Beyond Black: A Novel
Hailed as a "writer of subtlety and depth," Hilary Mantel turns her dark genius on the world of psychics in this smart, unsettling novel (Joyce Carol Oates)
A paragon of efficiency, Colette took the next natural step after finishing secretarial school by marrying a man who would do just fine. After a sobering, do-it-yourself divorce, Colette is at a loss for what to do next. Convinced that she is due an out-of-hand, life-affirming revelation, she strays into the realm of psychics and clairvoyants, hungry for a whisper to set her off in the right direction. At a psychic fair in Windsor she meets the charismatic Alison.
Alison, the daughter of a prostitute, beleaguered during her childhood by the pressures of her connection to the spiritual world, lives in a different kind of solitude. She cannot escape the dead who speak to her, least of all the constant presence of Morris, her low-life spiritual guide. An expansive presence onstage, Alison at once feels her bond with Colette, inviting her to join her on the road as her personal assistant and companion.
Troubles spiral out of control when the pair moves to a suburban wasteland in what was once the English countryside and take up with a spirit guide and his drowned therapist. It is not long before Alison's connection to the place beyond black threatens to uproot their lives forever. This is Hilary Mantel at her finest- insightful, darkly comic, unorthodox, and thrilling to read.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - laytonwoman3rd - LibraryThing
This book is most definitely not for everyone, and not even for everyone who loves Hilary Mantel otherwise. t's necessary to let yourself slip into another world, much as you must do with the Harry ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - aine.fin - LibraryThing
A bizarre story beautifully handled. I've never read anything like this before. Psychics and mediums aren't something I know much about so enjoyed seeing their working life. Moments of utter bleakness ... Read full review
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