Review: The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan

Bobby Seed is 17 years old and cares for his mum who has MS. Daily life is a struggle but he deals with it because he loves her, until one day she asks him to go the extra mile. She asks him if he will put an end to her pain.

Having read several of Conaghan’s books previously, I had to get my hands on this one. I had high hopes, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I didn’t get through it as quick as I’d have liked to due to life getting in the way, but it was so easy to follow and it was a fairly quick read.

This book was quite emotional. I knew going into it that it would be, but what I didn’t know beforehand was that it’s about MS (Multiple Sclerosis) which is what my mum has. Reasonably this hit home, but I would say the topics in this book are portrayed accurately and with care.

Bobby has a lot on his plate, caring for his mum isn’t easy but he does it because he loves her, though it is physically draining for him. He also has a little brother, 14 year old Danny, who Bobby admits takes up a lot of his emotional energy. Danny hasn’t been diagnosed with anything, but acts several years younger than what he is. Bobby’s supportive best friend Bel (Bobby does think she wants more than friendship, however he’s not interested in girls) helps out sometimes, partially as a way of avoiding her alcoholic father.

Despite how much time and energy looking after his mum takes up, Bobby has the typical teenager worries of upcoming school exams and what to do once school’s over. He’s under a lot of pressure. One day the school counsellor suggests he join Poztive, a support group for young carers, and through this he meets a boy named Lou. The two get close, though it’s clear from the start that Lou is hiding something.

The humor scattered throughout this book is an element I’m entirely grateful for, and is definitely something that helped this book feel so real. Humor can be the only thing that gives some hope in such a hopeless situation, it can be the only thing that keeps you going.

This book does get quite intense towards the end, but it really does a great job at showing how tough a disease like MS can be, not just on the person who has it but their loved ones, too. It really begs the question how far would you go for someone you love?

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers is a really important book. It did make me cry, but it also made me laugh. By the end, I was genuinely speechless. This is absolutely a book that everyone needs to purchase and read as soon as possible. Thank you so much to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc via Netgalley for letting me have an advanced copy of this wonderful book.

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers is published on June 14th and is available to preorder here.

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