I read A Song For Issy Bradley on a train, which may have been a mistake because I cried quite a bit. However, this book is not just a little bit heart-breaking, it's also beautifully written, and sweet, and funny. It's the story of the Bradley family and how they cope when their youngest, Issy, dies of meningitis. She was only four:
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.
This may sound like it's a book about religion, but it's not, and it may sound like it's a book about death, and it isn't really that either. Carys has written a beautiful novel about family, love, loss, hope, growing-up... it's all manner of things and it's a wonderful, wonderful read. I urge to go out and find a copy; it's one of the best books I've read this year. Just one word of advice: don't read it on a train. Read it tucked up somewhere cosy, and let it carry you away.