BLOG TOUR: All the Good Things by Clare Fisher

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?

Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 240

I can't quite believe that All the Good Things is Clare Fisher's debut novel. It is highly accomplished, relevant and thought-provoking.
The book is narrated by 21 year-old Bethany who is in prison; all we know is that she has done something completely awful, something so bad that she has decided she has no right to ever feel happy again. She is seeing a counsellor in prison called Erika and she has asked Bethany to write a list of all the good things in her life, however small they may be. This takes us into the story; each point on Bethany's list shows us something from her past and we slowly build up a picture of events leading to her present situation.
Bethany has been let down so many times, firstly by her own mother; her illness led Bethany to be placed into care which led to many foster placements, resulting in a deeply unsettled childhood. She has not had one positive, consistent figure in her life which has meant she has had no support when she has had to face the consequences of her mistakes time and time again.
All the Good Things is written so well but it is not pleasurable  read yet I would say it is an important one. Whilst Bethany is a fictional character, she is very close to the truth. There are so many people being let down by the system, some come out the other side but many suffer the same fate as Bethany. This book touches on mental illness, social care, the education system, depression and vulnerability. Clare Fisher is clearly not one one to shy away from difficult subjects and she handles them with care and humility.
All the Good Things will open your eyes and make you think. What a fantastic debut, I would highly recommend this one.

Many thanks to Penguin for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, please check out the other blog stops! The book is available to buy now, simply click here!


Nadia A said...

Dot, this book sounds fantastic! I love this notion of her having to share "all the good things" from her life in order to confront what has put her in prison. I'm definitely adding this title to my TBR list - thanks!

By the by, I see you are reading Austen at Home - I love the cover and I've heard such great things about that book. Hope you are enjoying it :)

Dot said...

Thanks Nadia, the cover for Austen at Home is so lovely, I'm dipping in and out of it but it's very interesting, I've been quite shocked to discover how her family tried to cover up some parts of her path and present her differently.

Panharith said...

By the by, I see you are reading Austen at Home - I love the cover and I've heard such great things about that book. Hope you are enjoying it :)

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