When the Lights Go Out
  • When the Lights Go Out

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    Global temperatures are rising.
    The climate of the Abrams’ marriage is cooling.

    Emma is beginning to wonder whether relationships, like mortgages, should be conducted in five-year increments. She might laugh if Chris had bought a motorbike or started dyeing his hair. Instead he’s buying off-label medicines and stockpiling food.

    Chris finds Emma’s relentless optimism exasperating. A tot of dread, a nip of horror, a shot of anger – he isn’t asking much. If she would only join him in a measure of something.

    The family’s precarious eco-system is further disrupted by torrential rains, power cuts and the unexpected arrival of Chris’s mother. Emma longs to lower a rope and winch Chris from the pit of his worries. But he doesn’t want to be rescued or reassured – he wants to pull her in after him.

    Darkly funny and beautifully written, When the Lights Go Out is a novel for our times: a story about cultivating hope and weathering change.

    'So timely, and so deeply human, a novel which takes us right into the heart of a marriage and at the same time grapples with the most crucial issue of our age. It's bursting with compassion and wisdom.' Shelley Harris, author of JUBILEE

    'Through exquisite use of language and observation, she examines the intricacies of family life in ways which have you laughing one moment and biting your nails with worry the next.' Sarah Franklin, author of SHELTER

    'With characteristic wit and humanity, Bray shows us the necessity and the impossibility of preparing for disaster, and reminds us of both the fragility and capacity of love.' Jenn Ashworth, author of A KIND OF INTIMACY and FELL

Carys Bray was awarded the Scott Prize for her debut short-story collection, Sweet Home. Her first novel, A Song for Issy Bradley, was chosen for Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and winner of the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2015. She lives in Southport with her husband and four children.