A Song for Issy Bradley

By Carys Bray
(Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780553390889, 352pp.)

Publication Date: August 12, 2014

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Description

A mesmerizing literary debut novel of doubt, faith, and perseverance in the aftermath of a family tragedy—for fans of Me Before You, Little Bee, and Tell the Wolves I’m Home.
 
The Bradleys see the world as a place where miracles are possible, and where nothing is more important than family. This is their story.
 
It is the story of Ian Bradley—husband, father, math 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, her lonely wait for a sign from God, and her desperate need for life to pause while she comes to terms with tragedy.
 
And it is the story of their children: sixteen-year-old Zippy, experiencing the throes of first love; cynical fourteen-year-old Al, who would rather play soccer than read the Book of Mormon; and seven-year-old Jacob, whose faith is bigger than a mustard seed—probably bigger than a toffee candy, he thinks—and which he’s planning to use to mend his broken family with a miracle.
 
Intensely moving, unexpectedly funny, and deeply observed, A Song for Issy Bradley explores the outer reaches of doubt and faith, and of a family trying to figure out how to carry on when the innermost workings of their world have broken apart.
 
Praise for A Song for Issy Bradley
 
“I loved A Song for Issy Bradley. It’s wry, smart . . . moving and comforting. . . . A terrific book [about] faith, and what happens to that faith when the unimaginable happens.”—Nick Hornby, The Believer

The Book of Mormon with an English accent.”New York Post
 
“Bray fully inhabits each of her characters, displaying an admirable range of narrative talent rare in a first novel. Fans of The Lonely Polygamist and Where’d You Go, Bernadette will savor this thrilling glimpse behind the scenes of a family in crisis.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“With wit and compassion, plus insider knowledge of the Mormon way of life, Bray exposes the raw emotions of a family in crisis. An intriguing and heartbreaking story from an author to watch.”Library Journal
 
“An absorbing, beautifully written debut novel with surprising moments of humor.”Kirkus Reviews

“In this wry, original, generous-spirited debut novel, members of a family come to terms with grief, each in his or her own way. They wrestle with belief and disillusionment, desire and hopelessness, pervasive sorrow and moments of transcendent joy. The result is riveting, powerful, and quietly devastating. Quite simply, A Song for Issy Bradley took my breath away.”—Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
 
A Song for Issy Bradley is that rarest of things—a book that is beautiful, tender, and a page-turner. Carys Bray made me fall hopelessly in love with each and every one of the Bradleys.”—Carol Rifka Brunt, New York Times bestselling author of Tell the Wolves I’m Home
 
“I cannot remember the last time I have felt so emotionally invested in a novel. It is brilliant and profoundly moving, utterly compelling and almost unbearably real.”—Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall




About the Author

Carys Bray completed an M.A. in creative writing at Edge Hill University in 2010. That same year she won the M.A. category of the Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story, and her stories have since been published in a variety of literary magazines. She was awarded the Scott Prize for her debut collection, Sweet Home, and is now working on a Ph.D. She lives in Southport, England, with her husband and four children. This is her first novel.




Praise For A Song for Issy Bradley

“I loved A Song for Issy Bradley. It’s wry, smart . . . moving and comforting. . . . A terrific book [about] faith, and what happens to that faith when the unimaginable happens.”—Nick Hornby, The Believer

The Book of Mormon with an English accent.”New York Post
 
“[Carys] Bray fully inhabits each of her characters, displaying an admirable range of narrative talent rare in a first novel. Fans of The Lonely Polygamist and Where’d You Go, Bernadette will savor this thrilling glimpse behind the scenes of a family in crisis.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“With wit and compassion, plus insider knowledge of the Mormon way of life, Bray exposes the raw emotions of a family in crisis. An intriguing and heartbreaking story from an author to watch.”Library Journal
 
“An absorbing, beautifully written debut novel with surprising moments of humor.”Kirkus Reviews

“In this wry, original, generous-spirited debut novel, members of a family come to terms with grief, each in his or her own way. They wrestle with belief and disillusionment, desire and hopelessness, pervasive sorrow and moments of transcendent joy. The result is riveting, powerful, and quietly devastating. Quite simply, A Song for Issy Bradley took my breath away.”—Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
 
A Song for Issy Bradley is that rarest of things—a book that is beautiful, tender, and a page-turner. Carys Bray made me fall hopelessly in love with each and every one of the Bradleys.”—Carol Rifka Brunt, New York Times bestselling author of Tell the Wolves I’m Home
 
“I cannot remember the last time I have felt so emotionally invested in a novel. It is brilliant and profoundly moving, utterly compelling and almost unbearably real.”—Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall
 
“Carys Bray is a strikingly original new voice in fiction. I loved this tender, moving, funny, and deeply truthful story about a family and a faith tested to the breaking point.”—Helen Dunmore, author of The Lie and The Siege
 
“I loved A Song for Issy Bradley. With courage, warmth, and intelligence, Carys Bray sweetly and subtly breaks your heart. It’s an incredible debut.”—Charlotte Mendelson, author of Almost English and When We Were Bad

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