What a Way to Go

What a Way to Go 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 an

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  • Title: What a Way to Go
  • Author: Julia Forster
  • ISBN: 9781782397526
  • Page: 351
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 respo1988 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.

    One thought on “What a Way to Go”

    1. What A Way To Go is a beautiful and vivid homage to the 1980s. Julia Forster introduces the reader to Harper and her broken-up, on the edge, very nearly mad, family.Although Harper is just twelve-years-old, she has more sense than most of the other adults in the book. She's kooky and funny and smart, she's also a young girl - almost woman, who is dealing with the break up of her parents' marriage. Nowadays, that's not unusual, but back in the late 80s it was still quite rare to have divorced par [...]

    2. Oh, this was a lovely read, and it was a nice change from my usual psychological thrillers. Harper is such an absolute character and I would love to meet her again as an adult. The book is set around Harper, and what's happening in her world in 1988, which also meant that I was able to take a trip down memory lane, back to my favourite decade. Who didn't love the 80's - the music, the lifestyle, the freedom? This is more of a character driver story, and as such, it doesn't gallop along, but it w [...]

    3. Surely this is YA??? And bady written/plotted YA at that. It felt so light compared to recent reads and I just never got into it or bought into the narrative tone. The 80s stuff made me nostalgic but also felt strategically placed.

    4. This review is featured on my blog: Writerly Bookish Stuff.Harper is a 12 year old girl, navigating life and school whilst still coming to terms with her Mum and Dad's divorce and subsequent lifestyles in 1988. The pubescent, sometimes snarky girl, is going through that awkward age of life where she is trying to discover who she is, where she fits, and some of life's ugly truths.Harper is an endearing character, and Forster captures her voice perfectly. I could hear the twelve year old speaking [...]

    5. This is an extract from the full review at If These Books Could Talk, do go and check it out, as well as a guest post from the author Julia Forster.It’s 1988, and 12 year old Harper is doing her best. Constantly keeping tabs on everyone around her, selflessly putting the needs of others before her own, she’s navigating ‘life’, and not doing too bad a job of it. Being the child of divorced parents isn’t easy as it’s rife with stigma and lack of understanding, but Harper rises above it [...]

    6. This was a sweet book. Harper was a happy tween, well as happy as they can be. She has a bit of snark, sort of. She loved music. She wanted pets. And so the story begins.We follow her going between her mother's house to her father's on weekends. Her father goes to a club for single parents and their kids. Her mother loves shoes and is trying to do her best to keep their house.But it's not sweet all the time. There is a bit of heartache and loss. Though it's never sad. Well not crying sad. Just, [...]

    7. In her debut novel What A Way to Go, narrated by the adorable protagonist 12-year-old Harper, Julia Forster captures the true essence of 1988 and deftly masters key elements of storytelling: setting, characterisation, dialogue and plot.Indeed, it’s a novel I found fresh, heartwarming and very funny… a hoarder of books in any nook or cranny I especially loved the rather bizarre, but brilliant, dual purpose bookcase!Interview: poppypeacockpens/2016/01/

    8. I don't fully understand what the plot of this was meant to be - the sad thing is that for many people I'm sure this book would be hilarious and wonderful, but I was literally dragging myself through it. Harper didn't resonate with me properly, and I found her parents to be deeply frustrating, which was probably the point, but the thing is that when I don't click with main characters, it just makes it very difficult for me to continue reading.

    9. LOVED IT!! Laugh out funny, Harper is a delight to read about, Her family are hilarious, ,, BUY this when it is published, !! Have passed it to my daughter, great read for anyone, from age 12 to 100!

    10. I was always going to love a book about a 12 year old girl with separated parents set in 1988 because I was that age in that era with separated parents! Throw in a sharp, intelligent, well read, funny, warm narrator who loves gerbils, Judy Blume and Five Star and you have a stunning debut book about divorce and growing up. It was a joy to be taken back to the time of The Waltons, Smash Hits, cola Mr Frosty, The Top Forty, the return of Bobby Ewing from the dead and not forgetting having to wear [...]

    11. What a truly delightful read. The main character, Harper, and her divorced parents are lovely to spend hours with, witty, honest, sweet and heartfelt. Being 12/13 (or a parent) in the UK in the 80s makes this read filled with nostalgia and comedy. I'm very glad I stumbled across this book in my local library and highly recommend 👍🏻And I end it as Harper did with her favourite quote from 1984 "Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one" 🤗 this sums up this riveting read!

    12. This book is dreadful. It is a poor storyline as a sorry excuse to pile in a million cliched social references to the 80s. Boring, contrived,don’t bother.

    13. Funny, occasionally sad; I enjoyed this look at the late 1980s, of which I was only just born in but feel a part of anyway.

    14. As you can probably tell from the 5*s, I absolutely adored What A Way To Go. It was such a comforting read, with a fantastic narrator, that really made me think about the importance of family and the various shapes and sizes family can come in. Although Harper's parents are divorced, and are not on the best of terms with each other, Harper has a happy life at home with her Mum and Kit, then has weekends with her Dad that are spent attending Lone Ranger's single parents club events, and listening [...]

    15. I didn't know what to expect from this book, but I was looking forward to reading it and taking a little break from psychological thrillers. I wasn't to be disappointed, I found it to be a gentle, beautifully written story, with really likable and funny characters.The reader is told the story through the eyes of the eyes of twelve-year-old Harper, who I adored. Julia has managed to bring to life a real character here - capturing perfectly a 1980's 'nearly' teenager. There was no cartoon-like man [...]

    16. What a Way to Go, by Julia Forster, starts off as a bittersweet, humorous tale of life as a child of divorced parents. Set in 1988 it softens the harsh reality of loneliness and judgemental neighbours with insight and nostalgia. It is perceptive yet gentle in its representations of the prejudices of the time.As the story progresses the layers are peeled away to reveal the secrets that have shaped each of the adults’ lives. In amongst the bad hair and worse dress sense are stories of poor decis [...]

    17. Set in the 1980’s a decade of colour and change a time of Kylie Minogue and Culture Club you either loved this era or just wanted to hide for the next decade. We meet 12-year-old Harper Richardson, she is wise and funny and is split between her divorced parents who to say the least are somewhat dysfunctional and Harper tries to make sense of the life around her. It is 1988 and Harper spends a lot of time reading as money always seems to be a little tight. Forster has written What A Way To Go v [...]

    18. Set in the 1980’s a decade of colour and change a time of Kylie Minogue and Culture Club you either loved this era or just wanted to hide for the next decade. We meet 12-year-old Harper Richardson, she is wise and funny and is split between her divorced parents who to say the least are somewhat dysfunctional and Harper tries to make sense of the life around her. It is 1988 and Harper spends a lot of time reading as money always seems to be a little tight. Forster has written What A Way To Go v [...]

    19. A nostalgic trip for those of us who grew up in the Eighties and who remember the library queues for Forever, and scary French toilets with holes in the floor. Nicely done.

    20. I was sent this book as part of the Curtis Brown Online Book Club - looking at it, my immediate feeling was that it wouldn't be for me. It was, though, an example of why you shouldn't judge a book by it's (somewhat offputting) cover. I'm not going to pretend this was a flawless book. I had issues with the speed of the story, and the way each chapter seemed to feature at least one life-changing event. It felt a little contrived at time.But at it's centre is a character called Harper. She has been [...]

    21. The main character of the story is Harper , she is 12 years old and her parents are divorced much to Harper's dislike. The story is set in the 1980's in England . Harper is torn between her two parents Mary and Pete, trying to be everything to everyone when she should just be worrying about herself . Harper loves to read and thinks of herself as a bit of a misfit but as the story is narrated through her eyes we see she is much more then that and she does not give herself enough credit as she is [...]

    22. It's 1988 and Harper is a tweenie outsider 'pedalling the gerbil wheel of broken dreams' while trying to make sense of her parents' divorce. Harper's new life is split into two parts, with her mum and dad both trying reinvent themselves while she fumbles her way into adolescence and first love.I found the use of eighties' props and brands a little heavy-handed, but this is a debut with tons of heart and guts. The writing is at its very best in the more pared-down, dialogue driven scenes in which [...]

    23. Loved this story about twelve year old Harper growing up in 1988. It transported me back to when I was twelve myself. We both had the double cassette of Now That's What I Call Music! 11 and a love of square-lined notebooks from French hypermarches! Harper is a witty observer of life reminiscent of a female Adrian Mole. The book is both funny and moving. Loved it. Recommended.

    24. I absolutely LOVED this book! It made me giggle,so much. Harper is a delight, her family are so mixed up, but normal at the same time. It would make a great TV seriesI laughed and criedjust sheer genius.

    25. Meet Harper, 12 years old, child of divorced parents, funny, witty but despairing of her dysfunctional parents. An engaging insight into Harper's life, amid the backdrop of the 80s and a trip down memory lane.

    26. A slow book which I thought had nothing exciting in just a story of a teenage girl with a few of life's ups and downs didn't have me gripped but did read till the end would only recommend if someone wanted a basic read/story. It was well written just the story didn't grip me

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