Kiss Myself Goodbye
The Many Lives of Aunt Munca
by Ferdinand Mount
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Pub Date 30 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 28 Oct 2021
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ), Bloomsbury Continuum
'Grimly funny and superbly written, with a twist on every page' – Hilary Mantel
'Delightfully compulsive and unforgettably original' – Hadley Freeman
'Wonderful, funny and wise' – Kate Summerscale
Shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize 2021
A Sunday Times, TLS, Spectator and New Statesman Book of the Year
Aunt Munca never told the truth about anything. Calling herself after the mouse in a Beatrix Potter story, she was already a figure of mystery during the childhood of her nephew Ferdinand Mount. Half a century later, a series of startling revelations sets him off on a tortuous quest to find out who this extraordinary millionairess really was. What he discovers is shocking and irretrievably sad, involving multiple deceptions, false identities and abandonments. The story leads us from the back streets of Sheffield at the end of the Victorian age to the highest echelons of English society between the wars.
An unconventional tale of British social history told backwards, now published with new material discovered by the author about his eccentric aunt, Kiss Myself Goodbye is both an enchanting personal memoir and a voyage into a vanished moral world
“Grimly funny and superbly written, with a twist on every page.” – Hilary Mantel, author of the Wolf Hall Trilogy
“Delightfully compulsive and unforgettably original.” – Hadley Freeman, author of House of Glass: The Story and Secrets of a Twentieth-Century Jewish Family
“Extraordinary … shed[s] a brilliant light on the strangeness of people's lives, the need for disguise and masquerade, the shame that drives people to act in the most peculiar ways, the ghosts that reside, unburied, within us.” – Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
“Wonderful, funny and wise” – Kate Summerscale, author of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher
“Delicious … As well as an ear for the cadences of a sentence, Mount has a remarkable ability to convey the feeling of place.” – The Oldie
“Mount is one of our finest prose stylists and Kiss Myself Goodbye is a witty, moving and beautifully crafted account of one woman's determination to live to the full.” – Daily Telegraph
“An extraordinary book” – Tatler
“Unique and immensely enjoyable. I only wish it were longer.” – Spectator
“Kiss Myself Goodbye is a work of beauty. The simple truthfulness of Ferdinand Mount's storytelling is irresistible.” – Literary Review
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 12 members
I have loved Ferdinand Mount's works for so many years that he will never be able to disappoint me.
Kiss myself goodbye is a delightful slice of 20th century British social life and customs through the delicious portrait of Mount's aunt and her egregious life, a witty and unforgettable woman and the indelible marks she deliciously left on her nephew's life.
At times hilarious and always full of surprises this heartwarming book should definitely be on your reading list if you can't stay away from everything "British". Situated half way between Travel with my aunt and Auntie Mame, it really deserved to be discovered 👍👍
Highly recommended and to be enjoyed without any moderation whatsoever.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for this terrific ARC
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