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The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew

The Light That Gets Lost

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In a Nutshell: Raw revenge | Exploitative institution | Brightening bonds | An unforgettable novel about revenge, abuses of authority and the redemptive power of friendship.

After witnessing his parents’ murder, Trey is sent to bleak Camp Kernow, a correctional institution for young offenders. Here, under the command of religious obsessives who are directed by the all-powerful Preacher, the inmates are set to work farming and slaughtering cattle in the name of salvation. But Trey has his own agenda. He’s there to avenge his parents’ killer, driven by an internal demon that “poked at him with talons and threatened to bust from the inside out”. Amidst an environment of ruthless bullying, and shocking revelations about what’s really going on around the camp, Trey forms friendships with shrewd Kay and ‘crazy’ Lamby. And when chaos is unleashed, these unexpected alliances become crucial to any chance of survival.

This gripping novel explores challenging themes with ferocious flair and fearless originality. It will surely inspire much thought and discussion about, for example, what purpose revenge serves, trust, abuses of power, and whether anyone is simply “bad for the kick of things”, or whether people grow bad “like bacteria on foul meat”. Highly recommended for fans of Meg Rosoff and Patrick Ness. ~ Joanne Owen


The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew

A small boy hiding in a cupboard witnesses something no child should ever see. He tries not to look but he still hears it. And when he comes out, there's no mistaking. His mum and dad have been killed. And though he's only small, he swears that he'll get revenge one day. Years later, Trey goes to a strange camp that is meant to save troubled teenagers. It's packed with crazies, god-botherers, devoted felons and broken kids. Trey's been in and out of trouble ever since the day the bad thing happened, but he's not here for saving: this is where he'll find the man who did it. Revenge and healing, salvation and hell are a boiling, dangerous mix, and Trey finds himself drawn to a girl, a dream and the offer of friendship in the dark ...


Gripping stuff, Carthew's prose has a startling ferocity Toby Clements The Telegraph Best Books of 2015

The prose is often eccentric, quirky and vernacular, and sometimes poetic, with a magical and lyrical rhythm. Superb! Highly recommended -- The School Librarian Steve Hird A vivid, imagistic language. The Financial Times Suzi Feay

'The Light That Gets Lost is a wild and dangerous story and a beautiful one, too. It's rough and taciturn and frank and, at times, utterly shocking. But it's also deeply, deeply intimate. The Bookbag Jill Murphy

It's wholly original, a novel that could only have been written by Natasha Carthew. The camp, the earth beneath, the sky above, are so vividly described, we feel the soil under fingernails, smell the sunshine. Carthew's language is enthralling, she uses Cornish dialect words rooted in the landscape described, and her writing has its own poetry. Matthew Martin Books For Keeps

The lyrical and expressive writing style breathes life into this absorbing story. BookTrust

Carthew delivers a gripping story in intense, powerful prose. Peter Carty International Business Times

Languid but ultimately uplifting. Niall Alexander

About the Author

Natasha Carthew

Natasha Carthew was born and raised in Cornwall, where she still lives with her girlfriend of nineteen years. Natasha had three books of poetry published before her first novel, Winter Damage, came out in 2013. Winter Damage was nominated for the 2014 Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for several other awards including the prestigious Branford Boase Award. Natasha is a country writer who does all of her writing outside – whatever the weather – in a cabin built from scrap.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th November 2016


Natasha Carthew

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


320 pages


NewGen - YA Fiction
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General fiction (Children's / Teenage)



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