All the Good Things will be published by Viking Books an imprint of Penguin Books on 1st June 2017. My thanks to the publisher and author for having me on the blog tour.
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?
Bethany Mitchell is only young, she is also in prison. She is a bright young lady. She loves reading and writing stories, although she hasn't done much of either lately. She has committed a terrible crime. She doesn't think that she should ever be forgiven, nor does she think she should forgive herself. With the help of her prison therapist she is encouraged to start writing a list of all the good things, instead of concentrating on the bad.
These good things allow her to tell us in order pretty much what happened to her. Her story is told in her voice and all the bits about her past life and what actually happened to her slowly unfold. I found this to be as equally moving as I did heartbreaking. I found Beth to be a very warm character and found her story to be incredibly touching. Through Beth we get an exploration as to how a series of events can spiral out of all control.
This book explores some complex and brave themes such as Mental Health stigmas, isolation, financial difficulties and growing up within the social care system. The author tackled these with much maturity and they were sensitively handled.
I read this book very quickly, I found it to be really sad but also very real. I think the thing I will take from it is that there is always hope and good things to take from life even when things go bad.
An extremely haunting and accomplished debut.
About the Author:
Clare Fisher was born in Tooting, south London, in 1987. After accidentally getting obsessed with writing fiction when she should have been studying for a BA in History at the University of Oxford. Clare completed an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and now works as a bookseller in Leeds.
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. You can find her on Twitter @claresitafisher
Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour: