Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories.
Darren has done his best. He's studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want - everything he can think of, at least - to be happy.
What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother's belongings. Volume isn't important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be.
But what you find depends on what you're searching for.
"Carys Bray's words are filled with the most incredible tenderness and wisdom, and every character is so rich, they each become a story in their own right. The Museum of You is beautiful and clever, and honest. I loved every moment of it"
"Wonderfully honest and moving ... communicates with skill the overwhelming power of loss through the mouths of ordinary people in ordinary situations, making her observations all the richer"
"It is funny, earthy, truthful; and beyond that, it is bold … [Clover] is an utterly convincing child, an optimistic realist … her story and hinterland come to life with exceptional energy."
"The Museum of You had me laughing, weeping and reading late into the night ... poignant and uplifting ... it's a confident second novel that never strays far from real life - and one that assures her a very bright future"
"In less skilful hands, this could easily become mawkish or sentimental. But Bray’s talent is her understated emotion and wry humour … it is in the relationships between parents and children that Bray’s prose becomes luminescent … Wise, moving and tender, [The Museum of You] confirms Bray as a perceptive and sensitive storyteller"
The author of A Song for Issy Bradley, Carys Bray, talks about the process of getting her novel published, the reaction of readers to her characters and her advice for first time authors