Thursday 22 June 2017

Review: All The Good Things by Clare Fisher

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?

Review: Oh I so enjoyed reading this novel. This was one of those books that you read slowly because you want to savour it and take it all in. I haven't read a book like this in a while, i normally devour books so quickly but this one I kept having to put down to ponder and mull over in my mind. This book obviously had such a serious subject matter and is by no means light-hearted but I could see this happening in so many places I have known and in so many situations I have seen and so I could definitely relate, indirectly to parts of this book. 

I loved the premise behind this one. Someone in prison but being encouraged to note down the good things in her life. Beth is such an interesting character because she is most definitely old before her time and so some of the things she discusses with her counsellor and some of the things she has been through seem so much like things people would discuss who have lived a long life, or seen many things over their years on earth. Each chapter starts with one of the good things that Beth is discussing with her counsellor and they are written as if they are a letter to someone. We find out who that person is fairly early on but I won't spoil it for you!

Beth is such a complex character and definitely someone I can recognise. She has been through the foster system, she has been let down by the benefits system, she has fallen through the cracks and we are led to believe that this is why she did the bad thing. We don't find out until the end what that bad thing is, but i did begin to guess throughout the book. Part of me didn't want to find out because I had warmed to Beth so much, but I knew I needed to know and this aspect of the book is so beautifully woven into the story line and so well crafted. I think people will definitely have different opinions of Beth but I really warmed to her and I wish that I could have known her to support her in some way. 

Obviously this book deals with many many issues and many issues that people will not really have come across in their lives except for perhaps on the news. But these issues are woven into the story line amongst real things that we can all relate to. Our first job as a teenager, cinema outings and outings with friends when you don't really have enough money to afford them. Not living up to someones expectations and the fear you feel the first time you are truly on your won. For such  serious book though, this isn't a depressing or even a majorly heavy read. I really enjoyed it and thought that Claire Fisher dealt with these topics in such a sensitive way and just writes beautifully. I really enjoyed reading this novel and would encourage you to read it now. 

To order your copy, just click the link!  UK 

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