Jul 14, 2010

Simon's Choice by Charlotte Castle

If your dying nine year-old daughter asked you who was going to live with her in heaven, would you offer to go with her?

GP, Dr Simon Bailey is a quietly religious man. So when he is told that his nine year-old daughter's leukaemia will kill her in only months, he explains to her that she will go to heaven. When his daughter asks who will live with her in heaven, he makes an offer that will further rip his family apart.

Simon's Choice is an exploration of grief, questioning the traditional understanding of loss and taking us on a journey from the fibreglass-fabricated world of Disney world, to Hindu practices of self-immolation in India.


The daughter of a successful novelist, Charlotte Castle considers herself ‘chronically unemployable’ and admits to being astounded that her book has had such a positive reception.

“To be honest, I started writing ‘Simon’s Choice’ out of a mixture of genuine desire to explore the horror of losing a child and a fair amount of desire to get out of mopping the kitchen floor. That people want to read it is wonderful.”

A school governor for her daughter’s primary school and actively involved in her local ‘Community Action Group’, Charlotte juggles writing with cleaning up after a man whom she says is “completely unfamiliar with the term ‘washing basket’”, her cat and her two children.

Visit the author's blog at http://charlotte-castle.blogspot.com/


Simon's Choice is an intense and personal look at a young family torn apart when their daughter is diagnosed with terminal leukemia.  Through the treatments, periods of remission, and then a brutal re-occurrence, the family is devastated that they can do nothing to improve the outcome.

Simon is Sarah's father, and he also a medical doctor.  His little princess is dying, and he feels helpless and turns to alcohol to numb his pain.  One night little Sarah asks her dad if she is dying.  He has no choice but to be honest with her. This discussion tears the already fragile family apart, and the marriage of Simon and Melissa ends as they both try desperately to cope with their grief. 

Simon's Choice is a heart wrenching and honest look at how entire families are affected when a child is diagnosed with a terminal illness.  I highly recommend this book, which will be available later this summer.  Check the author's website at http://charlotte-castle.blogspot.com/ for more details.

Disclosure: I received an electronic copy of Simon's Choice from the author, in exchange for my honest review. I received no compensation for my thoughts.


  1. Sounds heart breaking but very readable.

  2. Thank you Janet - I'm delighted that you liked it. Cxx

  3. Hope you don't mind me letting you know - Simon's Choice came out in paperback today - available Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Simons-Choice-How-father-ever/dp/1453681795/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279993569&sr=1-2

    Thank you again for your very kind review. Cx

  4. A wonderful first novel that will leave us wanting more long after we have put it down. Is this surpising as Charlotte is the daughter of the wonderful novelist Rosemary Enright who gave us The Walled Garden and Alexa's Vineyard. I am sure we have much much more to come from this exiting new author.

    angela bowman