The Brightside Running Club – ARC Book Review

Title:- The Bright Side Running Club

Author:- Josie Lloyd

Date published:- will be published on 8th February 2022

No. of pages:- 352 pages

Genre:- Women’s Fiction


When Keira first receives her breast cancer diagnosis, she never expects to end up joining a running group with three women she’s only just met. Totally blind-sided, all she can think about is how she doesn’t want to tell her family or step back from work. Nor does she want to be part of a group of fellow cancer patients. Cancer is not her club.

And yet it’s running – hot, sweaty, lycra-clad running in the company of brilliant, funny women all going through treatment – that unexpectedly gives Keira the hope she so urgently needs. Because Keira will not be defined by the C-word. And now, with the Cancer Ladies’ Running Club cheering her on, she is going to reclaim everything: her family, her identity, and her life.

One step at a time.

Moving, uplifting and full of hope, this is a beautifully crafted novel about love, family and the power of finding your tribe.

This is such an emotional and poignant novel I have read that this book actually brought tears into my eyes!

Keira gets the most horrible news–she was diagnosed with breast cancer. While awaiting for therapy, she meets a woman named Tamsin who asks her to joins running with her. Along with Keira, Tamsin, Amma and Sian also joins. All these women shared one thing–they all suffer from cancer. This book basically talks about friendship and the courage and bravery of these four women as they go through the journey together. And these four women then forms their own running club, known as the Bright Side Running Club.

This book is beautifully written and is told from Keira’s perspective. This book is also based on the author’s personal experience as a breast cancer survivor. The procedure of going through cancer treatment, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and the after effects of these treatments, is so realistic and yet Keira and all these women didn’t give up their will to live. It talks about how some people could be nasty towards Keira, taking advantage of her fragile state and at the same time talks about people who support and cares for them. I was so immersed into the book that I simply couldn’t put this book down! The writing was really good, beautifully written, the author doing a good job of drawing the reader into the story and making the reader feel like they are a part of the story and going on the journey with Keira as well.

This is such a moving, uplifting story that is heartbreaking, emotional tear-jerking all at the same time and there were some funny parts in the book too that made you out loud. Truly a touching novel. Worth five stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Josie Lloyd’s first novel, It Could Be You, was published in 1997 and since then she’s written fifteen bestselling novels (as Joanna Rees and other pen names) including the number one hit Come Together, which she co-authored with her husband, Emlyn Rees, which was number one for ten weeks, published in twenty-seven languages and made into a Working Title film. Josie has also written several best-selling parodies with Emlyn, including We’re Going On A Bar Hunt, The Very Hungover Caterpillar and The Teenager Who Came To Tea. They both live together in Brighton with their three daughters and their dog.

In 2017 Josie was diagnosed with breast cancer, picked up on a voluntary mammogram. She underwent an operation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, during which she met a group of women with whom she ran with regularly. Despite all of them being affected by cancer, and being in the middle of chemo and completely bald herself, she entered and finished the Brighton Marathon 10K with her gang of running mates.

This amazing experience inspired her latest novel, The Cancer Ladies’ Running Club, which is to be published by HQ in May 2021.

Thanks to the amazing cancer treatment available here in the UK, Josie is restored to fine health and is now an Ambassador for The Sussex Cancer Fund. She believes that a mid-life shake-up has been no bad thing and that it’s possible to not just survive cancer, but to positively thrive because of the experience of going through it.

She hopes that her book will enlighten people who are – like she was – terrified even of the word ‘cancer’. She also hopes that it will bring comfort and hope to people who have been affected by this dreadful disease.

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