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Lisa Harding Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Harvesting (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bright Burning Things (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cloud Girls (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Lisa Harding
Lisa Harding is an actress, writer, and playwright. She got her MPhil in creative writing from Trinity College Dublin in the year 2014. She graduated in 2014, having pursued a tumultuous career as an actress up until that time.

She is able to say, with a bit of relief, that she’s no longer awaiting a call from her agent with that elusive audition. She’s no longer waiting for others to make choices about her creative output. Each and every day, being a writer, she is able to practice her craft and produce work.

Lisa believes that it is never too late at all to begin writing and find your own voice. She loves teaching creative writing in Ireland and is grateful to have found her true calling later on in life.

Lisa’s short stories have been published in the Bath Short Story Anthology, The Dublin Review, Winter Papers, and HeadStuff.

“Harvesting” won the Kate O’Brien Award in 2018 and was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award and an Irish Book Award.

Lisa’s own life has been impacted by loving people in her family with addiction. So it has long been a driving concern in her life to work out the whats and the whys, attempting to work out what drives the person who is so addicted to alcohol.

She thinks it was very important to write “Bright Burning Things” from inside the mind of an alcoholic because it felt as though she could truly understand the daily battle, and it felt like such a huge thing. Because there are times in your life when you love an alcoholic, and think, first of all, it’s heartbreaking, but you think it’s a case of willpower, or somebody’s being self-destructive and not loving you enough. However really being inside of Sonya’s head gave Lisa enough insight into exactly how powerful the disease really is.

Sonya is a composite of somebody that Lisa loves quite dearly that’s been in and out of places like those. These places, like the one Sonya goes to for treatment, exist in Ireland, but probably not in America, since they are still run by the Catholic church. They’re a bit out of step, yet they also offer comfort, and they are for people that do not have health insurance at all.

Much of what appears in the novel is Lisa’s lived experience, observed experience in that she visited someone she loves and is close to her a lot of times, and she watched this person go in and out thinking they were not getting the right handle. There is no psychiatrist, it is all 12 of the steps. It is all spiritual, and she got frustrated herself attempting to get this person the right kind of help. Then Lisa imagined her own self in this place. And she put herself into the environment she’d visited many times, and she knew she’d be in revolt much of the time.

And then she wanted to bring some balance to this because it isn’t just about saying this kind of approach does not work for everyone. There is obviously no one size fits all, yet it does offer up some hope and comfort, and Lisa feels that Sonya, who feels incredibly like a cuckoo in the nest there, does touch sobriety. She touches connection and touches sobriety, and touches upon a spiritual understanding and the sense that there is something much greater than her. She touches a place of quiet within herself for the very first time in her life.

“Harvesting” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2017. Sometimes it feels as though three minutes has passed when it has been three days, and three nights will pass like a shiver of wind through the trees. It’s tough to tell the voices from spirits, shadows from bodies. Luca’s face becomes an unknown man’s face, Sammy under him, then the unknown guy’s face becomes Luca’s and she wants to reach out and smash it.

Sammy is a quick-witted, spiky, and sharp teen that lives in Dublin. Nico is a conscientious and warm girl from Moldova. When they get thrown together in a Dublin brothel in a horrific twist of fate, an important and strange bond gets formed.

“Harvesting” is a novel about this flourishing yet hidden world, which is thinly concealed underneath a facade of normality. It is about the failings of polite society, the cruelty which can exist in seemingly homely surroundings, the bluster of youth, and the often appalling weakness of adults.

This novel was inspired by Harding’s own involvement with a campaign against sex trafficking ran by the Children’s Rights Alliance. Even though this is a fictionalized account, the text has been read and approved by representatives for NGOs in both Dublin and Moldova.

This is a shockingly good and shocking read. Lisa delivers a funny and heartbreaking, raw, gritty, and breathtakingly beautiful read, where redemption is found in friendship and in unexpected acts of kindness. This is an anger inducing, thought provoking, guilt-provoking, and, most importantly: this is a brilliantly written novel. It’s an important and harrowing literary read.

“Bright Burning Things” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 2021. A visceral, brave, and tender portrait of motherhood, recovery, and addiction, just as intense and harrowing as Shuggie Bain.

Sonya once performed on stage. She would date handsome men, attend glamorous parties, and ride around in fast cars. However somewhere along the way, the stage lights she lived for wound up dimming for good. In their absence, came darkness: hazy nights she cannot remember, blackouts, and empty cupboards.

What keeps her from losing herself entirely is her son, Tommy. However her immense love for him is in fierce conflict with her immense love for booze. Addiction amplifies her fears of losing her kid; every maternal misstep that she makes compels her to drink more. Tommy’s precious life is in her shaky hands. Eventually she is forced to make a decision. Give up drinking or she’ll lose Tommy, forever.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Lisa Harding

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