BOOK: THE GHOST MARRIAGE
At thirty-one, Kirsten has just returned to San Francisco from a bohemian year in Rome, ready to pursue a serious career as a writer and eventually, she hopes, marriage and family. When she meets Steve Beckwith, a handsome and successful attorney, she begins to see that future materialize more quickly than she’d dared to expect.
Twenty-two years later, Steve has become someone quite different from the man Kirsten first met. Unemployed and addicted to opioids, he uses money and their two children to emotionally blackmail her. The couple separates but, just after their divorce is finalized, Steve is diagnosed with colon cancer and dies within the year, leaving Kirsten with $1.5 million in debts from properties that are no longer hers. It’s only then that she finally understands: The man she married was a needy, addictive person wrapped in a shiny package.
As she fights toward recovery, Kirsten begins to receive communications from Steve in the afterlife—leading her on an unexpected path to forgiveness. The Ghost Marriage is her story of discovery: that life isn’t limited to the tangible reality we experience on this earth, and that our worst adversaries can become our greatest teachers. This is a book about life after divorce and life after death. It's a story of how forgiveness is the best revenge.
THE GHOST MARRIAGE
Released June 2021 from SheWrites Press
Available at all major bookstores
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
“A divorced woman’s perceptions of her controlling ex-husband shift radically when she establishes a new bond with him following his death in this debut memoir... A skillfully written, thought-provoking account that positively reconsiders an antagonist as an important teacher.”
“What if you accidentally married your worst enemy? With unflinching honesty and hard-earned grace, Kirsten Mickelwait peels the shiny façade off her catastrophic marriage to reveal not only how she survived the lies, betrayals, and lawsuits, but found her way to compassion. If you don’t think on your ex fondly, The Ghost Marriage will teach you why you should.”
Meredith May, author of
The Honey Bus and
“With The Ghost Marriage, Kirsten Mickelwait—in bracing, unsentimental prose—brings us in close to the disturbing history of her troubled marriage. It’s abundantly satisfying to watch her move through each crisis toward new compassion—for herself, but also for her deceased ex-husband.”
Angela Pneuman, author of Lay It on My Heart and Home Remedies
“The Ghost Marriage is an absorbing tale about what happens when you marry Prince Charming and the expected ‘Happily Ever After’ erodes into a kind of ‘Cursed Ever After.’ It’s a story of survival, of adjusted ambition, of how to be quick on your feet when your daily foundation crumbles in midlife.”
Julia Scheeres, author of Jesusland and
A Thousand Lives
“By turns hilarious, lyrical, suspenseful, and touching, Kirsten Mickelwait’s memoir pulls us into the whirlpool of her unique marriage—then spits us out into the dazzling light of what that marriage came to mean. Supremely well-written, and with a captivating honesty.”
Veronica Chater, author of
Waiting for the Apocalypse: A Memoir of Faith and Family
Kirsten Mickelwait is a professional copywriter and editor by day and a writer of fiction and creative nonfiction by night. She's an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the Napa Valley Writers' Conference, the Paris Writers' Conference, and the San Francisco Writers' Conference. Her short story, "Parting with Nina," won first prize in The Ledge's 2004 Fiction Awards competition. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she's at work on a new novel. The Ghost Marriage is Kirsten’s first memoir. The book tells her story of spiritual connection and surviving divorce after 50.
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