2013 Book Reviews

Everything is Fine (and other lies I tell myself) by Cathy Brett

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‘Things haven’t been going so well for fifteen-year-old Esther Armstrong. With her brother Max- her closest ally- absent, she’s forced to face everything alone, not least her parents’ heated arguments. As the summer holidays stretch endlessly ahead, she’s desperate for something, anything, to divert her attention.

Then she finds some letters hidden in the walls of her family home, sent by a solider to his sweetheart from the trenches of WW1. Esther is consumed by the mystery of these lovers- not very much older than herself- and what became of them. Perhaps in pricing together the jigsaw of someone else’s life, Esther can work out how to reassemble her own, and how to make everything fine again…’

I was sent this by Headline so thanks very much for the opportunity to review the book.

Where to start…. As soon as I received this I instantly fell in love with the cover I think it’s beautiful, the blue with the red Poppy’s and barbed wire set my little bookworm radar into overdrive.

This is a children’s book and its absolutely brilliant! Being a big child myself I do like to read children’s books from time to time. They hold a certain innocence and pleasure you just don’t get from adult books.

This was so enjoyable, it was the story of Esther who is your normal kind of girl, she isn’t bright orange with a face full of make up, which makes her instantly likeable and relatable.

A film crew is taking over her family home and her privacy is being invaded. But whilst they are taking it over, its their actions that causes Esther to come across love letters from WW1.

I LOVED this, I think any child would love to discover a “hidden treasure” in real life so having that within the book is very exciting and will have you turning pages eagerly.

Throughout the story we have Esther sending Letters to her older brother Max who she very clearly adores. It also gave you a little insight into how she really felt.

Her relationship with her parents and younger brother is very strained and I think Cathy got that spot on, as I think most teenage girls experience this at some point growing up.

The ending really caught me off guard, I wasn’t expecting it and I did have a good cry.

This was a wonderful story that was easy to read, interesting and so hard to put down. It really grabbed me from the very beginning.
Not only was it a good story within the pages were such beautiful illustrations they really helped the book come alive.

I now plan on buying copies for my sons school as I think this will be really loved and enjoyed by the children.

Here is the link for you own copy;


2 thoughts on “Everything is Fine (and other lies I tell myself) by Cathy Brett

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