Book Review: The Bright Side Running Club by Josie Lloyd

Posted February 4, 2022 by WendyW in Blogging, Book Review / 24 Comments

The Bright Side Running Club
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Josie Lloyd
Publication Date February 8, 2022
Published by Crooked Lane Books
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Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Friendship, Fiction / Medical
Pages: 352
Format: ARC

Josie Lloyd’s fearless novel is a tribute to the power of the human spirit in the face of hardship, based on the author’s own experience with cancer and community.

In the vein of Mary Ellen Taylor's Honeysuckle Season this “amazing, breathtaking, and inspiring” (Jenny Colgan) novel is full of hope and heart.

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.

My Review:

Four and a half stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭒

The Bright Side Running Club by Josie Lloyd is a moving story of one woman’s battle with breast cancer.  This inspirational story of women supporting women through ups and downs is both highly entertaining and incredibly emotional.

Keira, wife, and mother of three school-aged children, finds out that she has breast cancer and she’ll need a mastectomy.  She has always been reasonably healthy and the diagnosis immediately changes her life, but more importantly, it changes the way other people view her.  Although her family is supportive, she meets Tasmin and a couple of other friends who are in various stages of breast cancer treatment.  They form the Bright Side Running Club, and meet regularly to run, as they support each other through the treatments and get closer.  Keira realizes that she needs these friends more than she has ever needed friends in her life before.  

The amount of detail in this book concerning the diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer made the book very personal.  The thoughts, fears, and feelings of Keira, as she went through the process were raw, and unrestrained.  I felt like I was on this journey with Keira, instead of just reading about it.  

The first part of the book has a nonfiction feel, as it goes step by step with Kiera as she gets diagnosed and goes through her options, and starts treatment.  But, then she meets her friends and the book turns into a book about women, relationships, and the power of strong, supporting friends. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Women’s Fiction.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Josie Lloyd

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.

Have you read this book? Do you want to? Please comment below! 

24 responses to “Book Review: The Bright Side Running Club by Josie Lloyd

  1. Running is one of those sports that I like the idea of but never actually enjoy doing in real life. LOL.

    I think it’s wonderful to have stories about it, though. A lot of people love it, and I can definitely see how it could be helpful when someone is dealing with something as stressful as cancer.

    I hope you love this book!

  2. Cancer is a life changing diagnosis. Although fiction, the author’s own journey surely shines through. Thanks for sharing this book.

  3. I bet this is an emotional journey but I could see where it could be helpful in understanding what a woman with breast cancer goes through. And I love the friendship aspect of it, as I’m sure that it provides very uplifting moments. Excellent review!

  4. Jenny McClinton

    Aww this does sound very emotional, but it’s hood when you have people around you that lift you up & get you through 💕