Lou Connor, a gifted, unhappy 16-year-old, is desperate to escape her life of poverty in Sydney. And when she is offered a place in an exchange student program at an American college, it seems as if her dreams are going to be fulfilled. Her host family, the Hardings, have a large and beautiful house in Illinois and couldn’t be more welcoming. Everything is perfect. Until she starts feeling suffocated by the repressive atmosphere of the Harding’s suburban mansion...
How the Light Gets In is an acutely observed story of adolescence and one that evokes American Beauty in its dissection of ingrained prejudices and middle-class hypocrisy. And in Lou Connor, M.J. Hyland has created a larger-than-life protagonist who mesmerizes the reader with her vivacity and vulnerability, from hopeful beginning to unexpected, haunting end.
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M. J. HYLAND was born in London in 1968 to Irish parents and spent her early childhood in Dublin. She studied law and English at the University of Melbourne and worked for several years as a lawyer. Her first novel, How the Light Gets In, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (Eurasia Region) and for The Age Book of the Year in Australia and, in 2004, she was named Young Australian Writer of the Year.How the Light Gets In also took third place in the 2004 Barnes & Noble Discover Award for fiction. M. J. Hyland lives in London, England.From Booklist:
Sixteen-year-old Australian exchange student Louise (Lou) is ecstatic that she has left behind her rough family, who mock her for using big words, and their tiny flat choked with cigarette smoke. Placed in a wealthy Chicago suburb, in a pristine McMansion with the Harding family, Lou is stunned by the glossy perfection: "There are so many healthy, good-looking teenagers that a few crooked teeth, or short, fat fingers, suddenly take on the proportions of deformities." The Hardings are earnest and warm, but Lou's high-strung insecurity and wary independence begin to widen the cracks in her host family's strained domesticity, particularly when Lou turns increasingly to booze and drugs. Hyland's debut loses momentum as it drifts to its open ending. But Lou's furious, first-person voice is filled with piercing observations that beautifully balance Lou's teenage detachment and aching, intelligence and self-absorption, yearning and recklessness. And like Holden Caulfield, with whom she invites inevitable comparison, Lou is unmerciful toward those satisfied with easy answers: "What kind of a moron thinks there's a rational explanation for human behavior?" Gillian Engberg
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear, and the pages have only minimal creases. Bookseller Inventory # G0002005778I3N00
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited, 2004. Book Condition: Very Good. N/A. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP48003140
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited, 2004. Book Condition: Good. N/A. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP70310439
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Book Condition: Good. USED We here at Elistics have a 100% satisfaction guarentee. We also ship no later than next business day. Thank you for your business. Bookseller Inventory # O-29-A00186
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. first. 0002005778 First Edition. Bookseller Inventory # IM83716
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine+. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. Brown Hard boards in Fine+ condition. Frist Canadian Edition. The DJ is unclipped, in Fine condition. "Sixteen-year-old Australian exchange student Louise (Lou) is ecstatic that she has left behind her rough family, who mock her for using big words, and their tiny flat choked with cigarette smoke. Placed in a wealthy Chicago suburb, in a pristine McMansion with the Harding family, Lou is stunned by the glossy perfection. "; 2 x 8.5 x 5.6 Inches; 329 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 12299
Book Description Toronto, ON: HarperCollins (Harper Collins), 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. F/F. Very lightly bumped spine ends. DJ has very light edge wear and very light rubbing. First Canadian Edition. First Printing. This book is from the extensive Gatenby Collection amassed over 30 years . Gatenby was the founding artistic director of the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, a hugely successful annual event that helped "Time Magazine" declare that Gatenby had made Toronto one of the literary capitals of the world. He also directed the readings at Harbourfront in Toronto, and is the author of "Literary Guide to Toronto," among other books. Gatenby signature and date on ffep. SIGNED by Hyland (simply as "Maria") & INSCRIBED to Gatenby. Also SIGNED in full. Dated "June '04". A unique Association Copy. Inscribed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 028905
Book Description HarperCollins, Toronto, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine +. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. First Canadian. Debut novel for the British-Australian novelist / lecturer. Her second novel 'Carry Me Down' was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize. First published in Australia 2003, the Canadian edition precedes the British & American editions. Brown boards with gilt lettering on spine. 329 pages. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall Slight wear to dust jacket at upper spine. *** Signed By Author ***. Bookseller Inventory # 004457
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: Collectible: Like New. First edition, full number line. Signed by author. 'Like new' condition. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # 040905