Featured debut: A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray

Issy_BradleyA life ends. And a different kind of life begins

How would you feel if you were a mother who had lost one of her children? Would you slowly but surely retreat from the world around you? Would you turn to religion or question everything you have ever believed in? Would you be able to continue being a devoted wife and mother to the rest of your family?  

Author Carys Bray has depicted all of the above in her beautiful and heart-breaking debut, A Song for Issy Bradley.

The Bradleys are a devoted Mormon family who are struggling with the loss of their youngest daughter, Issy. Ian Bradley retains a steadfast belief that he can rebuild their lives and overcome grief if he stays committed to his faith. His wife Claire has retreated completely from family life and abandoned faith and the hope of her life ever being happy again. Siblings Zippy and Al are exploring their teenage years. Then there's Jacob: aged seven, he believes in miracles and wants above everything else to bring his family back together again.  

Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and selected for the Richard and Judy Summer Reading Book Club, this is a novel which speaks to parents, sons and daughters and anyone who has faced grief and asked the question of how to go on when a loved-one is gone.

We are delighted that Carys has also offered her top ten tips for writing for budding authors.


What the critics said 

'Such courage, warmth and intelligence. Bray sweetly and subtly breaks your heart.' Charlotte Mendelson, author of Almost English

'Bray brings humour, empathy and knowledge to what is fundamentally a novel about grief and faith – and whether the latter can emerge from the former unshaken. The Bradleys don't. And nor, I guarantee, will you. Read this if you like Jojo Moyes' Me Before You.'  Harper’s Bazaar

What mumsnetters said 

‘This book is one of my top ten reads of 2015. I read approximately 4 books per month and 'A Song For Issy Bradley' will stay with me for a very long time’. epskie

'A story that pulled the emotions in all direction.s I found it hard to put down and go to work.' Mythbirt



About the author

Carys Bray was brought up in a devout Mormon family. In her early thirties she left the church and replaced religion with writing. She was awarded the Scott prize for her debut short story collection Sweet Home. A Song for Issy Bradley is her first novel. Carys lives in Southport with her husband and four children.


Discuss: A Song For Issy Bradley

We gave away 50 copies of A Song for Issy Bradley. Read the reviews and find out what they thought on the discussion thread.





Last updated: about 3 years ago