How the Light Gets in by M.J. Hyland

The Lovereading4Kids comment

This is an acutely observed story of adolescence, featuring one of the most likeable but challenging young adults in contemporary fiction. In Lou Connor, Hyland creates a larger-than-life protagonist who mesmerises the reader with her vivacity and vulnerability, from hopeful beginning to unexpected, haunting end.

How the Light gets in is published through a joint initiative between two of the best independent publishing houses; Canongate who focus on adult publishing and Walker Books who focus on children's publishing. Together their aim is to bring some of the best fiction to teens/young adults.


How the Light Gets in by M.J. Hyland

Lou Connor, a gifted, unhappy sixteen-year-old, is desperate to escape her life of poverty in Sydney. When she is offered an exchange student placement at a school in America it seems as if her dreams will be fulfilled. Her host family has a beautiful house and couldn't be more welcoming...until she starts to be suffocated by the repressed atmosphere of their suburban mansion and things start to go badly wrong.


'Expect to be blown away.' - Guardian

'The best book I read this year... Brilliantly written.' - Scotland on Sunday

'Tells of teen anguish in a world that treats such anguish as a crime. Unlike Mean Girls, Hyland's novel doesn't borrow from romantic comedy to dab out the ugliness of adolescence.' Time Out New York

'[Hyland] brings the long-forgotten teenage sensation of drowning in life's uncomprehended complexities horribly alive.' - The Times

About the Author

MJ Hyland was born in London to Irish parents in 1968. Until August 2005, she lived and worked in Australia, but she now lives in the UK, and has recently published her third novel. Her second novel, Carry Me Down, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and won the Hawthornden Prize and the Encore prize. She has also been appointed to the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester as a Lecturer in Creative Writing. Her work has been acclaimed by the likes of Ali Smith, Hilary Mantel and JM Coetzee, who commented, This is fiction writing of the highest order.

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Book Info


336 pages
Interest Age: From 14


M.J. Hyland
More books by M.J. Hyland


Walker Canongate an imprint of Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

2nd June 2011




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