What a Way to Go Paperback – 7 Jan 2016
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What a fabulous novel! So fresh, touching, truthful and laugh-out-loud funny. I absolutely loved it. Author: Deborah Moggach
I hugely, entirely enjoyed this book. What a Way to Go is richly transporting - and so funny, and so moving. Julia Forster has all the marks of a prize-winning novelist; you know it from the first pages. Author: Horatio Clare
A brilliant debut. Sharp, sweet, bristling with wit and full of hilarious, wildly imaginative observations. In Harper Julia Forster has created a bold and distinctive 12 year old voice that manages to be nostalgic and authentic at the same time. Author: Emma Jane Unsworth, author of 'Animals'
I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. Harper is such a lovable, funny character, and seeing the the 1980s through her eyes is both moving and revealing. I loved the 'mis-en-scene' of Blackbrake, the whole small town atmosphere where the skies are as grey as her 'school uniform', and I thought the monstrously selfish but somehow sympathetic Mum is a great comic creation. Above all, I thought Harper's tone was perfectly judged, that mix of knowingness, naivete, and humour was great. It deserves to do really well. I will put a 5 star review on Amazon! Author: Francis Gilbert
I haven't enjoyed a book this much in ages. It's wonderful... Harper [is] an amazing protagonist - all the things I wanted to be at that age but probably never was - bright, funny, inquisitive, happy in her own skin. Author: Megan Bradbury, author of 'Everyone Is Watching'
Oh, this one is good, so very good. Heart-breaking, humorous and thought provoking. Thank you Julia Foster for a brilliant debut novel. Author: Phylippa Smithson for lovereading.co.uk
Poignant, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and a fabulous portrait of the time. Source: Woman & Home
As a first novel it has promise, with some sensitive writing and funny lines. Source: The Scotsman
This is a bittersweet tale of one girl just at the cusp of becoming a young woman with a burgeoning mind of her own, and a blossoming sense of life's possibilities. Source: The Western Mail
What a Way to Go is very funny and warm, sometimes sad, always beautifully written and just a ... joy [to read]. Author: Hayley Long, blogger and author, twice nominated for the Costa Award
A gorgeous, big-hearted debut novel of a young girl tackling the business of growing up while those around her try not to fall apart.See all Product description
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Looking forward to reading more by this highly accomplished writer.
The reader is told the story through the eyes of the eyes of twelve-year-old Harper, who I adored. Julia has managed to bring to life a real character here - capturing perfectly a 1980's 'nearly' teenager. There was no cartoon-like mannerisms to her, everything Harper says and does I could really relate to someone of her age thinking and believing. Her personal little asides made me laugh out loud, quite literally, probably more so because I would have been about her age when the novel is set, 1988, so many of the things she mentions, longs for, does I was mentioning, longing for or doing.
I loved how 'ordinary' the other characters were and what they were doing too. The story covers normal, everyday life, very realistic (ok - so maybe I personally have never known anyone to buy their coffin, put shelves in and use it as a book case until they need it - but, that isn't to say it doesn't happen!) and all of it a nostalgic nod to the grand old 1980's when chain smoking indoors was quite accepted, booze runs to France were the highlight of the year and shell suits were cool, although ridiculously flammable.
Although there are no big showdowns, explosions or highly gripping cliff-hangers, what this book is full of is emotion. Harper is highly sensitive to the feelings of everyone around her and goes to great lengths to protect others, from her parents to the elderly neighbour in the village. This is mostly done quite humorously, after all a lot of people cope with stress this way, but the plot is piqued with one or two sad and serious issues and as much as I did laugh with this book I did also shed a tear (or two hundred) towards the end and that was when I knew how involved with the book and its characters I was.
I can only imagine this book was a real joy for Julia Forster to write and I hope, one day, we might see how Harper is doing as a grown up...