All the Good Things by Clare Fisher
The Betty Trask Award winner: A young female convict recounts her life to discover the good in it, and in herself, in this "moving, compassionate" novel (The Sunday Times).
Twenty-one-year-old Beth has done plenty of good, grown-up sorts of things--including having a baby. But she's also done something bad enough to land her in prison. At the urging of her counselor, she begins to make a list of all the good things that have happened to her. It's difficult at first, as she was abandoned by her mother and shuffled from one foster home to another. Hers is a life that veered from a brilliantly artistic childhood to rough boyfriends and thankless jobs. As she writes, however, she begins to understand that every life has moments of peace, friendship, and triumph. From sharing silence with someone she loves, to feeling so happy it hurts, she begins to see her life--and herself--anew. But Beth must also acknowledge the act that sent her to jail, and confront the question: is there a chance for her redemption?