A question – a big question: how would you feel if you were a mother who had lost one of her children? Would you slowly but surely retreat from the world around you? Would you turn to religion or question everything you have ever believed in? Would you be able to continue being a devoted wife and mother to the rest of your family?
Author Carys Bray has depicted all of the above in her beautiful and heart-breaking debut, A Song for Issy Bradley. The Bradleys are a devoted Mormon family who are struggling with the loss of their youngest daughter, Issy. Ian Bradley retains a steadfast belief that he can rebuild their lives and overcome grief if he stays committed to his faith. His wife Claire has retreated completely from family life and abandoned faith and the hope of her life ever being happy again. Siblings Zippy and Al are exploring their teenage years. Then there’s Jacob: aged seven, he believes in miracles and wants above everything else to bring his family back together again.
Winner of the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2015, and shortlisted for the COSTA First Novel Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction, not to mention being a Richard and Judy Summer Reading Club pick, this is a novel which has appealed to so many readers for very different reasons. Told from the point of view of each family member, it speaks to parents, sons and daughters and anyone who has faced grief and asked the question of how to go on when a loved-one is gone.