What a Way to Go

What a Way to Go

3.55 (177 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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1988. 12-year-old Harper Richardson's parents are divorced. Her mum got custody of her, the Mini, and five hundred tins of baked beans. Her dad got a mouldering cottage in a Midlands backwater village and default membership of the Lone Rangers single parents' club. Harper got questionable dress sense, a zest for life, two gerbils, and her Chambers dictionary, and the responsibility of fixing her parents' broken hearts...

Set against a backdrop of high hairdos and higher interest rates, pop music and puberty, divorce and death, What a Way to Go is a warm, wise and witty tale of one girl tackling the business of growing up while those around her try not to fall apart.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 149 x 210 x 23mm | 353g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1782397523
  • 9781782397526
  • 1,391,991

Review Text

What a fabulous novel! So fresh, touching, truthful and laugh-out-loud funny. I absolutely loved it. Deborah Moggach
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Review quote

What a fabulous novel! So fresh, touching, truthful and laugh-out-loud funny. I absolutely loved it. -- Deborah Moggach I hugely, entirely enjoyed this book. What a Way to Go is richly transporting - and so funny, and so moving. Julia Forster has all the marks of a prize-winning novelist; you know it from the first pages. -- Horatio Clare A brilliant debut. Sharp, sweet, bristling with wit and full of hilarious, wildly imaginative observations. In Harper Julia Forster has created a bold and distinctive 12 year old voice that manages to be nostalgic and authentic at the same time. -- Emma Jane Unsworth, author of 'Animals' I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. Harper is such a lovable, funny character, and seeing the the 1980s through her eyes is both moving and revealing. I loved the 'mis-en-scene' of Blackbrake, the whole small town atmosphere where the skies are as grey as her 'school uniform', and I thought the monstrously selfish but somehow sympathetic Mum is a great comic creation. Above all, I thought Harper's tone was perfectly judged, that mix of knowingness, naivete, and humour was great. It deserves to do really well. I will put a 5 star review on Amazon! -- Francis Gilbert I haven't enjoyed a book this much in ages. It's wonderful... Harper [is] an amazing protagonist - all the things I wanted to be at that age but probably never was - bright, funny, inquisitive, happy in her own skin. -- Megan Bradbury, author of 'Everyone Is Watching' Oh, this one is good, so very good. Heart-breaking, humorous and thought provoking. Thank you Julia Foster for a brilliant debut novel. -- Phylippa Smithson for lovereading.co.uk Poignant, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and a fabulous portrait of the time. * Woman & Home * As a first novel it has promise, with some sensitive writing and funny lines. * The Scotsman * This is a bittersweet tale of one girl just at the cusp of becoming a young woman with a burgeoning mind of her own, and a blossoming sense of life's possibilities. * The Western Mail * What a Way to Go is very funny and warm, sometimes sad, always beautifully written and just a ... joy [to read]. -- Hayley Long, blogger and author, twice nominated for the Costa Award What A Way To Go is funny and sharp and it's a treat to hang out with Harper as she and her Chambers dictionary flit between her Midlands parental homes. * Emerald Street * What a joy to read... Julia Forster's assured debut novel marks the start of a brilliant writing career. * Reader's Digest * This amusing coming-of-age novel, narrated by 12-year old Harper Richardson, is full of humour, often of the black variety... this gauche yet likable character emerges chrysalis-like, a bit more armoured for the next stage of her young life. * Irish Examiner *
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About Julia Forster

Julia Forster was born and raised in the Midlands. She studied Philosophy and Literature at the University of Warwick and has a Masters in Creative Writing from St Andrews University. While at the University of Warwick, she was awarded the Derek Walcott prize for creative writing. She works in publishing, but has also been a magician's assistant in Brooklyn, a nanny in Milan and a waitress in Chartres. Julia now lives in mid Wales with her husband and two young children.
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Rating details

177 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 18% (32)
4 38% (68)
3 29% (51)
2 10% (18)
1 5% (8)
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