Thursday, 24 April 2014

Carry You by Beth Thomas

“For you mum. This is all for you” 
For anyone who has loved, lost or found it hard to let go, CARRY YOU will make you laugh, cry and celebrate your best friends. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Jo Jo Moyes. 
Daisy has lost her mum to breast cancer. She’s at rock bottom and doesn’t think she’ll ever get back up again. Her best friend Abi has other ideas – she tells it like it is and she’s determined to make Daisy remember the person she used to be. 
What Daisy doesn’t know is that, thanks to Abi, her life is about to take an unexpected turn, when she signs them up to do a charity walk. Added to which, someone is about to burst into Daisy’s world in a riot of colour reminding her that life can be full of surprises.

Carry You is the debut novel from Beth Thomas, published by Avon Books on 24 April 2014.

Daisy spends her days curled up on the sofa, eating Jaffa Cakes and watching re-runs of Hugh Grant movies. Her house is a filthy mess, she's getting fatter, she doesn't answer the phone. Her only connection with the outside world are her constant Facebook updates; and those are flippant and don't tell the whole truth.

Daisy didn't used to be like this but after losing her beloved mother to breast cancer and becoming estranged from the rest of her family, she really can't see any reason in getting washed, dressed ... any reason for anything really.

Abby is Daisy's best friend. Abby is determined that Daisy will pull herself back from the brink of despair and decides that both of them will do the Moonwalk. A fundraising walk of 26 miles through London in the evening, and so begins Abby's quest to get Daisy back into the land of the living.

Carry You is told entirely in Daisy's voice, and at times she is in turns incredibly irritating, selfish, self indulgent and a bit of a pain in the arse. She's also quick witted, funny and underneath the doom and gloom, quite likeable.  She has not only lost her Mother, but she feels cast adrift from the rest of her extended family. Abby is her saviour, and although Daisy tries her very best to get out of training for the walk, and wants to immerse herself in her sorrow and grief, Abby never gives up.

Beth Thomas has cleverly interwoven many themes into Carry You, but overall has managed to keep the story upbeat and positive. Grief and loss are issues that affect all of us during our lives, and each one of us will deal with them in our own different ways. Introducing Daisy to Felix; her 'walking buddy' shows another way of coping with bereavement. Neither of these ways are right or wrong, but both of them are ways that humans deal with loss.

Carry You is written from the heart, that is clear from the depth of feeling portrayed by the main characters, and if Beth Thomas is lucky enough to have a friend like Abby, then I envy her. Abby is the triumph of the story, even though she is not the main character. She lifts Daisy up and continues to support her with determination and love that is indeed the actions of a true friend, and for me, the theme of friendship is the one that shines most brightly through this story.

For me, the novel is just a tad too long, there were a couple of times during Daisy's training for the walk that my mind wandered, but on the whole this is a good debut. I look forward to reading Beth Thomas' next novel.

My thanks to Sabah from LightBrigade PR who sent my copy on behalf of the publisher Avon Books.

About The Author

When a friend suggested that Beth challenge herself to do the Moonwalk, it changed her life. The experience was not just the training and the event itself; it became a pivotal moment in her life that has inspired her to achieve more. It gave her renewed belief in herself, and Carry You was actually partly written during the midst of training, and partly a year after the event.
She now sets herself a new challenge every year – last year having already faced her paralysing fear of heights and climbing mount Snowdon. Alongside this challenge, Beth also has two grown up children aged 18 and 20, and is currently working as a Chief Immigration Officer. 

Follow Beth on Twitter @BethThomas68

Follow Avon Books on Twitter @AvonBooksUK

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