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“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
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Alcoholism is a living, breathing nemesis in Lisa Harding’s novel. Failed actress and single mother Sonya Moriarty is spiraling toward rock bottom with her four-year-old son Tommy in tow. Living on welfare outside of Dublin, the pair’s days are spent at the mercy of Sonya’s alcoholism, jumping between chaotic highs and unpredictable lows. Harding’s emotionally resonant story makes for an absolutely gripping read, especially once—after a series of dangerous episodes puts her at risk of losing Tommy forever—Sonya reluctantly enters rehab, pledging to do whatever it takes to make her family whole again. Harding’s fearlessly honest depiction of this disease and Sonya’s frantic, desperate, and defiant first-person narration combine to show us both how big the heroine’s fight is and how brave she is for taking it on. We were consumed by Bright Burning Things from start to finish.
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.
Bright burning things
Started off good but went downhill for about 3/4 of the rest of the book.
I don’t recommend bothering with it. Was too much money for a bad book.