A 2018 Betty Trask Award Winner
Beth has done something awful. Something that has led to her arrest. Something that has convinced her she is a fundamentally bad person.
Beth is also a sympathetic and amusing narrator. At the urging of her counselor, she begins to make a list of all the good things that have happened to her. It's difficult at first, as she was abandoned by her mother and shuffled from one foster home to another. Hers is a life that veered from a brilliantly artistic childhood to rough boyfriends and thankless jobs.
As she writes, however, she begins to understand that every life has moments of peace, friendship, and triumph. From sharing silence with someone she loves, to feeling so happy it hurts, she begins to see her life--and herself--anew. She must acknowledge the act that sent her to jail, and confront the question: is there a chance for her redemption?
Clare Fisher has written a captivating portrait of an irrepressible young woman living on the margins and of the failure of society to protect its most vulnerable members. It is also a story of hope. It champions the belief that no life can be distilled to a single act, and that the people we are quickest to judge often have the most complex and heartbreaking stories to tell.