The Bright Side Running Club by Josie Lloyd
Publication date: 8 February 2022
Touching, emotional, and uplifting, The Bright Side Running Club is the story of Keira and her life after a breast cancer diagnosis. Keira is an average middle-aged wife, mum, and business owner, and this story follows the impact of her diagnosis on all of those areas of her life. After a chance meeting with the fiery Tasmin, also a breast cancer warrior, Keira finds herself joining her new friend for runs in the local park. Soon they gain two more women in their little cancer running group, and the Bright Side Running Club is born.
Knowing that Keira’s cancer journey was inspired by the author’s own experiences with breast cancer makes this story even more affecting. Lloyd strikes the delicate balance between showing us the harsh realities of surgery, chemo, and radiation therapy without crossing over and making it overly maudlin and depressing. We see how Keira’s experiences impact her marriage, her relationships with her children, and her work life. Her persistent optimism is challenged repeatedly by her circumstances, but she has these beautiful internal conversations with her late father that help her move through the emotionally demanding times.
My only criticism of this book is the workplace drama. I feel Keira’s personal story stands strong on its own, and the battles with her coworkers are unnecessary and distracting. Every time one of those scenes showed up, I was pulled out of the narrative, and was anxious to be done with it and get back to the more compelling parts of the story. Regardless, I still strongly recommend this book to anyone who likes a story of the power of female friendships and the resilience of the human spirit.
Thank you to NetGalley and Alcove Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.