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A huggable, squeezable, gloriously uplifting debut and LoveReading Star Book that warmed my heart and made me smile. Amy Ashton sees beauty in things most people would throw away, her house is now overflowing with the items she has collected and bordering on dangerous. When she discovers a mystery that needs to be unravelled, she begins to confront her past. We meet a withdrawn and lonely Amy in the present, and then a second time frame joins the story, taking us back to 1998. Eleanor Ray releases information from the past with perfect timing, each new moment explaining and allowing access to Amy in the present. As each memory highlights a decision, my thoughts expanded and Amy began to take up residence in my heart. The surrounding characters are gorgeous (in particular Charles and his JCBs), and bring an energy that flows through the pages towards Amy. Radiating empathy and emotion Everything Is Beautiful is just what the world needs to take us forward into 2021.
The LoveReading LitFest invited Eleanor Ray to the festival to talk about this wonderful debut Everything is Beautiful.
You can view the event by subscribing to the LitFest programme for as little as £6 per month - or you can pay per view. For just £2, go, see Eleanor in conversation with Paul Blezard and find out all about why you should read this stunning debut.
When Amy Ashton's world fell apart eleven years ago, she started a collection.
Just a few keepsakes of happier times: some honeysuckle to remind herself of the boy she loved, a chipped china bird, an old terracotta pot . . . Things that others might throw away, but to Amy, represent a life that could have been.
Now her house is overflowing with the objects she loves - soon there'll be no room for Amy at all. But when a family move in next door, a chance discovery unearths a mystery, and Amy's carefully curated life begins to unravel. If she can find the courage to face her past, might the future she thought she'd lost still be hers for the taking?
Perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant and The Keeper of Lost Things, this exquisitely told, uplifting novel shows us that however hopeless things might feel, beauty can be found in the most unexpected of places
I loved every bit of it. I think the term in book reviewer lingo is 'utterly captivated' - and I was, as it was not only so beautifully written but the story was so good, too. -- Fliss Chester, author of A DANGEROUS GOODBYE
My book of the year! An absolute must read. EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL is everything you'll want in a book. I was pulled into this story from the very first page and didn't want it to end. -- Lauren North, author of THE PERFECT BETRAYAL
This book is a tonic for the soul. -- Lesley Kara, author of THE RUMOUR
I loved this charming, endearing novel...it will melt even the hardest of hearts...If ever there was a time for a book like EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL to lift us above the every day doom and gloom, it is now. -- Joanna Nell, author of THE SINGLE LADIES OF JACARANDA RETIREMENT VILLAGE
This book quietly took hold of me and wouldn't let me go until I turned the final page. I loved stepping into Amy's world, with all its treasures, and it was a joy to see her beginning to make space for herself. -- Beth O'Leary, author of THE FLAT SHARE
A gently absorbing entry into the mystery-uplit canon. -- Vaseem Khan, author of THE UNEXPECTED INHERITANCE OF INSPECTOR CHOPRA
A truly remarkable book that had me hooked from the start and racing to the end. Beautifully written. -- Jenni Keer, author of THE HOPES AND DREAMS OF LUCY BAKER
EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL is heart-warming and thought-provoking, a mystery with a difference. It's beautifully constructed around the everyday items its central character hoards, as she slowly uncovers the secrets of her past. I loved it. -- Andrea Mara, author of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL
EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL is a truly beautiful book, and wonderfully written. The title is perfect too. Amy is an enchanting character, and I found her story deeply moving. Ray's portrayal of her hoarding in response to grief and trauma was convincing and original, both tender and funny. The novel manages to accommodate so many qualities that might be presumed to be in tension, but in Ray's hands are brought together powerfully, so that it is charming and thrilling, romantic and gripping. The mystery of what happened to Tim and Chantel is compelling and immersive. -- Claire Kendal, author of THE BOOK OF YOU
An intriguing mystery with a quirky but lovable protagonist - funny, sad and perceptive. This will appeal to fans of The Girl on the Train and Elizabeth is Missing. -- L C Tyler, author of A Cruel Necessity
I absolutely loved EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL - a novel filled with beautiful things, mystery and Amy, one of my favourite characters of the year. I couldn't put it down. Book grief when I had to leave Amy behind. -- Rachael Blok, author of UNDER THE ICE
EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL is a stunning book - intricate, beautifully written and thought-provoking. Packed with psychological realism, Eleanor Ray has perfectly captured how it feels to not quite fit in, to live with emotional baggage, to not know how to let go of the past. It's heart-breaking in parts but ultimately delivers one of the most poignant and heart-warming stories in recent years. Absolutely brilliant and a must-read. -- MW Craven, author of THE PUPPET SHOW, CWA Gold Dagger winner
Publication date: 15/04/2021
Publisher: Piatkus Books an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
|Publication date:||15th April 2021|
|Publisher:||Piatkus Books an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
|Genres:||Debuts of the Month, Debuts, Feel-Good Fiction, Relationship Stories, Star Books,|
|Collections:||2021 Preview - Exciting New Books on the Horizon,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Adult & contemporary romance,|
Eleanor Ray has an MA in English Literature from Edinburgh University and works in marketing. She lives in London with her husband and two young children. Eleanor was inspired to write Everything is Beautiful by the objects her toddler collects and treasures - twigs, empty water bottles and wilting daisies. She is currently working on her next novel.More About Eleanor Ray