Absorbing and clever . . . I fell in love with Mathilda
A painfully exquisite book, by a unique talent that has single handedly rewritten the narrative of female shame
A book that simultaneously punches you in the gut and makes you snort with laughter. It's beautifully raw in its delivery. A glorious new talent has arrived
Tender, searingly honest and widely vulnerable. I couldn't stop reading
Dark, nuanced and provocative, this is a sterling debut that fans of Caroline O'Donoghue, Holly Bourne and Emma Jane Unsworth are sure to love. Mathilda's chilling - but ultimately redemptive - story will stay with me.
What a Shame fizzes with energy, rage and love, burrowing deep into those experiences that define us at our core. Bergstrom writes with wit and wisdom, and Mathilda's voice is ever-incisive, fresh and compelling.
What A Shame weaves eternal themes of grief and heartbreak against a modern canvas that is clear and recognisable. There's a piercing sense of what happens when your tragedy becomes your anecdote, and your anecdote becomes tiring to the people around you. Full of heart, wit and feeling, Bergstrom is a new voice but sure to be an enduring one.
Truly captivating, blisteringly funny, so clever and perceptive and beautifully written. It made me want to voicenote all my friends immediately. I loved it!
A wry and zeitgeisty look at grief, heartbreak and the fix-you industry, What a Shame asks whether we can ever expect closure from our worst and most secret pain and fear. A must-read for anyone who has ever felt defined by a break-up.
Raw and unexpected and weird and utterly brilliant
Raw, poignant, haunting (and hilarious!)... In Mathilda, Bergstrom has created a clear-eyed heroine for a new generation.
Abigail Bergstrom's assured debut is a forensic excavation of the female psyche - on friendship, grief, and the secrets we keep to survive.
As soon as I finished the final page of What a Shame a deep ache set in. Written by one of the cleverest and boldest writers I've ever read, it is a powerful, beautiful, fascinating novel that will be read for years by any and all young women looking for a friend. I already miss Mathilda.
My favourite kind of book: the kind that you can't help but race through, leaves you immediately devastated when you finish it and envious of everyone who has yet to read it.
A brilliant debut
Razor-sharp, compelling and darkly funny. An extraordinary novel that will stay with me for a long time.
Affecting, clever and blisteringly humorous... a riveting read about heartbreak, female shame and self-acceptance
Dark, complex and very funny. A dazzling debut about the power of self-belief, sisterhood and letting go
An absolute corker - tender, sexy and weird. I can't wait to see what she writes next
A book that beautifully balances the light and the dark. I loved spending time with Mathilda, a heroine who's funny, wise, wonderfully weird and brave, and who feels like a friend.
Crackles with wit and emotional insight . . . so good on tangled webs of feeling, the power of female friendships, and hope
I fell hard for Mathilda and her tale of heartache, grief and acceptance. Like most of us, she's a bit weird and a bit wild, and you'll be so glad you met her.
A beautiful, raw story of self-acceptance and shame that haunted me until I finished the last page. Reading Abigail's debut captured the pain and release that comes with laughing at a funeral. I swallowed the story in big gulps and will push it towards my friends. An ambitious, beautifully balanced novel that manages to strike laughter and heartache in equal measure.
Hits the nail on the head . . . above all it's a really beautiful portrayal of female friendship.
Comparisons to Sally Rooney are inevitable, but this heartfelt, sharp-yet-tender novel earns its own place in the spotlight