What a Shame

Tipped to be THE hit book of 2022

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 3 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 4 Feb 2022

Talking about this book? Use #WhataShame #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


'Intelligent, moving and darkly comic . . . taking us deftly from serious explorations of trauma and consent to riotously funny scenes of modern life'
The Sunday Times

'Tipped to be THE hit book of 2022'
Daily Mail

'A riveting read about heartbreak, shame and self-acceptance'
Red Magazine, Rising Stars of 2022

'Dazzling . . . one of those novels where you think you're exploring someone else's pain, only to realise you're exploring your own'
Heat, Read of the Week

'A really beautiful portrayal of female friendship'
Times Radio

'Absorbing and clever . . . I fell in love with Mathilda'
Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love

'Full of heart, wit and feeling'
Caroline O'Donoghue, author of Promising Young Women

'Utterly brilliant'
Otegha Uwagba, author of We Need to Talk About Money

'A glorious new talent has arrived'
Emma Gannon, author of Olive

'Poignant, haunting (and hilarious!) . . . A clear-eyed heroine for a new generation'
Sam Baker, author of The Shift

'Fizzes with energy, rage and love, burrowing deep into those experiences that define us at our core'
Jessica Moor, author of Keeper

'Will be read for years by any and all young women looking for a friend'
Scarlett Curtis, author of Feminists Don't Wear Pink (and other lies)

There is something wrong with Mathilda.

She's still reeling from the blow of a gut-punch break up and grieving the death of a loved one.
But that's not it.

She's cried all her tears, mastered her crow pose and thrown out every last reminder of him.
But that's not helping.

Concerned that she isn't moving on, Mathilda's friends push her towards a series of increasingly unorthodox remedies.
Until the seams of herself begin to come undone.

Tender, unflinching and blisteringly funny, What a Shame glitters with rage and heartbreak, perfect for fans of Emma Jane Unsworth, Dolly Alderton and Holly Bourne.

'Intelligent, moving and darkly comic . . . taking us deftly from serious explorations of trauma and consent to riotously funny scenes of modern life'
The Sunday Times

'Tipped to be THE hit book of...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781529367072
PRICE £14.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 83 members

Featured Reviews

“Don’t forget to let yourself be sad. You are allowed. Grief is a good thing. It means that you loved someone. It means that they mattered.”

WOW. What a book.

What a Shame follows Mathilda who after losing her father and breaking up with her boyfriend in short succession of eachother has become somewhat stuck in a rut. Her friends are convinced she’s cursed and to help her move on they introduce her to a world of unorthodox methods to overcome her grief.

This book is one of the most honest depictions of grief i’ve ever read - it took me quite a while to get through as I had to keep stopping to absorb what i’d just read.

It also explores the notion of social media and how nothing you see online is ‘real’ and everybody has something going on, everybody has their own “stuff” whether they share it or not.

Abigail Bergstrom is a brilliant writer, i’ve never highlighted so many extracts from a book before, her words will stick with me for a long time - and so will Mathilda.

Just a warning this book covers some seriously triggering topics including grief, self harm, sexual assault and abuse. So please read with caution.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: