In Bright Burning Things Lisa Harding offers a visceral, tender, and brave portrait of addiction, recovery, and motherhood.
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.
“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
“[A] wild ride, culminating in a final scene that combines hope, fear and beauty.” - The Guardian