REVIEW by Suzy Ceulan Hughes

NWR Issue 107

A Song for Issy Bradley

by Carys Bray

What would it be like, for the sake of love, to contort your whole being to fit in with your husband’s extreme religious beliefs? What would it be like to lose a child to death? And what if your child died, and your husband told you it was God’s will and a test of your faith?

Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards in the first novel category, A Song for Issy Bradley is a visceral exploration of a family’s response to the sudden death of four-year-old Issy. Her father Ian, a bishop in the Mormon Church, clings to his faith in Tender Mercies and the Celestial Kingdom, convincing himself that ‘there must be some greater purpose, some special lesson in all this’. Ian was brought up in the Church, and his faith is absolute and unquestioning. Issy’s mother Claire has happily embraced the Church because of her love for Ian, who, unlike her own father, is a good man: reliable, dependable, family-orientated, trustworthy and compulsively kind...

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previous review: Little Man
next review: Significance


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