Harper Academic

Bright Burning Things

A Novel

by Lisa Harding

On Sale: 12/07/2021

Price: $26.99

Bright Burning Things

Listen to a Sample Enlarge Book Cover

Bright Burning Things

A Novel

by Lisa Harding

On Sale: 12/07/2021

Format:

Price: $26.99

About the Book

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 attended glamorous parties, dated handsome men, rode in fast cars. But somewhere along the way, the stage lights Sonya lived for dimmed to black. In their absence, came darkness—blackouts, empty cupboards, hazy nights she could not remember.

Haunted by her failed career and lingering trauma from her childhood, Sonya fell deep into an alcoholic abyss. What kept her from losing herself completely was Tommy, her son. But her love for Tommy rivaled her love for the bottle. Addiction amplified her fear of losing her child; every maternal misstep compelled her to drink. Tommy’s precious life was in her shaky hands. 

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

Bright Burning Things is an emotional tour-de-force—a devastating and nuanced 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

Critical Praise

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

"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

“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

“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

"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)

"[A] propulsive heart-wrencher…an alarming yet tender portrayal of the slow-burn impact of long-repressed grief." - Daily Mail (UK)

"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

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063097148
  • ISBN 10: 0063097141
  • Imprint: HarperVia
  • On Sale: 12/07/2021
  • Trimsize: 6.000 in (w) x 9.000 in (h) x 1.160 in (d)
  • Pages: 336
  • List Price: $26.99
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Psychological
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Contemporary Women
  • BISAC4 : FICTION / Family Life