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?
All the Good Things has taken a hold of me and grabbed my heart. This is an incredibly hard hitting, heavy novel but also a brilliant one. I cant even process my thoughts right now at what I have just read, it has astounded me with its beauty and thought provoking nature. A thought which I can fathom though is that this novel is another one of my favourite reads of 2017.
The story of All the Good Things follows a young single mum named Beth. When the novel opens Beth is in prison, why? We do not know yet but what we do know is that she has done a very bad thing. Before we find out what Beth has done we learn more about her colourful and sad past. Abandoned by her mother when she was a young girl meant that Beth grew up in the foster care system, it is fair to say that this was not a pleasant experience and that time and time again she would be let down by those foster families who were tasked to care for her and ultimately she ended up being passed from pillar to post. Growing up Beth got in a lot of trouble at school which is normally the case with foster children as they are screaming for attention and love. She then ended up hanging out with a bad crowd who hurt her behaviour and who influence her terribly and this is all whilst she is drinking and staying out with them to ridiculous hours of the morning. Despite all of this Beth is a very lovable character because deep down she is kind and thoughtful. She may be uneducated but do not let this fool you as she is highly intelligent with an intricate thinking mind. She desperately wants a better life for herself and she is determined to achieve this however it is difficult for her when the system repeatedly lets her down.
Whilst Beth is in prison Beth’s counsellor tasks her to write a list of all the good things in her life and after much reluctance, Beth starts the list, addressing it to the best and most important thing in her life: her daughter. As Beth writes about all the good things she is happy to have, the story of her unfolds before the readers eyes and it is a beautiful, mesmerising experience. She talks about all the things she loves such as reading, running and the people she loved before they abandoned her just like her mother sadly did and finally she confronts the unspeakably bad thing she done which resulted in her incarceration.
All The Good Things is a highly charged emotional read that grabs you right in the heart. It is emotive and beautiful simultaneously and a read which is impossible to put down. This novel is truly heartbreaking and moving but whilst it was all of these things it was still a very funny story sprinkled with hope throughout.
Beth is a very lovable character and you will find it impossible not to care about her once you learn of her heartbreaking back story and even when you find out this bad thing she has done you cant help but still feel sorry for her. Our writer Fisher writes her character with such poignancy that you immediately are so happy to be reading this novel because of the amazing protagonist. It is very difficult to write about Beth because in doing so I could easily slip up and let off hints about what she has done but when you do learn it adds another depth to her character and frankly she is a wonderful person.
I was truly shocked to find out that this is a debut novel from debut author Clare Fisher. Her writing is so powerful and emotive that I felt as if I was reading from an already established author so when I found out that this was actually a debut novel I was stunned. Fisher writes about important issues in today’s society and she does so eloquently well; she writes about living in poverty and the subsequent claiming of benefits, the system and how it lets down a lot of people – especially foster children – but also our judgemental prejudices to people we know nothing about. Fishers writing keeps you on edge so that your heart is in your mouth constantly and as you turn the pages you turn it with trepidation but also excitement; you know as a reader that your heart is going to be broken but you just do not know when. As a writer Fisher paints a vivid and moving picture of a world which we do not too often see which in turn creates an important, poignant story which will stay in your hearts for a long time.
To summarise I have to start by saying that I give this book Five Stars, it was truly that beautiful book lovers and unlike anything I have read. It affected me so much that when my husband came home from work all I could say was “I just finished reading the most beautiful but sad story”. It is incredible and if you are looking for an emotive read then this book is definitely for you!
Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much, comment below those wonderful thoughts of yours and let me know what you think about this novel. Could you see yourself reading it? Do you like highly emotive charged reads? Let me know and I will be sure to get in comment with you! Thank you again!
Goodbye for now book lovers,
P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! If you have loved what you have read and want to buy the wonderful novel then you can click the buy on amazon button and it will take you straight to Amazon U.K.! If you are international then click the Book Depository link underneath it! Thank you so much again for reading!