exactly!! 2w
Megabooks @RachelO Yes, it is!! 😁😁😁 2w
Megabooks @Crazeedi I need it a bit more than occasionally. Right now, I‘m listening to Michael Pollan on caffeine and thinking nonfiction is my caffeine!! 😂😂 2w
Megabooks @britt_brooke girl, I‘m on my fourth nonfiction audiobook in a row! I‘m just going crazy!! 2w
britt_brooke @Megabooks 🤣 I‘ve been hitting the nonfiction hard, too. I‘m on NF books 15 and 16 which is nearly 75% of my total books so far in 2020. (edited) 2w
Megabooks @britt_brooke 👊🏻 pound it, friend!! Nonfiction rules!! And we so influence each other 😂😂 2w
britt_brooke @Megabooks 👊🏻 For sure!! 👯‍♀️ 2w
Crazeedi @Megabooks nice analogy! 2w
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I ordered tagged book (Hilary Mantel‘s memoir), and I got a book about Catholic meditations on infertility. 🤯🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ What‘s the best way of contacting BD? The form? I couldn‘t find a phone number.

Has this happened to anyone else? What‘s their policy?

readordierachel Yikes! Unfortunately, I have no advice to share, but that's ridiculous. 1mo
Redwritinghood Email is best. They do respond quickly, but I have to tell you that I don‘t order from them anymore. They just aren‘t very well organized. 1mo
Ash.on.the.line I agree email is best. I ordered once and it never got to me, they refunded after having me check post office multiple times. Hopefully they help you out! 1mo
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Megabooks @readordierachel it is! Thanks for the support! (edited) 1mo
Megabooks @Redwritinghood I guess not. This is only my second order with them. I couldn‘t find it in the US, so I went to them. Thank you, though. I‘ll email them. 1mo
Megabooks @Ash.on.the.line yes! I hope I don‘t have to pay out of my pocket to ship the wrong book back. And I really do want to read the correct book! 😩 thank you for the advice!! 1mo
BarbaraBB E-mail works good, they respond quickly. I only have positive experiences with them and order from them all the time. If a book arrives late I receive a coupon or so without asking. I am fan - as you know 😀 1mo
LeahBergen I would email them (with photos of the book you received). I‘ve only had one problem with them once (and I‘ve ordered from them for years) and they told me to keep or donate the book while they sent a replacement. Oh, and FYI ... Slightly Foxed has a GORGEOUS little edition of this book, if you want to fork out a bit more cash. 😆 1mo
CaroPi I only had problems with them once. The book didn't arrive to me. They refund me the book and send me a new one. I love them and by books with them almost every month. Use the form in their page 1mo
Simona As @BarbaraBB said, I'm fan too, their response is quick, they do not complicate,but usually they just refund, and the shipping is always free ... I have copy of this book and if you want, I can send it to you, just leave me address in the Goodreads emailbox. 1mo
batsy What @Simona and @BarbaraBB said. I've had issues of missing books and they've refunded or sent again. Easy to deal with and they're pretty prompt. 1mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB Great! I just need to get myself together this morning and send the email! 1mo
Megabooks @LeahBergen I looked at the Slighted Foxed, you sly fox, and it is just a tad more expensive 🤣🤣. Anyway, thanks for the advice. I‘m wondering if they‘ll have me ship the wrong one back. 🤔 (edited) 1mo
Megabooks @Simona Thank you so much! We‘ll see what they say about refund or replacement. 1mo
Megabooks @batsy Fantastic! Thank you so much. I‘m going to email them now! 1mo
Lizpixie They‘re really great about replacements, and you don‘t have to ship back the wrong book either. I‘ve had whole hauls(once ten books worth)replaced because they got lost in the mail. Just use the form on their website👍 1mo
Megabooks @Lizpixie I sent them an email just a moment ago, so hopefully I‘ll hear back soon! Thank you!! 1mo
Redwritinghood @Megabooks For what it‘s worth, if I need something from the UK these days, I order from Blackwell‘s. Pricing is the same with no shipping charge and they are better overall. 1mo
fleeting I've also had books lost and when you email them they respond right away. You just be specific, give the order number and date shipped and stuff that went wrong like wrong book received or haven't received and they will replace it! In my case some books were kind of broken because of the packaging, when I showed them they kindly gave me some refund (20 or 50%). I think largely it depends on who you talk to :))) but I'd say don't worry at all! 1mo
Megabooks @Redwritinghood Thanks for the heads up! I hadn‘t heard of them. 1mo
Megabooks @fleeting I emailed them earlier this morning, so hopefully I‘ll hear back today or tomorrow. I sent a screenshot of my order with the number and a picture of what I got with a close up of the wrong order number. 1mo
fleeting @Megabooks that's perfect! Let us know how it goes. 😊 1mo
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Since three things I've read recently have mentioned this book, I had to find out what all the fuss was.

Bklover Hi there! Welcome to Litsy! I think you‘ll love it! (edited) 2y
DrexEdit Welcome to Litsy! 😊 I just added this book to my #TBR stack a couple of days ago. I just love pretty much anything Hilary Mantel does. 2y
LisaCarey Thanks everyone! 2y
LisaCarey Okay. I get it. Now to read the other 13 of her books. (edited) 2y
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Though very different from her novels, Hilary Mantel‘s memoir was still a treat to read. Her writing is beautiful and this memoir feels like a very honest and raw account, while also holding back a lot on specific details. I had hoped to learn more about her time living in Saudi Arabia and her writing process. But I don‘t think an in depth account of the things the reader wants to know is ever what this memoir set out to be.

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I don‘t think a chapter of a book has ever had such a powerful affect on me. I feel so sad and yet angry reading descriptions of medical professionals and others dismiss such an amazing, admirable woman as a hysterical attention seeker. Instead of listening to her and taking what she has to say seriously. I hope they all look back in shame.

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I‘m almost halfway through Hilary Mantel‘s memoir and I am really enjoying it so far. I fell in love with Mantel‘s writing when I read Wolf Hall (which I‘m planning to reread this year). Although the style is different here, it‘s still so different from anyone else with that same sense of magic which captivated me before.
This is my first memoir, so I didn‘t know what to expect. But now I‘m thinking they are a genre I should explore.

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Unfortunately, I have to say that the first part of the book was boring and such detailed descriptions of childhood adventures and reflections always raise question in me ... but I find the second part more interesting (the main focus is on her illnes), especially from the point of view, how the women with unclear/undefined health problems were treated in the 1970s.

UrsulaMonarch Great review! I may read this for @thereadingwomen 's challenge prompt 11 on chronic illness 2y
Simona Thank you @UrsulaMonarch Nice fit for the prompt and it‘s a quite quick read, but don‘t be mad at me if you don‘t like it 😘 2y
UrsulaMonarch @Simona 😂😂 for sure!! I've been a little curious about Mantel anyway since last year reading 2y
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#24in48 #readathon
Lunch date with book number four 😋

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I think that this is my last book haul for this year 😁

batsy Oooh, I immediately stacked the Du Maurier bio 😁 2y
erzascarletbookgasm That Du Maurier book! 💜🏃‍♀️ 2y
Simona @batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Hopefully it's interesting 🤞🤞🤞 2y
LeahBergen @batsy @erzascarletbookgasm My eyes went straight to that one, too! 😍😍 2y
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You come to this place, mid-life. You don‘t know how you got here, but suddenly you‘re staring fifty in the face. When you turn and look back down the years, you glimpse the ghosts of other lives you might have led...You think of the children you might have had but didn‘t. When the midwife says, ‘It‘s a boy,‘ where does the girl go? When you think you‘re pregnant, and you‘re not, what happens to the child that has already formed in your mind?

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• Good morning book lovers. I am so very tired this morning from lack of sleep but it's a busy week preparing for Wales in FOUR DAYS! I'm pretty excited. I have yet to decide on which book I will be reading alongside Escape to Pirate Island. That one will be a purely bedtime read so I need something to be able to read now and then throughout the day. Anyway, what're you reading right now? ✨ #booklover #bookblogger #bookishfeatures #bibliophile

monkeygirlsmama I have a few books going currently. Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Pride and Prejudice, and an ARC that publishes on 9/1 called 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. 2y
Cathythoughts I'm reading Burial Rites on kindle by Hannah Kent & then on audio Exit West Mohsin Hamid. Both very good. The Living & the Dead in Winsford by Hakan Nesser is a damn good read. Enjoy your trip 😉 (edited) 2y
Sophoclessweetheart @Cathythoughts I want to read Burial Rites too! I haven't got a copy yet though 😂🙈😍 2y
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Part 2 of my Slightly Foxed birthday book haul!

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batsy So many beautiful books 😍 What a wonderful haul 3y
LauraBrook @batsy Thanks! Aren't they pretty? All of the hardcovers have colored endpapers, an attached ribbon bookmark, and are hand-numbered since they're all limited edition! Total splurge and I'm so happy about it!!! 3y
batsy @LauraBrook The best kind of splurge ☺️ I've not heard of Slightly Foxed and I'm looking at their website, so many lovely titles. 3y
LeahBergen I just ordered The House of Elrig this week! 3y
LauraBrook @LeahBergen Hah! Funny coincidence! 3y
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The 5 books for Q9 charity shop has struck again!

I already have a copy of Shadow of the Wind but this is a better one. The Grisham is for my mother-in-law.

Of course I bear no personal responsibility for this.

Absolutely none.

LectricSheep Hilary Mantel is so amazing. ❤️ 3y
Louise Purchasing 5 books for a pound is simply a moral imperative. Plus, it's for charity. No guilt needed! 😁👏🏼🙌🏻 3y
mrsamandahood Nice haul! 😁 3y
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Laalaleighh Shadow of the wind ✨ 3y
Libby1 @LectricSheep - I've only read the Cromwell books so far but I loved them. When I saw this I had to snap it up. I also have A Place of Greater Safety but I haven't read it yet. Which ones are your favourites? 3y
Libby1 You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, @Louise ! ❤📚❤ 3y
Libby1 Thanks, @mrsamandahood . 😃 3y
Libby1 @Laalaleighh - I read it a number of years ago but wanted to revisit it as I'm going to Spain this summer and may have the chance to visit Barcelona! 3y
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