Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel

beyond black

This is the second Mantel book I have read which features characters who are dead and communicate with the living.  I wonder if Mantel believes in such things.  I do not, but that did not stop me from very much enjoying this rather odd and sad story.

Alison is a psychic and she makes her living by telling people’s fortunes and passing on messages from the spirit world.  She employs Colette to be her live-in personal assistant.  Through their years together we learn of Alison’s extremely tragic childhood, Colette’s failed marriage, their psychic fair colleagues and the thoroughly unpleasant spirits who follow them around.

The book reads as if the spirits are really there, and that Alison really interacts with them.  It is a surprisingly entertaining read, and despite some very dark moments, the story is humorously told.  I found it a very engaging story, possibly because of the strange subject matter, it did not follow any typical storyline, so I was kept guessing as to what may happen next.  My favourite non-Cromwell Mantel book so far.

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