I have read somewhere that a sheep raised by dogs will eventually learn to chase cars. But how long does it take to learn the tricks of another animal? How long will I need to live with the Hardings before I unlearn the tricks of my own family?
Lou Connor, a gifted, unhappy sixteen-year-old, is desperate to escape her life of poverty in Sydney. But when she travels to the United States as an exchange student, things go terribly wrong. This is the story of Lou's struggle for survival in the rich home of her strange host-family, and every detail is observed with dark humour and a defiance that veils Lou's longing for acceptance.
How the Light Gets in marks the arrival of a powerful new voice in Australian fiction. It delivers a highly charged study of the emotional intensity of adolescence. In Lou Connor, M.J. Hyland has created a memorable protagonist, one whose story is utterly compelling, from hopeful beginning to unexpected, haunting end.
'A brilliant capturing of the intensity of a child on the frightening brink of adulthood.' Sunday Telegraph
'M.J. Hyland is a real find.' The Bulletin
'Lou is a heartbreaking and compelling creation.' The Observer
'A dry and fantastically sarcastic voice.' Time Out
'Hyland is an intelligent writer grappling with serious questions about how we make our way in the world.' New York Times
'Expect to be blown away by M.J. Hyland.' The Guardian
'An edgy female Holden Caulfield . . . a story with grit and heart from an intelligent, perspicacious writer to watch.' Kirkus Reviews