The Ghost Marriage by Kirsten Mickelwait

Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What an absolutely stunning story! I was completely entranced by this memoir! Mickelwait lays her emotional journey out in the pages of her memoir, bringing us all into her life.

When Kirsten Mickelwait married Steve, she could see the bright future they had ahead of them, but years down the road, the life isn’t so bright and beautiful. Steve is addicted to opioids, cheating on Kirsten, and emotionally abusing her. They divorce, but then Steve dies, and Kirsten finds out there’s one more blow to come. Steve has left her with $1.5 million in debts.

This was a story that created an incredibly emotional connection for me. I was invested in Kirsten’s story, and I needed to know what was going to happen. How was she going to get through this? There is a spiritual aspect to this story that I really enjoyed as well. I would recommend this memoir to any reader that likes understanding how people overcome monumental struggles.

Where to Find This Book:

Amazon ~ Goodreads

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.

Just the Facts:

The Ghost Marriage by Kirsten Mickelwait
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: She Writes Press
Pub Date: April 20, 2021

Kirsten Mickelwait is a copywriter by day and a writer of fiction and creative nonfiction by night. She’s been passionate about reading and writing for as long as she can remember, but her love of literature was really ignited as an English major at UC Berkeley, where she discovered James Joyce and the expatriate writers of 1920s Paris. The Ghost Marriage is her first published book. She has a few short stories in print (her story, Parting with Nina, won The Ledge’s 2004 Fiction Award) and an ambitious first novel, set in six historical periods, sits in some forgotten drawer. She’s an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the Napa Valley Writers Conference, and several other writers’ workshops. She’s currently at work on a historical novel featuring several members of the Lost Generation.

Check out her website at


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I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

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