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A Song For Issy Bradley

UK Publisher: Hutchinson

This is the story of what happens when Issy Bradley dies.

It is the story of Ian – husband, father, maths teacher and Mormon bishop – and his unshakeable belief that everything will turn out all right if he can only endure to the end, like the pioneers did. It is the story of his wife Claire’s lonely wait for a sign from God and her desperate need for life to pause while she comes to terms with what’s happened.

It is the story of the agony and hope of Zippy Bradley’s first love. The story of Alma Bradley’s cynicism and reluctant bravery. And it is the story of seven-year-old Jacob. His faith is bigger than a mustard seed, probably bigger than a toffee bonbon and he’s planning to use it to mend his broken family with a miracle.

Incredibly moving, unexpectedly funny and so sharply observed it will make you feel as if you could pick the woodchip off the bedroom wall, A SONG FOR ISSY BRADLEY explores the outer reaches of doubt and faith. But mostly it’s a story about a family trying to work out how to carry on when their world has fallen apart.


‘Reading Issy Bradley is a little like having your heart flying on kite strings, deftly controlled by this brilliant new author. Just when you can’t take any more – crashing downwards, tears streaming down your face, heart aching – she swoops you up into the air with sharply observed humour and the tiny, beautifully written details of family life. This is a breathtakingly beautiful tale of love and loss and family life.’

Rachel Lucas, Goodreads

‘…a beautifully poignant portrait of a family trying to work out how to carry on when all beliefs have been blown away.’

The Bookseller

‘Uncontrollable bawling on public transport alert!… A seriously impressive debut.’


“…Bray’s powerful work immerses you in the Bradleys’ battle to carry on but far from marooning you in despair you are left realising that there are many routes back to the solid ground of hope.”

The Express

“…I started reading it and couldn’t leave it alone. I finished it in two sittings (it would have been one but dogs must be walked) and cannot recall another novel that has seduced me so completely against my better judgement. Bray writes with such clarity, intelligence and authenticity that it feels as if an old friend is telling you the story, that the characters are people you know…Bray displays warmth and wit, despite the tragic content of this debut novel, and the lean beauty of her writing makes it effortless to read.”

The Times

Carys Bray was brought up in a strict Mormon family. In her early thirties she replaced religion with writing and...