All the Fun of the Fair by Caroline Hulse – Book Review

All the Fun of the Fair by Caroline Hulse – Book Review

All the Fun of the Fair by Caroline Hulse

All the Fun of the Fair

Author – Caroline Hulse
Publisher – Orion
Pages – 416
Released – 8th July 2021
ISBN-13 – 978-1409197232
Format – ebook, paperback, hardcover, audio
Rating – 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.
add to goodreads


It’s 1996, summer is coming, and eleven-year-old Fiona Larson is determined to make this her best year yet…

The Fair is the only good thing that happens every year. And Fiona Larson is the only person in town who’s never been.

She’s pretended to go – but she’s never been allowed. Because, before Fiona was even born, her sister died there.

This year, everything will be different.

Fiona is about to turn twelve – older than her sister was. This summer, Fiona will save some money, make new friends, and finally have some fun at The Fair.

But what she’ll actually do is:
– Find a mysterious bag in a bush
– Spy on everyone
– Lose her only friend
– Make a lot of lists
– Learn the truth about what happened at The Fair…

Fresh and hilarious, All the Fun of the Fair is a deeply poignant coming-of-age novel from sensational talent Caroline Hulse.

Review by Stacey

Take a step back in time to 1996 with eleven (nearly twelve-year-old) Fiona Larson.

Before she was born Fiona’s sister died whilst at the fair that had arrived in their small hometown. Every year the fair still comes and her mother forbids her from visiting it.

Her parents have never told Fiona what happened at the fair or how her sister died. So Fiona makes it her mission to discover the truth, as well as making her parents think she is responsible and grown-up enough to go this year.

All the Fun of the Fair is a fabulously fun and touching novel set in an era I remember well, the nineties. Fiona feels left out when she sees the posters going up for the local fair which will be arriving soon. She has always wanted to go but her mother says no each year, the reason, her sister died there.

What I loved about Fiona is that she had pure determination. She set her sights on going to the fair and came up with different plans and lots of lists to help get her there.

Some of the things she came up with were laughable and childish but this is where you have to remember she is only eleven and this is how the mind of a child works. I also felt sorry for this young girl growing up in the shadow of a sister she never knew, one who her parents remember as being perfect. They even kept her room just how it was and Fiona has to have a small bedroom. They also refused to tell Fiona the reason for her sister’s death which I found hard to digest why any parent would do that. But once the cause is revealed I understood, although I still disagreed with them.

This is a book I adored from cover to cover. It had me reminiscing about my teenage years. It is a truly beautiful story that had me laughing for most of it and feeling raw with emotions for the other.

When you analyse the plot this is the tale of one young girl who just wants to know the truth and be treated as an individual whilst her parents can’t move on from the grief of losing a child and don’t seem to realise how hard Fiona is finding life right now.

Brilliantly executed, heart-warming, imaginative, and gripping. All the Fun of the Fair had me glued to the pages and I was sad for it to end.

Purchase Online From:

Author Info

Caroline Hulse All the Fun of the Fair

Caroline Hulse lives in Manchester with her husband and a small controlling dog.

She is the author of The Adults, Like a House on Fire, and All the Fun of the Fair.

Her books have been published in fourteen languages and optioned for television.

Twitter new 2021

Instagram 2021

Goodreads 2021

Website 2021

What did you think of ‘All the Fun of the Fair’? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

The above links are affiliate links. I receive a very small percentage from each item you purchase via these link, which is at no extra cost to you. If you are thinking about purchasing the book, please think about using one of the links. All money received goes back into the blog and helps to keep it running. Thank you.

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. DJ Sakata says:

    I thought this was going to be a thriller at first. It sounds delightful

  2. Megan | Bookstacks & Golden Moms says:

    It sounds like Fiona is a very well-written character. And I agree with DJ … from the cover, I really thought it was going to be a thriller, too.

  3. Definitely need to check this one out. I love books for this age group.

  4. Thank you DJ, I adored the book and can confirm it is delightful.

  5. Thanks Megan. Fiona is a great character which I adored.

  6. Thank you Kate. I hope you get to read All the Fun of the Fair and enjoy it too.