The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson - Interview on Queer YA

Hi all,

I'm just posting here to send you over to Queer YA where I've posted my interview with Lisa Williamson, author of the wonderful book out this month The Art of Being Normal about a transgender teen. I've adored the book and I think it's a brilliant addition to LGBT YA books. Head over [here] to read all about her inspiration for the book, how she researched for some of the scenes and her bookish recommendation.

Caroline x

A Song For Issy Bradley - Carys Bray


This is the story of what happens when Issy Bradley dies.
It is the story of Ian - husband, father, maths teacher and Mormon bishop - and his unshakeable belief that everything will turn out all right if he can only endure to the end, like the pioneers did. It is the story of his wife Claire’s lonely wait for a sign from God and her desperate need for life to pause while she comes to terms with what's happened.
It is the story of the agony and hope of Zippy Bradley’s first love. The story of Alma Bradley’s cynicism and reluctant bravery. And it is the story of seven-year-old Jacob. His faith is bigger than a mustard seed, probably bigger than a toffee bonbon and he’s planning to use it to mend his broken family with a miracle.
Incredibly moving, unexpectedly funny and so sharply observed it will make you feel as if you could pick the woodchip off the bedroom wall, A SONG FOR ISSY BRADLEY explores the outer reaches of doubt and faith. But mostly it’s a story about a family trying to work out how to carry on when their world has fallen apart.


Becky's review:

Family, Religion, Faith, Grief, Loss and Life are all at the heart of this captivating read by Carys Bray. Each member of the Bradley family has to come to terms with the loss of their beloved Issy and the book shows how the process of grief is as unique as the person experiencing it. 

Each member of the Bradley family is vividly portrayed with individual characters taking up their own highly believable voice within the narrative. Ian, the head of the family and a Bishop in the Mormon Church, draws strength from his faith, while his wife Claire struggles to gain the same stability from her family’s religious foundations. Their children Zippy, Alma and Jacob also strive to find a way to carry on after their sister’s death in a world that suddenly feels like it has fallen apart.  

The narrative is subtle, sensitive and at times unexpectedly humorous when dealing with such complex themes. Huge questions about life and human existence are asked, and yet no answers are ever given, the reader experiences the character’s pain, agony and contemplates life’s big questions along with them, ultimately drawing their own conclusions along the way. An extremely moving and enthralling read.