All actions have consequences. This is how life goes. Patrick is a loner, an intelligent but disturbed young man struggling to find his place in the world. He ventures out on his own, and, as he begins to find happiness, he commits an act of violence that sends his life horribly and irreversibly out of control. But should a person's life be judged by a single bad act? This is How is a compelling and macabre journey into the dark side of human existence and a powerful meditation on the nature of guilt and redemption.
Ireland, 1971, John Egan is a misfit, 'a twelve year old in the body of a grown man with the voice of a giant who insists on the ridiculous truth'. With an obsession for the Guinness Book of Records and faith in his ability to detect when adults are lying, John remains hopeful despite the unfortunate cards life deals him. During one year in John's life, from his voice breaking, through the breaking-up of his home life, to the near collapse of his sanity, we witness the gradual unsticking of John's mind, and the trouble that creates for him and his family.
John Egan is a misfit, a twelve-year-old in the body of a grown man with the voice of a giant. He has been able to detect lies for as long as he can remember and diligently keeps track of them, large and small, in a log of lies. With an obsession for the Guinness Book of World Records, a keenly inquisitive mind, and a kind of faith, John is like a tuning fork, sensitive to the vibrations within himself and his family's shifting dynamics. From his changing voice, body, and psyche to his parents' disheartening marital difficulties, this is a trying year in a fragile young boy's life, and when his sanity reaches near collapse, a frightening family catastrophe threatens to ruin what little they have. Carry Me Down is a restrained, emotionally taut, and sometimes outrageously funny portrait whose drama drives toward, but narrowly averts, an unthinkable disaster.
A powerful debut from an Australian novelist that features one of the most likeable but contrary figures you are likely to meet in contemporary fiction. Lou Connor, a gifted, unhappy sixteen-year-old, is desperate to escape her life of poverty in Sydney. When she is offered an exchange student placement at a school in America it seems as if her dreams will be fulfilled. Her host family has a beautiful house in Illinois and couldn't be more welcoming . . . until she starts to be distubed by the suffocating and repressed atmosphere of their suburban mansion and things begin to go terribly wrong. How the Light Gets In is an acutely observed story of adolescence, reminiscent of American Beauty in its dissection of engrained prejudices and middle-class hypocrisy. In Lou Connor, Hyland has created a larger-than-life protagonist who mesmerises the reader with her vivacity and vulnerability, from hopeful beginning to unexpected, haunting end.