Young Issy Bradley dies very early on in this novel and the book follows the impact on the lives lives of Bradley family in the aftermath of her death.
Ian Bradley is a teacher and a Mormon bishop, he feels he’s possibly lived a charmed life up to this point, one blessed with a strong faith and a fine family. Even after the death of the youngest member of his family he feels that their sadness is small in the grand scheme of things. He believes that if he puts the Lord first then everything else will fall into place.
This faith is something that runs through all of the family, something etched into their very being. Jacob feels that if he tries really hard and shows enough belief he’ll be able to bring Issy back from the dead. He’s not sure he can do it straight away but with a bit of practice on small creatures he just might be able to make it so.
Issy’s mother Claire takes to her bed after Issy’s death, filled with questions about her faith and whether she could’ve done something to prevent it. She has effectively shut down, choosing to sleep in Issy’s bed while the world goes on around her.
The family still have to go about their daily business. We see Zippy’s hope and anxiety in her love life. She has to show a huge degree of restraint in the relationship, unable to proceed in the way many young people would. Al suffers from a bit of bullying and doubts the Mormon faith but even he can believe in miracles sometimes.
This book vividly shows the overwhelming sadness that takes over a home when a member of the family dies, showing the many different ways people can deal with loss and the faith and strength people find within themselves to carry on.
A Song For Issy Bradley will be published by Hutchinson on June 19.