All That's Bright and Gone

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

This is a book that you don't think will instantly grab you, yet it does. Aoife may be young, but Nellums gives her just enough of that amazing insight that kids have, to see where something isn't adding up, and secrets are being kept. As the book unfolds, and you follow the trail with the kids, it's a descent into functioning dysfunction, and a surprising ending,  that will stay with you for weeks. Make sure to add this one to your holiday reading list!
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All That's Bright and Gone is an absolutely enchanting book. Nellums tells the story of Aoife Scott's family through her six-year-old eyes, making this refreshing and poignant book all the more original.

Aoife has a lot on her mind. Her mama has a hard time dealing with life, so Aoife does the best she can to take care of them both. She doesn't have a Daddy, Mama said she found Aoife in a cabbage patch. Teddy, her invisible friend (who's a bear), helps her a lot, but Mama doesn't like it. She says it's rude to talk to people that other's can't see. That's why Aoife is so surprised and scared that day in the car, when Mama starts screaming and crying at Theo, Aoife's dead brother. She ran the car right into the middle of the street and stopped! Why they could've been killed! All the cars were honking their horns, and then got real quiet when Mama stepped out of the car, still screaming and crying. Soon the police came and took her to a hospital, just until she stops being so confused the doctor's say, but Aoife is afraid she'll never come back. Like when Theo never came back.

Uncle Donny comes to stay with Aoife and he's really nice, but it's not the same as if Mama were home. If only Aoife can solve the mystery of who killed her brother, then their family will be together again. That is her quest. She must be brave, like Saint Joan of Arc, and figure it out. Then things will be okay again.

Nellums does an excellent job of presenting the world of a troubled young girl and her dysfunctional family through a six-year old's eyes. It is captivating, endearing, sad, and victorious in equal measures.

I urge you not to miss this impressive read. I finished the book last night, and already I miss Aoife. She's a little girl who makes an impression on your heart.

"...this family, we may fall down sometimes, but we can always get back up. We are clever and brave and strong. We can get through anything." (From the author's fingers to God's ears. Save and protect our precious children!)

My thanks to NetGalley, the author and Crooked Lane Books for allowing me to read All That's Bright and Gone in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
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I just absolutely adored this book. I find it truly incredible that the author, Eliza Nellums, is able to write such a captivating and believable story from the view of a six year old. Not once throughout the story did I ever feel like I was reading words that would normally come from an adult. I really felt like I was in the mind of a young child. Eliza did such a wonderful job of treating each situation as a six year old would, with confusion, a simplified understanding of things, or an over-active imagination.

Even though the story was narrated by such a young character, I was kept guessing throughout the novel. I thought that I might be able to figure things out sooner since a child’s understanding of things can sometimes be so simple, but I was right alongside Aoife as she investigated her brother’s death. The story itself was great and kept my interest from start to finish. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story told from such a young perspective, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and even found myself chuckling at some of the things Aoife would say or think.

I think everyone should check this book out and dive into the mind of a young child dealing with adult problems!
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Thank you so much to Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!

I spent most of the book thinking 'oh my gosh, poor Aoife' (ee-fah).  Then I realised that she was actually a very brave little girl, but I still felt bad for her situation.  The book opens with an incident involving Aoife's mom, and slowly we find out the events and circumstances that led up to the event, which was some sort of psychological melt down

We meet Aoife's uncle Donny as he steps in to take care of her while the mother in the hospital.  It is also revealed that there is a brother, Theo, and the plot actually revolves around his disappearance.

I think the book sounded maybe a little advanced, but about right for a six year old narrator.  I don't normally like books narrated by kids but this one really worked.  Aoife was a good little detective as she found out what happened to her brother.  News flash to all the adults out there: kids can understand basic explanations of things!   A big part of the plot was built around miscommunications and Aoife's curiosity over her brother, when no one would talk about him

I also really liked the little paranormal element with Teddy.  Was Aoife a normal kid with an imaginary friend, or was she also schizophrenic or schizoaffective? (Was that the family disorder? It fits?). Or was Teddy...something else?  The end was so perfect I loved it. 

My only question...was Neddy Siobhan's third kid or was he unrelated? Who was the third kid if not? Why mention it id they're not in the story?  The profile for Siobhans father might fit but they probably wouldn't have lived that close by.

This is a short book, I probably read it in 3 or 4 hours, and a great debut novel.  Would fully recommend if it sounds up your alley!

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I was reminded of 'Room' by Emma Donoghue and anything by Jodi Piccoult. 
To know those authors is to know that this story will be innocent and heartwrenching. 
This is an emotional story and one that I struggle to talk about because to see how a child experiences pain and tried to process life - it makes me question myself as a parent and if I am messing things up or not. 
This coming of age story is one that you really should read because more than anything, love is love. Family is family. And a child is not always naive.
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This is a beautifully written story about a little girl, whose mum is in hospital following an episode and who is trying to figure out, who she is and why no one will tell her about her dead brother.

It’s written from her perspective and it’s very well done. 

Aoife  (the little girl), whilst being looked after by her uncle, decides that the only thing for it is for her to solve the mystery of her brother’s murder.

What follows as she tries to get someone to tell her the truth is so well written and poignant. A startling debut and I’m very grateful to Netgalley, Crooked Lane books and the author for the opportunity to preview.
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In the vein of Room, this is told from the perspective of a young child.  Aoife is just six when her mother is sent away after an incident at a mall.  I was utterly captivated by this story and it took just a page before she captured my heart.  Seeing through a child’s eyes is always filled with vivid descriptions, imagination and pure innocence.  I loved how her faith was interwoven with her story.  Such a fantastic debut.  Highly recommend!
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All That’s Bright and Unknown by Eliza Nellums
This book is told by a six year old girl, in a very juvenile voice and I feel it should be geared to young adults. I have to be honest and say that I couldn’t finish this tale. I got 50% in and kept hoping Aoife and Teddy would endear my heart but it just did not happen. 
I did not see any resemblance to Jodi Picoult or Fredrik Backmans books. Unfortunately this one was not my cup of tea.  Maybe the younger audiences will enjoy it.
 I was given the opportunity to receive this book from  Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This one gets 3***’s.
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I enjoyed all the bright places but it wasn’t a favourite for me. I found it very unique that it was told from the perspective of a six year old girl. I found her relationship with her uncle uncomfortable and strange, actually most relationships in this novel are a little weird. Overall this one is just okay for me.
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This novel follows a dysfunctional family through the eyes of a six-year-old who wants nothing more than to solve her family's mystery and bring her mama home. I absolutely adored Aiofa and her uncle Donny! This book has me smiling and crying from beginning to end. Don't let the child narrator scare you off - Eliza Nellums did a wonderful job writing from a child's point of view. Such a good read!

Thanks to Netgalley for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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I am no longer interested in the content of this book. So, I'm DNF'ing this book for now. I may circle back around to this book one day.
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Any author who is able to write a believable and thought-provoking story from the point-of-view of a child has a special place in my heart. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to create such a book. To stay true to what a child’s mind is really like at such a young age (6-years-old in this case), and yet create a story that will keep the reader captivated, emotional, and mesmerized by its well written prose. Well, Eliza Nellums did it in her debut novel! This book was a delight to read, even thought at times my motherly heart was breaking, and I am looking forward to reading more of this author’s work.

Thank you NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books, and the author for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Aoife is a precocious six-year-old caught in an adult world she doesn't understand but with the help of her imaginary friend Teddy, her kind uncle and others she is trying to make sense of it.  Her mother has gone away because she has been sad ever since Aoife's older brother left.  The way Aoife sees the world is that if she can solve her brother's murder, her mom will be happy and she will come home.
Narrated by a six-year-old who is every bit her age and as wise as a sixty-year-old this is a touching story of a family learning to deal with what life has thrown at them and trying to stay together when everything seems to be pulling them apart.  The characters feel real and the situation they find themselves in is all too real for many families. Perfect for fans of multi-faceted characters found in Fredrik Backman and Jodi Picoult. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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This was such an amazing read that I couldn’t put it down. It went everywhere with me. To the doctors office, the dentist, the eye doctor. IT WENT ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE. I was so sad when it ended that I immediately went and bought more books from this author!
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All That’s Bright and Gone by Elisa Nellums tells the story of a dysfunctional family as seen through the eyes of six-year-old Aoife. She knows something is wrong, and she knows she needs to fix it. 

Reading this story made me laugh out loud and ache for both Aoife and her family as they struggle to right themselves.

Thank you to both Net Galley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy of this lovely novel.
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I was so excited to receive a copy of this book. I really love books from a Child's perspective. There is a very pure and fresh way of looking a things, and I love that, 
This book came with all the feelings of confusing, fear, sadness, and frustration from Aoife. I felt what she was feeling, and I was completely enthralled by her story. 

Synopsis: There’s plenty about the grownup world that six-year-old Aoife doesn’t understand. Like what happened to her big brother Theo and why her mama is in the hospital instead of home where she belongs. Uncle Donny says she just needs to be patient, but Aoife’s sure her mama won’t be able to come home until Aoife learns what really happened to her brother. The trouble is no one wants to talk about Theo because he was murdered. But by whom?
With her imaginary friend Teddy by her side and the detecting skills of her nosy next door neighbor, Aoife sets out to uncover the truth about her family. But as her search takes her from the banks of Theo’s secret hideout by the river to the rooftops overlooking Detroit, Aoife will learn that some secrets can’t stay hidden forever and sometimes the pain we bury is the biggest secret of them all.
Driven by Aoife's childlike sincerity and colored by her vivid imagination, All That's Bright and Gone illuminates the unshakeable bond between families—and the lengths we’ll go to bring our loved ones home.
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Lovely story that I couldn't put down. The writing was very evocative and I enjoyed the cast. Thanks to net galley for the ARC in exchange for honest review.
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We are introduced to 6 year old Aoife (Ee-fah) on a very bad and confusing day.  It appears that her mom has had a bit of a nervous breakdown on while driving Aoife to the mall. 

Fortunately she has her imaginary friend Teddy to make her feel safe while her mother stays in the hospital.  When the hospital calls her Uncle Donovan to stay with her, we get a look into the life of a child being raised by a mother with mental illness.  

As any young child, Aoife sees her life as perfectly normal.  She knows that there are things you just don’t talk about, she is accepting and imaginative and has an overwhelming desire to just be good.

Aoife feels that if she could just stop talking to Teddy out loud and if she could just find a way to help her mother deal with the loss of her older brother Theo, her life can return to “normal”.  Luckily Aoife has a neighbor named Hannah who is not only older (8!) but knows just how to solve a mystery.

Aoife is charming, she is imaginative and thoughtful.  The way the family history is told and pulled back layer by layer helps the reader to draw the curtain back on a family full of love and heartache.

I found some of the antics that Aoife gets up to a little hard to believe of a six year old but her age is important the telling of the family tale. 

This was a sweet and fast read that solves the mystery surrounding how and why Theo had to go away, how a family falls apart and comes back together and all the missteps along the way.
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When her mother is hospitalized (she “gets confused”), six year old Aoife decides she has to solve the mystery of her older brother’s murder so that her mother can get better and come home. Aoife’s guileless voice and imaginative perspective on the world will grab readers from the first page and not let go until the mystery is solved and the last page is turned.
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This story is told to you through the eyes of a child. She is trying to figure out what happened to her brother, her mom gets put in the hospital cause she is confused about her son. She isn't able to take care of Aiofe, so she has to go and live with her uncle. 
This story takes you down the road of mental illness and makes you open your eyes more to the fact as to what others might go through and how they feel. 
I can't wait to see what more this author publishes. Thank you Netgalley for this book with an honest review.
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