Author: Lisa Harding

Genre: Literary Fiction

Publisher: HarperVia

Publication Date: December 7, 2021

Book Description: 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.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: This is the story of a young mother, who loves her son so much, but at the same time is spiraling down fast from alcohol addiction. Sonya was an aspiring actress when she became pregnant with her son Tommy. She is left alone to raise him, as the father of her child wants no involvement, and her father wants little to do with her life. When Tommy is 4, Sonya’s father approaches her about going into rehab and he promises her son will be taken care of. This is the setup for the extremely complex story.

We spend a lot in Sonya’s head and the small group that surround her. Every chapter something is uncovered and at times it can get very uncomfortable.

I recently finished A School For Good Mothers which was so tough for me to get through, but it was so good. This book had a very similar feeling throughout with a much different ending. This book will make you cringe at times, but I am pretty sure this is exactly what the author wanted to convey.

I recommend this book highly. Perfect to read for a book club, or just a close friend because I am sure you are going to want to discuss this with somebody when you are done.

Thank you NetGalley and HarperVia for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Posted by:Lauren A.

You really can say I am an obsessed reader as I read 200-300 books per year. I love Literary Fiction, Memoirs (I don't really care what kind), Mysteries and Thrillers. Once in awhile I will thrown in some YA and Romance. When I am not reading, I am a Sales Engineer for a software company, and I take care of my three cats with my husband. I love music, which my college degree is in. Looking forward to share my thoughts on all things reading.

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