Lou Connor, a gifted but unhappy sixteen-year-old, is desperate to escape her life of poverty in Sydney, Australia. When she is offered a place as an exchange student at a college in Illinois, it seems as if her dreams are going to be fulfilled. Her host family, the Hardings, has a large and beautiful house in Illinois and couldn't be more welcoming. Everything is perfect. Until Lou starts having to live in the suffocating and repressed atmosphere of the Hardings' suburban mansion and things start to go terribly wrong. How the Light Gets In is an acutely observed tale of adolescence. But more than that, it is an intelligent and darkly humorous study of human aspiration, self-sabotage, and the dislocation and alienation felt by an outsider. In Lou Connor, M. J. Hyland has created a complex and unforgettable protagonist who mesmerizes the reader with her vivacity and vulnerability, from hopeful beginning to unexpected, haunting end.
About the Author
M.J. Hyland is an ex-lawyer and the author of three multi-award-winning novels: "How the Light Gets In, Carry Me Down," and" This is How."" Carry Me Down" was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won both the Hawthornden Prize and The Encore Prize.
Hyland is also a lecturer in Creative Writing in The Centre for New Writing at The University of Manchester where she runs fiction workshops, alongside Martin Amis, Colm Toibin, and Jeanette Winterson. She also runs regular fiction masterclasses in "The Guardian" Masterclass Programme, and has twice been shortlisted for the BBC Short Story Prize (2011 and 2012). She also publishes in" The Guardian's ""How to Write" series, and has written nonfiction for "The Financial Times, Granta, The New Yorker," and elsewhere. Hyland is co-founder of The Hyland and Byrne Editing Firm (see - editingfirm.com & mjhyland.com)