Review: All the Good Things, by Clare Fisher

Synopsis: 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?

Title: All the Good Things
Author: Clare Fisher
Publisher: Viking
Pub Date: 1st June 2017
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9780241275757

Rating:

“There isn’t a human in the world who doesn’t want love”

Normally, when I’m in a book slump I read something nice and easy – like a YA or fantasy. This time round, I picked up All the Good Things.

And. If I’m brutally honest, I picked it up because it was:

  • Beautiful
  • Small
  • Something so utterly different to what I’d normally read

I figured I’d read a few pages on the way to work and, worst comes to worst, if I didn’t like it I’d pick up a shiny new book on the way home…

…Then I started reading.

…And didn’t stop till I finished.

This book isn’t fast-paced in the normal sense. It won’t keep you on the edge of your seat and there’s no sight of a conventionally happy ending. Instead, All the Good Things will seize your soul, hold it in a vice-like grip, and force you to go through every emotion imaginable.

Anger. Sadness. Hope. Hate. Pity. Shock.

You name it, you’ll feel it.

If that’s not enough to make this book brilliant, All The Good Things will also question all your perceptions; something I hated and loved in equal measure.

I’m a simple being. I love fantasy books because there’s (normally) a clear difference between right and wrong. Happy endings are a must, and the bad guys clearly deserve everything they have coming to them.

If I knew her crime at the beginning of the book, I would have judged Beth harshly. I would have shown little sympathy and dismissed her story as ‘not a good enough excuse’.

Harsh, I know.

The beautiful thing about this book is that Fisher forces you to see Beth’s crime, not as a single and separate act, but as the outcome of an entire history. And, once you know the full story, it’s hard not to feel for her.

Insightful, poignant and beautifully written, All The Good Things is one of those books that will stay with you for a long time after you’ve finished. Highly recommended!

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