the first book i loved by hilary mantel

beyond black was the first book i read by hilary mantel and ms. mantel has not let me down since. i've staff picked it at the bookstore - had to get the buyers to bring in the picador edition from the u.s. because apparently we don't care about it enough in canada. or something. i don't really get how that kind of thing happens in publishing. no offense harpercollins canada but i handsell this book constantly. anywho here is my staff pick for this great read:

where do people go when they have passed from this world?

alison hart knows. unlike some of her peers in the world of psychics and mediums, alison is truly and deeply connected to the dead. alison has been in contact for a long time, since she was a young teen, and throughout the years of nightmares and stress has become drained and exhausted. enter colette, "sharp, rude , effective..." and just a wee bit mean. alison picks colette to be her manager (or "sidekick" say the other psychics) to help her manage her busy schedule and colette, fresh from leaving her husband and job, accepts heartily because really - what else does she have?

their total incompatibility works works very well for a spell until colette begins to control more and more of alison's life, and alison's nightmares and flashbacks persist and increase in severity. as cheerful and pleasant as alison is on the outside, her internal life is literally filled with ghosts - men who have done terrible things.

what is her connection to them? and why doesn't she have nice benign dead people around her? she will only find out by choosing her own path to the past and being true to herself.

this deeply funny and dark novel by hilary mantel is an astonishingly vivid account of what a medium's world could look like.