The Museum of YouTitle: The Museum of You

Author: Carys Bray

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Random House UK

The Blurb

Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories.

Darren has done his best. He’s studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want – everything he can think of, at least – to be happy.

What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother’s belongings. Volume isn’t important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be.

But what you find depends on what you’re searching for.

The Review

Some love stories are unusual. For me The Museum of You by Carys Bray was an unusual love story.

It is about the love of a daughter to her mother.

Clover Quinn is a twelve year old girl dealing with all the problems in life that a twelve year old girl has. She is dealing with having had her first year in high school, weird friendship groups, and body changes. On top of all of this, Clover is dealing with a slightly agoraphobic granddad, an uncle with a mental health disorder, a gossipy neighbour, and a dad who dries up whenever the topic of Clover’s dead mother comes up in conversation.

The Museum of You is Clover’s story of growing up. It is about family dynamics and secrets and lies and most of all the heart-warming and heartbreaking relationship between children and their parents.

Last year I read Carys Bray’s A Song for Issy Bradley and I thought it was an accomplished piece of writing but Bray has taken things one step further by creating a warm and truthful family of which I wanted to be a part. The Quinn family are a-warts-and-all, no-holds-barred kind of team and it was a delight to be in their world for 368 pages.

The Museum of You by Carys Bray is available from 16th June 2016.

Follow Carys Bray (@CarysBray) on Twitter or visit her official website www.carysbray.co.uk

For more titles from Random House UK(@randomhouse) visit www.randomhousebooks.com

4 Stars

Synopsis

The Bradley family are devout Mormons. Their faith is unquestionable as they conduct their lives by the teachings of the church. Ian Bradley is not only the head of the family but is the Bishop in his local area; his wife Claire regularly sees the church put before his family but that is the way of the religion. God comes first. However, when the unthinkable happens within the Bradley family everyone’s faith is put to the test.

Review

Reading about religion will forever be an eye opener especially in modern society when for most religion has been reduced to special occasions and faith is not practised as much as it once was. In A Song For Issy Bradley, Carys Bray presents a story of fervent faith within the modern family and has focused on the Mormon religion which in itself is a fascinating topic but when structured around a fictional text very much becomes the foundation for its characters.

Bray handled the difficult subject of child death with dignity and heart. Her narrative is beautiful as she undresses the emotions that Claire was feels through the loss of a child. It is heartbreaking to read but absolutely necessary to see her crumble under the sheer pain and how her grief snowballs on to the rest of the family.

The familial roles significantly change yet the traditional roles that are expected within the religion remain i.e. the eldest child (and daughter) Zippy takes on the housekeeping responsibilities because it as expected. Ian tries to hold it all together as not only his wife falls apart but as he deals with his own grief and tries to remain faithful to his religious beliefs that everything happens for a greater purpose. His son Al, who has always been a loose cannon continues to misbehave and tries to mask his grief with humour and youngest son Jacob sticks fervently to his belief that his younger sister will be returned to him.

A Song For Issy Bradley is beautiful. There is no other word for it. Bray shines through as a new voice to look out for.

A Song For Issy Bradley by Carys Bray is available now.

 

This week was a week of good books. I managed to make my way through the majority of my TBR pile from last week and I managed to read two of my own books that were not specifically for review (although technically I did review one of them but you know what I mean).

This week I read:

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan

What Would Mary Berry Do? by Claire Sandy

The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

The Atlas of Us by Tracy Buchanan

Every single one of them was brilliant in their own way. What I have noticed about myself through reading this selection of books is that my taste in literature has matured over the past few years. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy a good light hearted chick lit but a lot of the books that I have read lately have been a lot weightier. The themes and plotlines are dark, twisty and a lot of the time they are unresolved. So, Kudos to me and my reading maturity.

This week’s TBR pile looks a little like this:

Paper Swans by Jessica Thompson (Physical Copy)

Between the Lives by Jessica Shrivington (NetGalley)

A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray (NetGalley)

Boy About Town by Tony Flectcher (Physical Copy)

Chelsea Bird by Virginia Ironside (NetGalley)

I hope you all have a really good reading week.

L x x