A Song For Issy Bradley by Carys Bray

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Every once in a while there is a full consensus of opinion at a Reading Group and, I’m pleased to record, this was the case when the Bury group discussed A Song For Issy Bradley by Carys Bray. This is a fabulous story that examines one family’s dynamics in the face of a huge tragedy, testing their faith in the Mormon religion and their abilities to love, support and forgive one another in the aftermath of a devastating loss.

Every member of the Bury group really enjoyed reading this book. Even though the subject matter was described as being “harrowing” and “very upsetting at times”, everyone agreed that it was ultimately “thought provoking”. The discussion that ensued was lively, absorbing and thoroughly enjoyable. A one hour meeting just wasn’t enough time!

Even though there was some mixture in the group’s reactions to the main characters, it was agreed that Carys Bray had created a cast that was credible and believable. The narrative was engaging and gripping, with quite a few group members agreeing that this style of writing enabled them to fully visualize the main characters, even to the point of being able to smell them! A truly powerful and descriptive technique!

If you fancy giving A Song For Issy Bradley a try you might find it useful to read the summary given on the Bury Libraries catalogue:

Sometimes however much you love someone, you can’t understand them. Ian used to think that his life had been disappointingly easy, compared to the pioneers. He had a happy marriage, four children, a satisfactory job and, for just over a year, he has served the church in his role as Bishop of the local congregation, an enormous responsibility. And then Issy died. Now his wife, Claire, won’t get out of their dead daughter’s bottom bunk and she won’t speak.

Another great insight that came from the Bury Reading Group’s discussion is that if you enjoyed this book you will probably also enjoy The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff:

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Jordan returns to visit his mother in jail. As a teenager he was expelled from his family & community, a secretive Mormon sect. Now his father has been shot dead & one of his wives is accused of the crime.

Happy reading,

Nic (Reader Development Team)

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