How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland

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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 M. J. Hyland

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Published December 1, 2007 by Canongate U.S.. 320 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for How the Light Gets In

The New York Times

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It might seem odd to you at first but we keep our schedule on the fridge.'' Then Margaret ''picks an apple from the fruit bowl and slams it down on her side plate as though to declare war on the idea of dessert.'' While Lou's observations are usually on target, Hyland has the good sense not to ma...

Aug 01 2004 | Read Full Review of How the Light Gets In

The Guardian

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But Hyland - a Melbourne writer who spent seven years of her childhood on a rough Dublin housing estate - is giving us much more than a little-girl-lost story.

May 22 2004 | Read Full Review of How the Light Gets In

Publishers Weekly

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When Louise Connor, a brainy, difficult 16-year-old from Sydney, Australia, travels to Chicago as a foreign exchange student, she wants more than just friendship from her wealthy suburban host family.

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