Kiss Myself Goodbye
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‘Grimly funny and superbly written, with a twist on every page’ – Hilary Mantel
‘Delightfully compulsive and unforgettably original’ – Hadley Freeman
Shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize 2021
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.
Kiss Myself Goodbye is both an enchanting personal memoir like the author’s bestselling Cold Cream, and a voyage into a vanished moral world. An unconventional tale of British social history told backwards, its cryptic and unforgettable protagonist Munca joins the ranks of memorable aunts in literature, from Dickens’ Betsy Trotwood to Graham Greene’s Aunt Augusta.
Aunt Munca flees the streets of Sheffield for a suite at Claridges, getting younger by the year and leaving behind her a trail of brazen lies and shattered pieties. In his family memoir, Ferdinand Mount pursues her with wit and skill through a career in which crime pays, marriage is for a week, and children are lost like old gloves. Kiss Myself Goodbye is grimly funny and superbly written, with a twist on every page. * Hilary Mantel, author of the Wolf Hall Trilogy * Delightfully compulsive and unforgettably original. Mount unpeels the layers of this mysterious life with the tenacity of an experienced detective and the excitement of a fresh-eyed enthusiast. * Hadley Freeman, author of House of Glass: The Story and Secrets of a Twentieth-Century Jewish Family *
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