I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for All the Good Things by Clare Fisher – a novel that will highly likely change your perceptions of the vulnerable members of our society. We’re (on the whole) quick to make judgements based on the information shared by media and maybe, this fictional story will make you stop and ponder on someone’s life journey …
File Size: 1599 KB
Print Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Penguin (1 Jun. 2017)
What if you did a very bad thing… but that wasn’t the end of the story
Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve ever to 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 a story about redemption and hope for fans of Nathan Filer, Stephen Kelman and Emma Healey.
All the Good Things is narrated by Beth in the form of a journal/list she is completing at the behest of her therapist in prison, Erika. The good things she writes about are directed to her baby, as if it is something she will read when she’s older. Her child is number one on the list.
I loved the way this structure is used to gain an insight into Beth’s life. Beth was 7 years old when she was placed in her first foster home (although it’s much later in the story when we get a window into what life was like with her mum) and from there we get to know the important people who either gave her positive experiences or who had impact but for very different reasons. We learn how painful it is to hope and want to belong when everything is going wrong.
It’s easy to become emotionally attached to Beth and get caught up in her life. Clare Fisher skillfully draws you in so even though you know something awful has happened, that’s almost a sideline. In the beginning I found the suspense unbearable … what crime had Beth committed? What happened in Somerset? but then it didn’t matter. It was almost irrelevant opposite Beth’s want and need to belong, to trust and get it right. I can guarantee your emotions will tangle and you’ll probably shed a few tears.
There’s so much more I want to say. It’s hard trying to be vague! This story brings my anxieties to the surface in relation to my day job. Looking beyond behaviour to find the motivation isn’t easy and things get missed. I can say it’s a timely story and may help others in finding the courage to speak out.
All the Good Things is a poignant story. A life journey from childhood to becoming a woman … a woman who hasn’t learnt how to be in the world. And the ending leaves us with hope and possibilities 🙂 This is a debut you don’t want to miss!
Connect with Clare Fisher