The moving, beautiful Richard and Judy Book Club pick
A moving, powerful and ultimately uplifting story about a family coming to terms with the loss of a child for fans of The Shock of the Fall and Me Before You.
WINNER OF THE AUTHORS' CLUB BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2015
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2015 AND THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2015
Meet the Bradleys.
In lots of ways, they’re a normal family:
Zippy is sixteen and in love for the first time; Al is thirteen and dreams of playing for Liverpool.
And in some ways, they’re a bit different:
Seven-year-old Jacob believes in miracles. So does his dad.
But these days their mum doesn’t believe in anything, not even getting out of bed.
How does life go on, now that Issy is gone?
“I cannot remember a time when a novel has seduced me so completely . . . Bray writes with such clarity, intelligence and authenticity that it feels as if a trusted old friend is telling you the story, that the characters are people you know.”
“Wonderful ... heartbreaking, compassionate and funny.”
Shelley Harris, Independent on Sunday
“Bray explores the healing power of religion with rare assurance in one of the year's most impressive debuts.”
Mail on Sunday
“Bray brings humour, empathy and knowledge to what is fundamentally a novel about grief and faith ... Read this if you like: Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You.”
“I loved this tender, moving, funny and deeply truthful story about a family and a faith tested to breaking-point.”
Helen Dunmore, author of THE LIE
“A brilliant debut, compelling and profoundly moving.”
Nathan Filer, Costa winner of THE SHOCK OF THE FALL
“A terrific book . . . I loved A SONG FOR ISSY BRADLEY ... it’s moving and comforting in a way that makes sense even to the agnostic.”
“A powerful, heart-breaking book.”
“unique . . . beautifully written . . . powerful”
“Bray slips with thoroughness, imagination and dexterity into each of the characters' consciousness . . . [She] is wincingly honest and emotions are portrayed with an assurance that comes from understanding . . . A Song for Issy Bradley is a skilful and empathetic dramatisation. The fact that it deals with such distressing subject matter without falling prey to sentimentality makes it all the more admirable . . . There are some wonderful one-liners . . .Bray's greatest gift, however, is understatement.”
Grace McCleen, Guardian
“Happy the debut novelist who can write well but who also has access to extraordinary subject matter. This is an impressive debut from a compassionate, wise and original new voice.”
Suzi Feay, Independent
“Bray performs a small miracle of her own by inhabiting each family member at every stage of the tragedy as their doubts and fears creep in . . . [and] manages it with an astonishing lightness of touch . . . A stunning, unmissable debut.”
Christie Hickman, Sunday Express
“While this debut is heart-rendingly poignant with a bleak tragedy at its heart, it's also funny and vividly written.”
“I loved A SONG FOR ISSY BRADLEY: such courage, warmth and intelligence. Carys Bray sweetly and subtly breaks your heart. It's an incredible debut.”
Charlotte Mendelson, author of Booker-longlisted ALMOST ENGLISH and Orange Prize-shortlisted, WHEN WE WERE BAD
“Such strong writing, with so much fine imagery . . . very moving. It sings. The characters are completely believable and their grief is conveyed with a truly admirable, unsentimental lightness of touch, which brought laughter between the tears.”
Emma Henderson, author of Orange-shortlisted GRACE WILLIAMS SAYS IT LOUD
“In places it is devastating, but it is also unexpectedly funny, even joyful, a hugely impressive novel about what it means to grieve – and to be part of a family.”
“I was hooked by this beadily observed and moving portrayal of grief, doubt and faith.”
Debut of the Month, Woman & Home
“Uncontrollable bawling on public transport alert! … Deeply effecting… A seriously impressive debut”
Mostly Yummy Mummy blog