Back of the book :
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 pop 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 ?
What I think :
Bethany or Beth for short, is in prison. She’s done something really bad. So bad she doesn’t even want to think about it, let alone talk about it. She’s only been in there for three weeks. She has a counsellor, Erika who, even although Beth doesn’t talk to her, keeps on coming anyway. Day after day, week after week, she doesn’t give up on her.
Erika has asked Beth to write a list of ‘All the good things’ in her life. So, as she’s got nothing better to do, Beth sits down and writes ‘All the good things’ in her life. She writes about the running she loves, but has to do and also of her friend/enemy Cal, that she’s known since her school days. Beth’s life unfolds into the pages of the exercise book that Erika has given her. And she realises that her life isn’t that bad after all (apart from the ‘Bad Thing’ that she’s done)
But soon the writing must come to an end and Beth must face up to the ‘Bad thing’ the she did ….
When I was asked to read and review this book, I really didn’t know where this book was going to go, I mean a book about a woman in prison for doing something really bad isn’t really a uplifting subject isn it ? However as I started to read it, I got quite engrossed and actually read the book in an afternoon !
The story is told through the memories of Beth, of her life really. Its in the form of a list of ‘Good’ things that are in her life.
Its quite heartbreaking in a way because Beth’s life has never really been a good one. So this list is a kind of therapy for her. She really needs it as she needs to face up to ‘The bad thing’ that she has done.
I really loved the well written characters and all their faults made them seem more human.
You don’t find out what the ‘Bad thing’ that Beth did until the very end of the book. I don’t want to ruin anything so I won’t say what the ‘Bad thing’ that she did is. But I will say this, all the clues are there and I pretty much guessed it correctly.
This is a fabulous debut book which I definitely would recommend.
I give it 9/10 (Five Stars)
Published by Viking on 01/06/17.
A huge Thank you to Josie Murdoch and Claire Fisher for the review copy of the book.