Emotionally intelligent, life-affirming and dark comic, the debut novel by Abigail Bergstrom What a shame We were there hello!
Perfect for Dolly Alderton fans and FleabagBergstrom fills the pages with equally awkward humor and heartbreak, illuminating grieving struggles in all its forms while celebrating the power of female friendship.
For anyone who has ever struggled with shame and self-worth or felt a little lost in life, allow What a shame to hit you in the gut and send you home to yourself (hint of the book’s hangover).
Here’s a rundown of the highlights before we get into our reviews!
(Trigger warnings: grief, death of a parent, child abuse, self-harm)
Something is wrong with Mathilda.
She’s still reeling from the heartbreaking punch and grieving the death of a loved one. But that’s not it.
She wept to her tears, mastered her crow pose, and threw out every last reminder of him. But that didn’t help.
Concerned that she couldn’t move on, Mathilda’s friends pushed her on a series of increasingly unorthodox measures. Until her seams begin to be perfected.
Gentle, uncouth, and utterly humorous, What a Shame sparkles with rage and heartache, perfect for fans of Emma Jane Unsworth, Dolly Alderton and Holly Bourne.
Review of Lareese
I have been insufferable since finishing this book, making anyone who makes eye contact with me talk about it. Abigail has such a unique writing style, combining raw emotion with unexpected lyricism. And as you can tell, I’m obsessed.
What a shame is a book your heart will recognize from the first page and a daring debut you will forever pressure your friends to read. It is light and shade, grief and victory – all the heights and pits of the human experience. The theme is dark and hard to read (especially when you get up close) but Bergstrom handles every trigger with care and emotional intelligence, leaving plenty of room for the joys of female friendships that can dispel the darkness. . It’s a shame that there aren’t 260 more pages from where. Bergstrom is one to watch and I can’t wait to read whatever she writes next!
Rating: the easiest 5 stars I’ve ever given
Would you recommend it? It’s correct! All the power of dungarees.
After reading Breathless last month- a book that i couldn’t put down- i found What a shame a little slow to start. It’s the complete opposite of books where you know a twist is imminent or with a compelling plot from the start, but despite that, I finished it with a warm, fuzzy, and ready feeling. Willing to recommend it to everyone I know. After going through a breakup myself in 2020, I finally feel in the right place to read books that deal with this subject in all its painful and heartbreaking details, and What a shame do so with poise, relativity and understanding – it makes you feel really seen and heard. One line that really stuck me out came from one of Mathilda’s friends, who said she believes M is trapped in the feeling that the best days of her life have happened to her. , which is something that I am extremely interested in as a person who actually feels. they peaked at the age of 17. What a shame offers hope to anyone going through a period of change and personal growth that feels more like drowning, and promises a brighter future no matter what.
Although it sometimes includes heavy themes, following Mathilda’s journey never feels like a drag, instead more like a best friend you want to wrap yourself up in a hug and never let go of. let go now. While it’s a book where nothing big happens and doesn’t have big twists and turns that shake your world, it concluded in a way that left me feeling satisfied and like I was in my own life. a healing journey with Mathilda. Now I am also desperately looking for a time when I can complete a shower ritual because I really feel it will heal a lot. Looks like I’m affected.
Would you recommend it? It’s correct!
Having never experienced a broken heart, broken soul, end of the world saying goodbye to myself, that didn’t stop me from devouring What a Shame for 3 days straight! I think everyone can relate to that feeling of being completely lost, especially in your twenties, and the book struggles with the protagonist trying everything within reach to get it back. herself and get over the pain and suffering she’s been through lately. This book really meant a lot to me and it was so beautifully written that for the first time in a long time I grabbed my highlighter and started attacking my book, pulling out all the full sentences. poetic genius, of which there are many!
There’s a lot of plot to keep you hooked in this book even though I went into it and thought it would be reminiscent of Sally Rooney’s novels where not much happens. I really enjoyed living the sisterhood that Abi created in this book and felt like I was flying over the wall of their bond. The book ranges from self-pity to loneliness and all the mess in between. I would definitely recommend this book despite the few trigger warnings (self-harm/abuse/loss), especially to friends with a dry sense of humour like myself.
Would you recommend it? Yes to the right person, I wouldn’t throw it at my mom
I absolutely love this book! Pain and sadness, but joy and love come from one person. How grief and heartbreak can weigh so heavily on one, this book is raw and emotional, even awkward at times, but I really loved it.
Abigail has such a unique way of writing, with the narration switching between her ex-boyfriend and her deceased father, which makes for a very enjoyable read. The book covers many dark themes and difficult scenarios, there are moments when I find myself a bit apprehensive as I turn the pages, but the plot is covered and all the difficult topics are always handled sensitively like so.
I’ve always liked a book that focuses on the importance of women’s friendships, because aren’t they just the best? There is actually something very beautiful about the sisterhood that we women feel. Would 100% recommend this book (to the right person, possibly not your aunt), can’t wait to read Abigail’s next masterpiece!
Would you recommend it? It’s correct!