Bright Burning Things

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Product Details
$17.99  $16.73
Publish Date
5.2 X 7.9 X 1.0 inches | 0.48 pounds

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About the Author

Lisa Harding is a writer, actress, playwright. She received an MPhil in creative writing from Trinity College Dublin in 2014. Her short stories have been published in the Dublin Review, the Bath Short Story Anthology, HeadStuff, and Winter Papers. Her first novel, Harvesting, won the 2018 Kate O'Brien Award and was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award and the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award. She lives in Dublin.


"I have never read a book that addresses mental health and alcoholism in as transparent and beautiful a way as 'Bright Burning Things'." -- Jenna Bush Hagar

"An unforgettable portrait of human frailty and strength." -- People

"On every page, there are little shimmering bombs." -- Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women

"Quietly devastating . . . Reminded me repeatedly of Shuggie Bain." -- The Observer (London)

"[A] wild ride, culminating in a final scene that combines hope, fear and beauty." -- The Guardian

"Bright Burning Things is moving--humane and emotionally scrubbed raw....Both books [Shuggie Bain and Bright Burning Things] deal with addiction and the trauma that befalls the loved ones of addicts...Bright Burning Things, by contrast, offers both Sonya and the readers strands of hope." -- Boston Globe

"[A] moving story of a mother battling addiction ... Bright Burning Things joins Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Shuggie Bain as a portrait of female wreckage." -- The Times (UK)

"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." -- Marian Keyes

"In Irish writer Harding's blistering U.S. debut, a former London stage actress finds her life in Dublin derailed by disappointment and alcoholism....Harding brilliantly captures both the hilarity and wisdom of Sonya's 12-step program, with her time in rehab poignantly complicated by Sonya's separation from Tommy and her fear she might not be reunited with him....This unflinching portrait of a troubled, tender soul takes readers to the depths of the human heart." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Rich with layered character dynamics and unexpected turns, Bright Burning Things is riveting."
-- Shelf Awareness

"Through Harding's realistic writing, one feels the profound desperation and pain of addiction. Readers won't soon forget this viscerally raw immersion into addiction."
-- Library Journal (starred review)

"Grappling with the gap between faith and hopelessness, Harding shines with a heroine whose dogged triumphs accumulate over the course of this fast-paced and intensely lucid novel." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Harding's novel is, at its foundation, just the right story for this season: a woman who saves herself to give her son the ultimate gift of a healthy parent." -- Washington Post

"[Harding's] writing is taut, and there is such an intensity, an urgency about the narrative that you find yourself turning the pages as if you fear Sonya might race out of sight. Bright Burning Things is a contemporary, zeitgeisty read and very satisfying." -- The Independent

"Lisa Harding is a vivid and original stylist and a gifted storyteller. This is a fabulous novel." -- Kevin Barry, author of Night Boat to Tangier

"A moving novel about unconditional love, addiction, and dreams, Bright Burning Things will leave an undeniable mark on readers' hearts." -- Shondaland

"A probing character study with insightful perspectives on addiction and single parenthood." -- Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Unputdownable: infuriating, nerve-wracking and hugely enjoyable."
-- Roddy Doyle, author of Smile

"A tour-de-force." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Gripping from start to finish, Bright Burning Things is a frank portrayal of flawed motherhood, substance abuse and generational trauma." -- PureWow