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Bright Burning Things: A Novel
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Published:
HarperAudio 2021
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Available from OverDrive
Description

A READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK AS FEATURED ON TODAY * A PEOPLE MAGAZINE PICK * AN INDIE NEXT PICK * A LIBRARYREADS PICK *AN AMAZON EDITORS PICK

"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

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
12/07/2021
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780063097186
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Lisa Harding. (2021). Bright Burning Things: A Novel. Unabridged HarperAudio.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lisa Harding. 2021. Bright Burning Things: A Novel. HarperAudio.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lisa Harding, Bright Burning Things: A Novel. HarperAudio, 2021.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Lisa Harding. Bright Burning Things: A Novel. Unabridged HarperAudio, 2021.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Dec 03, 2021 17:33:32
Date Updated:
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        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.

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A READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK AS FEATURED ON TODAY * A PEOPLE MAGAZINE PICK * AN INDIE NEXT PICK * A LIBRARYREADS PICK *AN AMAZON EDITORS PICK

"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...

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fullDescription

A READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK AS FEATURED ON TODAY * A PEOPLE MAGAZINE PICK * AN INDIE NEXT PICK * A LIBRARYREADS PICK *AN AMAZON EDITORS PICK

"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

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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        July 1, 2021

        Celebrated stage actress Sonya's career has crashed, along with the glamorous lifestyle it entailed, and she now keeps company constantly with alcohol. As she contemplates her painful childhood and aborted career, the one thing that keeps her reaching for the light is son Tommy--whom she risks losing if she cannot conquer her addiction. Harding's first U.S. outing follows her debut, Harvesting, a best seller in Ireland that won the Kate O'Brien Award, was short-listed for other awards, and was optioned for film. She's also an actress, so she should get the theater details right. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from September 13, 2021
        In Irish writer Harding’s blistering U.S. debut, a former London stage actress finds her life in Dublin derailed by disappointment and alcoholism. Sonya
        is the single mother of four-year-old Tommy, and, one day while playing with him, she gets blackout drunk, goes for a dip in the ocean, and wakes up the next morning with neither son nor dog in sight. Panicked, she wanders the neighborhood asking people, “Have you seen a big black dog and a little boy?” As it turns out, both are fine, but Sonya isn’t, and her father sends her to rehab. She promises herself not to drink around her son again, though that pledge will be disastrously hard to keep. 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. When Sonya views the world through sober eyes, the real struggle starts, and she movingly confronts the traumas that helped put the bottle to her lips in the first place. This unflinching portrait of a troubled, tender soul takes readers to the depths of the human heart. Agent: Clare Alexander, Aitken Alexander Assoc.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        October 15, 2021
        A downtrodden single mother in Dublin shares her inner torment as alcoholism puts her at risk of losing the 4-year-old son she adores. Sonya is a former actress who lost her career and lover when she decided to have her baby. Her narration is imbued with theatrical histrionics both mesmerizing and horrifying--mostly horrifying. The manic affection and pride with which Sonya describes her isolated life with son Tommy and dog Herbie, whom Sonya calls her other "boy," are belied by the filth and squalor they clearly inhabit. Sonya is a mother who leaves a 4-year-old alone on the beach while she swims in her underwear with her imaginary, "lethal and irresistible...sidekick"; who drinks three bottles of wine and passes out while Tommy sits hungry in front of the television; who, in a burst of obsessive love, presses Tommy against her stomach as if to stuff him back into her womb, almost literally smothering him until he escapes her hold; who slaps him in a pizzeria, where a stranger named David Smythe steps in to pay for their food out of concern and suggests she get help. The sense of impending disaster looms until Sonya's supposedly estranged father shows up and forces her into rehab, where she interacts with three key characters: Sister Anne, whose spirituality is hard for Sonya to accept but who sees her as redeemable; fellow addict Jimmy, who can't cure himself but offers Sonya practical support; and David Smythe, who (too) coincidentally turns out to be a former addict-turned-counselor and who may or may not offer the safe haven Sonya needs. Harding eschews sentimentality while making it clear that her characters, however warped, are complex human beings. But even after Sonya returns home and regains custody of Tommy, the reader cannot relax and trust that Tommy will be safe in her care. A tour de force of anguish made bearable by glimmers of redemption.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        December 1, 2021
        Irish writer, actor, and playwright Harding's latest novel kicks off with an immediate sense of stress and unease. Sonya, actress turned full-time mom, regularly drinks throughout the day to keep her demon or as her son, Tommy, calls it, "the badblackmean fairy [that] makes you do mean things," at bay. When her father intervenes and insists that she go to rehab, Sonya finds herself fighting a battle much bigger than any role she's ever played before. As Sonya struggles to get her son back, she becomes entangled with a man who says he has her best interests at heart, but Sonya begins to question his intentions. First impressions might leave the reader thinking that Sonya is just an unlikable narrator, but it quickly becomes unclear if she is merely repellent or actually unreliable. By tackling alcoholism, abuse, and motherhood, Harding has crafted a powerful and suspenseful tale that readers will find hard to put down.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

subtitle
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