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Bright Burning Things

A novel by


“On every page there are little shimmering bombs. Like Room, where parenthood is at once your jail and your salvation, it is almost claustrophobic—but in the most glorious way.”—Lisa Taddeo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Three Women and Animal

A rising international literary star makes her American debut with this visceral, tender, and brave portrait of addiction, recovery, and motherhood, as harrowing and intense as Shuggie Bain.

Sonya used to perform on stage. She used to attend glamorous parties, date handsome men, ride in fast cars. But somewhere along the way, the stage lights Sonya lived for dimmed for good. In their absence, came darkness—blackouts, empty cupboards, hazy nights she can't remember.

What keeps Sonya from losing herself completely is Tommy, her son. But her immense love for Tommy is in fierce conflict with her immense love of the bottle. Addiction amplifies her fear of losing her child; every maternal misstep compels her to drink. Tommy’s precious life is in her shaky hands. 

Eventually Sonya is forced to make a choice. Give up drinking or lose Tommy—forever.

Bright Burning Things is an emotional tour-de-force—a devastating, nuanced, and ultimately hopeful look at an addict’s journey towards rehabilitation and redemption.

A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK FROM: Washington Post, The Millions, PopSugar, Shondaland, Good Morning America, Nylon, Good Housekeeping, Town & Country

Genre: General Fiction

Praise for this book

"Tender and electric, Bright Burning Things interrogates the raw edges of love and addiction with an honesty that made me ache. It captures the fragility of our fractured minds and illuminates our power to break legacies of hurt." - Jessica Andrews

"Lisa Harding is a vivid and original stylist and a gifted storyteller. This is a fabulous novel." - Kevin Barry

"Disturbing and often uplifting, Bright Burning Things is a powerful tale of addiction and recovery as experienced by a young, single mother and her five-year old son. Written with honesty, courage and no shortage of talent, this is one of those novels that stays in your head long after you've finished reading it." - Christine Dwyer Hickey

"A novel of extraordinary intimacy and vividness, a uniquely disquieting account of a mind sinking into the depths and rising again, full of such powerful love and fear." - Megan Hunter

"Absolutely dazzling . . . While the subject matter is dear to my heart, I'd have loved it even if I knew nothing about addiction. It's instantly engrossing. Sonya's emotional interiority is fascinating and compelling. I really cared about her and Tommy - they felt very real to me." - Marian Keyes

"A shattering portrait of the divided self. Bright Burning Things walks the razor's edge between addiction and recovery in prose that is searing, sensual and merciful." - Paul Lynch

"Startling, urgent and intimate, Bright Burning Things is a meticulous portrait of a life unravelling, and of the painstaking, heartbreaking work to put it all back together." - Lisa McInerney

"A tense, unflinching, immersive mapping of a pitted track of addiction and recovery . . . I lived every scene as I read, and I know that these characters will be with me for a long time." - Donal Ryan

"On every page there are little shimmering bombs. Like Room, where parenthood is at once your jail and your salvation, it is almost claustrophobic - but in the most glorious way." - Lisa Taddeo

"A fearless, fully compelling and illuminating look at one young woman's journey through addiction towards a greater understanding of herself and the richness of parenthood. I was both shaken and completely absorbed." - Jane Urquhart

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