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In the Wild Light

Written by Jeff Zentner

Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Romance / Relationship Stories School Stories

LoveReading View on In the Wild Light

A beautiful story of grief, found family, and young love.

August 2021 Book of the Month

Life in a small Tennessee town is not easy. Cash lost his mother to an opioid addiction and his Papaw is dying slowly from emphysema. Dodging drug dealers and watching out for his smart but troubled best friend, Delaney, is second nature to Cash.

But when Delaney manages to secure both of them full scholarships to an elite school in Connecticut, Cash will have to grapple with his need to protect and love Delaney, and his fears about abandoning his old life.


In the Wild Light Synopsis

I've always loved when the light finds the broken spots in the world and makes them beautiful . . . 

Cash's life in his small Tennessee town is hard. He lost his mom to an opioid addiction and his grandfather's illness is getting worse. His smart but troubled best friend, Delaney, is his only salvation. But Delaney is meant for greater things, and she finds a way for Cash to leave with her. Will abandoning his old life be the thing that finally breaks Cash, or will it be the making of him?

From the award-winning author of The Serpent King comes a beautiful story of grief, found family, and young love.

In the Wild Light Press Reviews

Zenter's writing always smashes our hearts into a thousand pieces but in the most eloquent and beautiful way - Buzzfeed

A brilliant treasure of a book that holds up a mirror to the best parts of our humanity -- starred review - Kirkus

Notable is the warmth, physical affection, and gentleness between Cash and those he loves, while well-crafted poems throughout, written by Cash as he finds his voice, are evocative and moving, highlighting Zentner's impressive skill with both poetry and prose -- starred review - Publishers Weekly

This book is a deeply felt exploration into how friendships are sustained and fought for. In a way, it vitally redefines friendship as a privilege beyond convenient pleasure and excitement, but something more potent and true: that it must be protected, sacrificed for, and tended to with wisdom, patience, and love - and, to our luck, rendered in Zentner's ever dependable, gem-like sentences -- Ocean Vuong Jeff Zentner is an extraordinary writer, and In the Wild Light is his best yet. The prose is taut and lucent ... Zentner will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you ache, but this book's greatest gift is the fiery, incandescent hope it will leave in your chest. In a word: sublime -- Emily Henry -

Book Information

ISBN: 9781839130847
Publication date: 5th August 2021
Author: Jeff Zentner
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 432 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4
Topics: Bullying / Violence / Abuse, Death / Bereavement, Family Issues, Romance / Relationship Stories, School Stories

About Jeff Zentner

Jeff Zentner was a singer-songwriter and guitarist who released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. He is now an appellate attorney for the State of Tennessee and lives in Nashville with his wife and son. He wrote The Serpent King in a month, writing on his mobile phone on his commute and at night, weekends and lunchtimes between court cases. Photo credit: Steve Cross

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