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All the Good Things by [Fisher, Clare]
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All the Good Things Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Review

Heartfelt, heartbreaking, and genuinely joyous (Francis Spufford, author of 'Golden Hill')

Compassionate and beautifully written (Carys Bray, author of A Song For Issy Bradley)

A funny and hopeful story... Clare writes with compassion and insight (Kit de Waal, bestselling author of 'My Name is Leon')

I raced through this beautiful novel, which oscillates between pain and hope, anger and joy. An important novel which celebrates the fact that good things exist inside every person, no matter how ignored or hidden. (Sarah Butler, author of 'Ten Things I've Learned About Love' and 'Before the Fire')

A heartbreaking, vital and seamless insight into a life that might otherwise be ignored or judged. The voice of Bethany is perfect - compelling, whip-smart and deeply affecting. (Emma Jane Unsworth, author of 'Animals')

Clare Fisher's novel addresses poverty, fear, and desperation. The protagonist, Beth, must fight for every good thing in her life. She has grown up in foster care and has no friends or family to protect her when she moves London. In many ways, it is a novel about loneliness and isolation. Yet throughout there is an indomitable love. It is a book that burns with compassion, both Beth's and Fisher's. The reader is left with the desire to find whatever resources of empathy they have and to live with greater kindness. (Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You)

A moving, compassionate account of someone struggling hard for redemption (Sunday Times)

From the Inside Flap

What if you did a very bad thing... but that wasn't the end of the story
'An extremely moving, emotional rollercoaster of a debut novel' 5* Goodreads review

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 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?


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1599 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Jun. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MYUWZYN
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,576 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An extremely moving, emotional rollercoaster of a debut novel about circumstances and consequences. Clare Fisher has done a superb job in writing about how poverty and lack of support can have a devastating impact on a person's life. The story slowly unfolds to reveal how the protagonist ultimately ends up in prison through various tragic experiences and desperate situations that she finds herself trapped within. It seems apparent that she's as much a victim in many ways despite being incarcerated.

Keep the tissues at hand, this empathetic beautiful story will have you bawling your eyes out.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent debut from an accomplished author in sensitive control of her craft. This protagonist will stay with you long after you've finished reading. Compelling, thought -provoking and brilliant!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Beth has done something dreadful and part of her prison therapy is to write lists of good things.

What a touching and scary read All the Good Things is. It’s touching because we see right into the very soul of dysfunctional and mentally ill Beth and her mother. It’s scary because what happens to them and the crime Beth has committed could actually happen to any one of us. I thought the dropping of the ‘any’ part of Bethany’s name highlighted this possibility. Her faults, her challenges, her triumphs and disasters are a hair’s breadth away for any one of us.

All the Good Things has a really clever structure. Within each of the list elements Beth writes is woven her back story, her childhood and what makes her who she is. Clare Fisher makes the reader confront Beth’s issues with her and understand that anyone we might judge in society, such as a woman in prison, is a real person with genuine struggles of their own. Beth is flawed, complex, intelligent and a complete disaster. The first person narrative with its breezy and realistic tone makes the story all the more real. I loved the way the text physically breaks down in structure at the end to reflect the actions happening in the story. The only element I was less keen on was some of the language in the reports in the file Beth reads. However, I think that might be because reading it made me feel quite uncomfortable.

I’m not sure All the Good Things is a book to enjoy as it paints at times a quite bleak view of the world, but it does have hope and optimism too and is a story that penetrates the soul of the reader. It is a book that educates and touches the reader so that I know it will resonate in my mind for a very long time.
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Format: Hardcover
All The Good Things is a well-written and heartbreaking novel about a young woman, Beth, who is in prison and encouraged by her therapist to write down whatever good things she can think of. Though this list and each explanation, her story emerges: how her life lead to the incident which ended up with her in prison. It is a gripping and moving book which shows how there are different sides to the story, even your own story.

The structure of the book means that events are told episodically in roughly chronological order, but with enough references early on to work out in broad strokes what has happened to Beth. As the narrative reaches these events, it becomes clear that her story is about how bad things can keep leading to more bad things, even though good things happen on a smaller scale. The novel is not particularly sensationalist despite the subject matter, but instead gives Beth real and human problems such as the way in which trauma and mental health issues affect all aspects of her life, from relationships to getting trapped in payday loans. Her narrative draws to a climax both in the story she is telling of her past and her present in the prison, as it becomes clear that she has never really been given the help she has needed.

Fisher paints a vivid and moving picture of how a person can be let down both by people and by the system, creating both a gripping novel and a stark reminder of the human cost of cuts to services for children, vulnerable people, and prisons. It is definitely one of my top books of the year so far.
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Format: Hardcover
On the first page of Clare Fisher’s debut novel we are lulled into the joy of ‘smelling a baby’s head right into your heart’. But the mood is immediately subverted when the narrator’s distinctive voice breaks through and we know we’re far from the cosy world of new motherhood.
Bethany (Beth) is twenty one, has had her own flat, a boyfriend and a baby, but now she’s angry, scared and in prison for a terrible crime she can hardly bring herself to think about. Her therapist, Erika asks her to ‘write down the good things’ about her life. For the first time in three weeks her hands stop shaking and she doesn’t’ mind the ‘blank space where the handle should be on the door’ because she’s thinking about her baby: ‘your eyelashes…the way you’d murmur in your sleep…the delicious smell of your head...’
Beth has a complete lack of confidence in herself and the lowest self-esteem possible. By being challenged to remember and to write down the ‘good things’, she gradually comes to term with the story of her life so far, which initially doesn’t look great: a mother with a severe mental health issue, a series of foster homes and an ongoing lack of stability. Each chapter is subtitled with one of the ‘good things’ in her life: when she goes running she feels the ‘real you rises up… you’re free’; she describes her friends and lovers, of happy successful times: sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, or flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays. But she still always has a sense of a terrible loss, and of being lost, waking up feeling as if there’s ‘a heavy person, who you don’t love or even know – lying on top of you.
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