Today I’m incredibly excited to be a part of the blog tour for All The Good Things!
Title: All The Good Things
Author: Clare Fisher
Publisher: Viking (Penguin UK)
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 is heart-wrenching, touching and, at times, funny – all rolled into one beautifully written, thought-provoking book.
Main character (and narrator) Beth is both frustrating (at times I just wanted to shout at her to not do that, or do this!) but also a wonderful character. She is a fairly simple soul but battling thoughts and emotions which are so difficult to contend with, especially when your life is already hard enough, and seems to keep getting harder. She encounters prejudice and people making assumptions about her, and this in turn makes the reader think about how we can judge people and the struggles they go through.
I loved the premise of this book – Beth is told by her therapist that she should write down the things that are good about her life. In doing this we learn a lot more about her, and the narrative flicks between her childhood, and the time leading up to this ‘bad thing’ she’s done, and the present day where she is living her days in prison. By the end of the book I felt like Beth was a good friend that I know so well, which is even more impressive considering this is a fairly short novel. Beth tries to improve her life and in some ways succeeds, and in others just makes things more difficult for herself, but throughout the novel she is incredibly likeable.
The other characters in this novel are interesting but often not particularly good for Beth’s life. They add to the chaotic tone of the novel and I loved reading about all the people who had influenced her over the years in some way, and slowly discovering more about this ‘bad thing’ Beth has done. There are some really sad scenes which made me think and made me feel cry, and some other scenes that made me feel uplifted and positive. I think I went through every emotion whilst reading All The Good Things, and Clare Fisher is evidently a great storyteller.
I’m so impressed with All The Good Things and would urge anyone to read it: a beautiful, poignant and touching novel.
Many thanks to the publisher, Viking, for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review, and for allowing me to be part of this fantastic book tour!