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Reader Reviewed
The Museum of You by Carys Bray
  

The Museum of You

Family Drama   Literary Fiction   eBook Favourites   

RRP £7.99

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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. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Carys Bray you might also like to read books by Sarah Duguid, Joanna Cannon and Anne Tyler.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Janet Gilliard - 'Carys Bray has a gift for writing from the perspective of both adult and child. A magical thought provoking book.'
  • Jane Brown - 'A beautiful story about finding answers, relationships and a girl called Clover with Love in her name.'
  • Glenda Worth - 'The Museum of You tells of a young girl clover, who wants answers about her dead mother. She thinks the second bedroom might have these answers and investigates, not telling her father.'
  • Catherine Bryce - 'A delightful story that is a pleasant read for many genres.'
  • Sarah Harper - 'This is Clover’s quest to learn about her mother with the help of a small but perfectly formed cast of characters. Evocative and touching, this is full of real warmth.'
  • Lou Woods - 'Dipping into this book was like unwrapping a long forgotten gift. Slowly the layers unravel, until the heart of the story reveals itself, and you want to wrap Clover and her Dad in a warm embrace.'
  • Helen Treadwell -'Once I’d opened the book I felt like I’d stepped into Clover’s world and didn’t want to leave. Each new item she finds is another door opening onto the past.'
  • Sue Broom - 'The story of a family coming to terms with tragedy - sad, yet upbeat, with endearing characters and relationships, and some terrific dialogue.'
  • Ann Alderton - 'A funny, warm-hearted and poignant story about a young girl's curiosity about her mother and her single father's process of facing up to his past and learning to move on.  Loved every bit of it!'
  • Stephanie Harding - 'A lovely tale about a family touched by tragedy but despite that both funny and warm. A lovely read, highly recommended.'
  • Liz Bloomer - 'An intriguing book which tells the story of the strong relationship between a father and daughter with all the untold stories of her earliest days.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'This is top of the premier league of adult fiction written through the eyes of a child – a child who finds a way to get to the truth of who was her Mum, lost before Clover had the chance to know her.'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'Carys Bray has written a book form the heart. She really gets into the head of the younger characters she writes about. I loved this so much, I have passed it onto my teenage daughter.'
  • Sharon Butler - 'An interesting and thoughtful read - 12 year old Clover is desperate to find out more about her dead mum and the spare room holds the answers.  She creates a cataloged museum of what she finds.' 

Synopsis

The Museum of You by Carys Bray

Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she's not sure. She'd like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else's story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories. Darren has done his best. He's studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want - everything he can think of, at least - to be happy. What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother's belongings. Volume isn't important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be. But what you find depends on what you're searching for.

Reviews

'Carys Bray's words are filled with the most incredible tenderness and wisdom, and every character is so rich, they each become a story in their own right. The Museum of You is beautiful and clever, and honest. I loved every moment of it' -- Joanna Cannon, author of THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP

'Wonderfully honest and moving ... communicates with skill the overwhelming power of loss through the mouths of ordinary people in ordinary situations, making her observations all the richer' -- Carol Midgley, The Times

'It is funny, earthy, truthful; and beyond that, it is bold ... [Clover] is an utterly convincing child, an optimistic realist ... her story and hinterland come to life with exceptional energy.' -- Helen Dunmore, The Guardian

'The Museum of You had me laughing, weeping and reading late into the night ... poignant and uplifting ... it's a confident second novel that never strays far from real life - and one that assures her a very bright future' Stylist

'In less skilful hands, this could easily become mawkish or sentimental. But Bray's talent is her understated emotion and wry humour ... it is in the relationships between parents and children that Bray's prose becomes luminescent ... Wise, moving and tender, [The Museum of You] confirms Bray as a perceptive and sensitive storyteller' -- Hannah Beckerman, Observer

About the Author

Carys Bray

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

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Book Info

Publication date

6th April 2017

Author

Carys Bray

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Author's Website

carysbray.co.uk/

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Publisher

Windmill Books an imprint of Cornerstone

Format

Paperback
368 pages

Categories

Family Drama
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780099510581

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