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  • Bright Burning Things

  • By: Lisa Harding
  • Narrated by: Lisa Harding
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Bright Burning Things cover art

Bright Burning Things

By: Lisa Harding
Narrated by: Lisa Harding
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Summary

Bloomsbury presents Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding, read by Lisa Harding. 

An Observer, Grazia, Irish Times and Irish Independent highlight for 2021. 

Being Tommy’s mother is too much for Sonya. 

Too much love, too much fear, too much longing for the cool wine she gulps from the bottle each night. Because Sonya is burning the fish fingers, and driving too fast, and swimming too far from the shore, and Tommy’s life is in her hands. 

Once there was the thrill of a London stage, a glowing acting career, fast cars, handsome men. But now there are blackouts and bare cupboards, and her estranged father showing up uninvited. There is Mrs O’Malley spying from across the road. There is the risk of losing Tommy - forever.

©2021 Lisa Harding (P)2021 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic reviews

"Absolutely dazzling." (Marian Keyes)

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

"Quietly devastating [...] Reminded me repeatedly of Shuggie Bain." (Observer)

What listeners say about Bright Burning Things

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Absolutely lovely

This is a gentle and hard hitting story of a single mum's struggle to hold onto her son. The author is obviously reading it as she wrote it so hang in there with the fast pace of her narration. I presume it's meant to reflect the manic situation of addiction. Very well thought out and put together experience. Lisa's other book Harvesting remains a personal all time favourite

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mixed feelings

I think the descriptions of a mother on the edge and of being the small child of a loving but unstable and self - absorbed mother ring true.

However, the description of how the child was dealt with by social services was far-fetched and lacked subtlety and and this spoilt the book for me.

Mixed feelings again in that I felt sympathy for the mother but also very irritated - feelings that are indeed provoked by caring for an addict/someone with mental health problems.

So not a bad listen, not a great one.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptionally emotive story!

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. It has without question evoked emotions, it was a brilliant monologue with insight into alcohol and addiction. Motherhood can be challenging at all times. Throw in the battles of addiction and this is the result of this powerful novel.

Bravo Lisa Harding. You have written and narrated an exceptional book. Thank you.

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