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Reviews

  • One of the best things you'll read: warm, witty and wise.

    ipaper
  • Carys Bray writes with a quiet formidable brilliance. Her observations on relationships are acute, painful and extremely funny. This is a gem of a book.

    Emily Maitlis
  • Bray is brilliant in her explorations of the delicate ecosystem of a long marriage.

    Financial Times
  • Bray has a knack of dealing with weighty themes with the lightest of touches.

    Best New Fiction, Mail on Sunday
  • It's a fresh, topical perspective, told expertly by Bray ... When the Lights Go Out ultimately asks a pertinent question: what does it mean to be good, or happy, or prepared, and which of these is most important? In the end, Bray's characters are forced to accept that they don't know - which, in this age of social media-heightened political division that seems to encourage dogmatism, is a welcome tonic.

    Sunday Times
  • [A] timely and ruminative novel.

    Observer
  • Testing Christian ethics against post-religious eco-panic in a picturesque English novel makes this an unusual and fascinating read. At first it seems like a simple domestic dramedy about a grumpy husband and his eye-rolling wife. But Bray is on a real philosophical quest here and, in common with all great writers, isn't afraid to have her characters say clever things and get into unusual situations. There is no whimsy here. No cheap, easy imagery (crows, I'm talking about you). This is a powerful and truthful story about hope and how to find it. Eschatology with rabbits and needlecraft. It's intelligent, truly timely and subtly reassuring.

    Melissa Katsoulis, The Times
  • Bray's satire shines with observation and subtlety . . . With sharp wit, Bray teases out the tiny domestic dramas, identifying the pinch points that can make the most solid relationships briefly or permanently unendurable. Bray shows how the most well-regulated household can still tremble on the brink of collapse. What message could be more timely than that?

    Guardian
  • Beautifully-written ... superb on family dynamics.

    Daily Mail
  • When the Lights Go Out is a triumph. Richly metaphorical, impeccably dramatised, beautifully plotted, and so lifelike it seems to lift off the page . . . It has voices: Milton, Shakespeare, Keats, Edgar Alan Poe, Dylan Thomas and the Bible. It has ghosts: of Eden, Job, the Flood and Judgement Day. It has Christmas carols, closing down notices, protest slogans and commandments written in stone. It takes place at a tangent to the world we currently inhabit and we wake from reading it as if from a dream. The dream is that the world is ending and we are in need of a miracle. The book is a small miracle itself. Carys Bray has given us a perfect example of how to write a novel.

    Grace McCleen

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