Carys Bray - Author

About the Author

Carys Bray was awarded the Scott Prize for her debut short-story collection, Sweet Home. Her first novel, A Song for Issy Bradley, was chosen for Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and winner of the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2015. She lives in Southport with her husband and four children.

CLICK HERE to read our 'Ask the Author' feature on Carys Bray.

 

Author photo © Colin McPherson

Featured books by Carys Bray

The Museum of You

The Museum of You

Author: Carys Bray Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/04/2017

Now that Clover is twelve she can have a key to her home while her father drives the local bus and she can remain there alone.  She has the allotment to water and tend and then the days of the summer holidays are hers.  Inspired by a school visit to a museum and a chance meeting with a curator, Clover ventures into the bedroom that was once her parents and begins to catalogue the vast quantity of her mother’s belongings still stored there.  Her father is a hoarder.  Clover wants answers and order.  What develops is a sensitive, touching tale of father and daughter finding out much about each other and their love.  Told in both their voices over one summer it does end up answering Clover’s questions and eventually allows her father to move on.  Slow and minutely detailed as objects are examined and ‘displayed’ we follow Clover’s research until, on page 259, Dad is sent home unexpectedly after an accident and emotions erupt.  Now we learn of the back story;  sad, poignant and tender with some lovely secondary characters.

eBooks of the Month
Sweet Home

Sweet Home

Author: Carys Bray Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/02/2016

They say there's no place like home. It's where the heart is...Meet the little boy who believes in miracles. Meet the mother who loves to bring babies home from the newborn aisle of her supermarket. Meet the husband who carves a longed-for baby out of ice as a gift for his wife. Meet the widow who is reminded of romance whilst standing at the kitchen sink.

eBooks of the Month
A Song for Issy Bradley

A Song for Issy Bradley

Author: Carys Bray Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/05/2015

Shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2015. May 2015 Debut of the Month. A year in the life of a northern British Mormon family.  You’ll certainly learn a lot about the Mormon church but the thrust of the novel is how a family of four kids with a housewife mother and a devout bishop father cope with the death of four year old Issy.  It is Jacob’s seventh birthday when Issy becomes unwell.  Mum is busy so the two teenage kids, Zippy and Al, are left to mind her.  She dies of meningitis.  This is lightly written, funny in places, lots of teenage issues and questions of faith, but it is young Jacob’s beliefs that stand out. ~ Sarah Broadhurst   One of the Top 10 books in the Lovereading Readers’ Choice Book of the Year 2014. One of our Books of the Year 2014. Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2014.   The Costa Judges said Bray's book was “a deeply moving story about grief and faith, toldwith the lightest of touches.”   A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... Picking the right words to help persuade you to read A Song For Issy Bradley feels a big responsibility because I think it is such a special novel.  Here are three of the reasons why I love it. 1) Each member of the Bradley family feels vividly alive - it took me back to the awful embarrassment of being a teenage girl; made me want to hug seven-year-old Jacob and experience the devastation of a bereaved mother.  2)  It made me think. This is a novel about family – but it’s also about faith and doubt and what you do when everything you’ve believe in changes.  3) The writing is beautiful. I’ve read it several times now and each time I notice new lines that make me think, ‘yes, that is exactly right’. - Jocasta Hamilton, Publishing Director, Hutchinson   A letter from the Author... A Song for Issy Bradley is a meditation on doubt and faith and longed-for miracles. I used to imagine that it was also my personal farewell to the miraculous but, as I reflect on the Bradleys’ story, I notice a tacit acknowledgement that sometimes, in very exceptional circumstances, incredible things just might be possible. - Carys Bray, Southport, October 2013. Cick here to read the full letter.

eBooks of the Month

Other books by Carys Bray

When the Lights Go Out

When the Lights Go Out

Author: Carys Bray Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/11/2021

_________________________ 'This is a powerful and truthful story about hope and how to find it' THE TIMES 'Wry, beautifully written . . . it works on many levels' DAILY MAIL 'Bray's satire shines with observation and subtlety' GUARDIAN 'She writes with a quiet formidable brilliance. Her observations on relationships are acute, painful and extremely funny. This is a gem of a book.' EMILY MAITLIS _________________________ Global temperatures are rising. The climate of the Abrams' marriage is cooling. Emma is beginning to wonder whether relationships, like mortgages, should be conducted in five-year increments. She might laugh if Chris had bought a motorbike or started dyeing his hair. Instead he's buying off-label medicines and stockpiling food. Chris finds Emma's relentless optimism exasperating. A tot of dread, a nip of horror, a shot of anger - he isn't asking much. If she would only join him in a measure of something. The family's precarious eco-system is further disrupted by torrential rains, power cuts and the unexpected arrival of Chris's mother. Emma longs to lower a rope and winch Chris from the pit of his worries. But he doesn't want to be rescued or reassured - he wants to pull her in after him. Darkly funny and beautifully written, When the Lights Go Out is a novel for our times: a story about cultivating hope and weathering change. _________________________ 'So timely, and so deeply human, a novel which takes us right into the heart of a marriage and at the same time grapples with the most crucial issue of our age. It's bursting with compassion and wisdom.' SHELLEY HARRIS, author of JUBILEE 'Through exquisite use of language and observation, she examines the intricacies of family life in ways which have you laughing one moment and biting your nails with worry the next.' SARAH FRANKLIN, author of SHELTER 'With characteristic wit and humanity, Bray shows us the necessity and the impossibility of preparing for disaster, and reminds us of both the fragility and capacity of love.' JENN ASHWORTH, author of A KIND OF INTIMACY and FELL 'I think WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT is exactly the novel we need in these times: it's complex, nuanced, and compassionate, frightening and heartening. I think Carys has written something truly extraordinary and I hope it flies. I'll certainly be cheering it on.' STEPHANIE BUTLAND 'Gorgeously written... funny and compassionate... I found it very affecting.' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, 2020 Pick of the Year

A Song for Issy Bradley

A Song for Issy Bradley

Author: Carys Bray Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/06/2014

One of the Top 10 books in the Lovereading Readers’ Choice Book of the Year 2014. One of our Books of the Year 2014. Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2014. A year in the life of a northern British Mormon family.  You’ll certainly learn a lot about the Mormon church but the thrust of the novel is how a family of four kids with a housewife mother and a devout bishop father cope with the death of four year old Issy.  It is Jacob’s seventh birthday when Issy becomes unwell.  Mum is busy so the two teenage kids, Zippy and Al, are left to mind her.  She dies of meningitis.  This is lightly written, funny in places, lots of teenage issues and questions of faith, but it is young Jacob’s beliefs that stand out.   The Costa Judges said Bray's book was “a deeply moving story about grief and faith, toldwith the lightest of touches.”   A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... Picking the right words to help persuade you to read A Song For Issy Bradley feels a big responsibility because I think it is such a special novel.  Here are three of the reasons why I love it. 1) Each member of the Bradley family feels vividly alive - it took me back to the awful embarrassment of being a teenage girl; made me want to hug seven-year-old Jacob and experience the devastation of a bereaved mother.  2)  It made me think. This is a novel about family – but it’s also about faith and doubt and what you do when everything you’ve believe in changes.  3) The writing is beautiful. I’ve read it several times now and each time I notice new lines that make me think, ‘yes, that is exactly right’. - Jocasta Hamilton, Publishing Director, Hutchinson   A letter from the Author... A Song for Issy Bradley is a meditation on doubt and faith and longed-for miracles. I used to imagine that it was also my personal farewell to the miraculous but, as I reflect on the Bradleys’ story, I notice a tacit acknowledgement that sometimes, in very exceptional circumstances, incredible things just might be possible. - Carys Bray, Southport, October 2013. Cick here to read the full letter.   July 2014 Debut of the Month.

eBooks of the Month