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Sunburn (Paperback)

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** Shortlisted for the 2023 Nero Book Award for Debut Fiction **
** An Evening Standard ‘One to Watch in 2023 **
** An Independent ‘Best Romantic Summer Reads' **
** A Book of the Month pick for DivaIrish ExaminerNovellic Sainsbury’s Magazine **
** A Most Anticipated pick for PinkNews & Queer on the Street **

It's the early 1990s, and in the Irish village of Crossmore, Lucy feels out of place. Despite her fierce friendships, she's always felt this way, and the conventional path of marriage and motherhood doesn't appeal to her at all. Not even with handsome and doting Martin, her closest childhood friend.

Lucy begins to make sense of herself during a long hot summer, when a spark with her school friend Susannah escalates to an all-consuming infatuation, and, very quickly, to a desperate and devastating love.

Fearful of rejection from her small and conservative community, Lucy begins living a double life, hiding the most honest parts of herself in stolen moments with Susannah.

But with the end of school and the opportunity to leave Crossmore looming, Lucy must choose between two places, two people and two futures, each as terrifying as the other. Neither will be easy, but only one will offer her happiness.

Sunburn is an astute and tender portrayal of first love, adolescent anxiety and the realities of growing up in a small town where tradition holds people tightly in its grasp. An atmospheric sapphic love story and coming-of-age novel with the intensity of Megan Nolan's Acts of Desperation, the long hot summer of André Aciman's Call Me By Your Name and the female friendships of Anna Hope's Expectation.

‘A tender and heartfelt coming-of-age tale’ – Heat

‘A compassionate take on the push and pull between what's expected and what is felt’ – Herald

‘A deeply moving, heartfelt love story’ – Daily Mail

‘Lucy tells her story in a true, compelling voice, with an eye for minutiae, quaint apercus, and confidences that make her account moving and convincing’ – SAGA Magazine

‘Tender and poignant... Ideal reading for the last month of summer’ – Diva

'Intense and all-consuming - like the first love it describes - Sunburn transported me to the heart of summer and the heady days of late adolescence. I won't soon forget Chloe Michelle Howarth's addictive, lushly written debut' - Laura Sims

'Capturing all the intensity of first love, blended with the claustrophobia of small-town life, this debut, inspired by real experience, is tender and raw' - The Bookseller

'A beautiful coming of age love novel written with an insightful poetical prose, rich with religious allegory and texture which underscores the transformative, spiritual power of first love explored' - Scene Magazine

Chloe Michelle Howarth was born in July 1996. She grew up in the West Cork countryside, which has served as an inspiration for her writing. She attended university at IADT in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, where she studied English, Media and Cultural Studies. Chloe currently lives in Brighton. Sunburn is her debut novel.
Product Details ISBN: 9780857308412
ISBN-10: 0857308416
Publisher: Verve Books
Publication Date: September 19th, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English
'Capturing all the intensity of first love, blended with the claustrophobia of small-town life, this debut, inspired by real experience, is tender and raw' —Bookseller

'Intense and all-consuming - like the first love it describes - Sunburn transported me to the heart of summer and the heady days of late adolescence. I won't soon forget Chloe Michelle Howarth's addictive, lushly written debut' - Laura Sims, author, How Can I Help You

'A beautiful coming of age love novel written with an insightful poetical prose, rich with religious allegory and texture which underscores the transformative, spiritual power of first love explored' -Scene Magazine

'This is an often gut-wrenching divulgence into a complex queer story that... painstakingly captures the realities of queerness in 1990s small-town Ireland' - The Gay Saint