Friday, 28 July 2017
All The Good Things by Clare Fisher - Blog Tour
Published June 1st 2017 by Viking, Penguin UK
With thanks to Penguin UK for sending me an advance reader's copy of this book.
Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn't deserve to ever feel good again.
But her counsellor, Erika, won't give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby's head.
But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.
What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone-even a 100% bad person-deserve a chance to be good?
This is a book that examines the grey areas in life and how hardship can push people to their breaking point.
The story is told between the present, where Beth is in prison, to the past, showing how Beth's life progressed. From trouble with foster parents, to issues at school and being thrust into the working world and supporting herself independently from a young age; Beth had a hard life. However, her counsellor Erika asks her to try to remember the good things in life and in doing so we realise there is more to Beth than meets the eye and Beth learns that too.
Most of the characters in this book frustrated me but at the same time I could see how they had become the way they were.
Beth's voice is very distinctive in the book, seeming both very young and older than her years. Her naivety and lack of knowledge about things everyone should have the right to know shocked me. Her crime wasn't a surprise but the journey of how she reached that point was heartbreaking.
This was an interesting, emotionally charged read and an apt social commentary which deserves discussion. I would give it 3 out of 5.
About the Author:
An avid observer of the diverse area of south London in which she grew up, Clare's writing is inspired by her long-standing interest in social exclusion and the particular ways in which it affects vulnerable women and girls. All The Good Things is her first novel. She now lives, writes and works as a bookseller in Leeds.