cover image How the Light Gets in

How the Light Gets in

M. J. Hyland. Conongate Us, $13 (320pp) ISBN 978-1-84195-548-3

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. Desperate for affection and approval-and hoping to permanently escape her real family-she plies her hosts with effusive thank-you notes, but also swigs gin to calm her nerves, with predictable results. How the Light Gets In by M.J. Hyland is a cool, accomplished first novel, originally published to acclaim in Australia; international rights have been sold in five countries, and Hyland will embark on a five-city tour in the U.S.