All The Good Things – Clare Fisher

About the book: 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?

My Review: WOW – for a debut novel this book is exceptionally moving, hard-hitting and emotionally draining.  All The Good Things is Beth’s story told from her prison cell where she is currently serving a sentence for a very bad crime.  At twenty years old, Beth has had a heartbreaking upbringing and circumstances beyond her control have led her to do something so terrible that she has given up on herself.

When her prison counsellor Erika tells her to make a list of all the good things in her life, we are taken back to Beth’s early childhood.  Through her memories we learn more about her childhood and what happened to Beth that was so awful it leads to prison.

This is a beautifully written book, but in places painfully raw and my heart ached for Beth.  Whilst the story is bleak and depressing in places, there is an underlying message of hope, understanding, acceptance and love.  I would definitely recommend this book.

About the AuthorClare Sita 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.

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. She now lives, writes and works as a bookseller in Leeds.

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