The Ghost Marriage: A Memoir

The Ghost Marriage: A Memoir

by Kirsten Mickelwait
The Ghost Marriage: A Memoir

The Ghost Marriage: A Memoir

by Kirsten Mickelwait


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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 turned into someone quite different. Unemployed and addicted to opioids, he uses money and their two children to emotionally blackmail Kirsten. What’s more, he’s been having an affair with their real estate agent, who is also her close friend. So she divorces him—but after their divorce is finalized, Steve is diagnosed with colon cancer and dies within a year, leaving Kirsten with $1.5 million in debts she knew nothing about. It’s then that she finally understands: The man she’d married was a needy, addictive person who came wrapped in a shiny package.

As she fights toward recovery, Kirsten begins to receive communications from Steve in the afterlife—which lead 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781647420307
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 06/01/2021
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Part I

Prologue 1

Is This Hollywood? 3

A Charmed Life 17

Adaptation 22

My Problem Child 35

Fault Line 47

A Basket of Bells 55

Part II

Football Players 61

Au Revoir, Hooverville 71

Under House Arrest 83

Meshugaas 94

The Bearded Woman 101

Road Kill Café 113

Gimme Shelter 125

Broken Bones 133

Kangaroo Court 141

The Nuremberg Defense 155

A Diploma of Virtue 160

All the Bells and Whistles 165

How the Light Gets In 172

Fugue State 179

Pyramid Scheme 189

Part III

Requiem and Raw Sewage 205

Indemnification 219

A Shakespearean Tragedy 235

The Whole World in His Hands 251

Part IV

Earth Is Forgiveness School 265

All the Things He Didn't Do 276

These Men Don't Like You 283

O Magnum Mysterium 289

Despair Is a Spiritual State 298

A Meatball at the Mouth of a Cave 305

Lifting the Veil 312

Disembarkation 318

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