This Little Light by Lori Lansens

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82,500 words
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US: The Overlook Press, August 2020
Canada: Random House Canada, August 2019
North American English Audio: Penguin Random
      House Canada
French Canada: Éditions Alto


Lori Lansens (Photo: Laura Starks)
(Photo: Laura Starks)

Lori Lansens was a successful screenwriter before she burst onto the literary scene in 2002 with her first novel Rush Home Road. Published in eleven countries, Rush Home Road received rave reviews around the world. Her follow-up novel The Girls was an international success as well. Rights were sold in 13 territories and it was featured as a book club pick by Richard & Judy in the UK, selling 300,000 copies. Her third novel, The Wife's Tale was published in ten different territories, while her fourth novel, The Mountain Story, had rights sold in eight. Born and raised in Chatham, Ontario, Lori Lansens now makes her home in Los Angeles with her two children.

This Little Light

a novel by Lori Lansens


“Compelling female narrators, of course, are a hallmark of Lansens’s work. The same deft conjuring of personality that made The Girls (her acclaimed novel about the world’s oldest conjoined twins) so unforgettable is at work here.”

“Margaret Atwood fans awaiting her sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale now have the perfect dystopian novel to tide them over. Fellow Ontario writer Lori Lansens’ speculative fiction, This Little Light, depicts an all-too-plausible America in the year 2024. Birth control has been criminalized, police drones fill the sky and right-wing born-again Christians reign supreme. When teenage resisters Rory and her best friend Fee are accused of bombing their posh California high school’s American Virtue Ball, they’re forced to go on the lam, hounded by law enforcement in the real world and swarmed by trolls online. Told over the course of 48 hours, the story serves up a high-speed plot shot through with scathing critiques of current political movements working to undermine women’s power.” —TORONTO LIFE MAGAZINE

“Lori Lansens’ This Little Light is kind of a millennial’s take on The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s complex and fun, and a super interesting look into what it is to be a teenage girl in these times…. I’m a huge fan of [Lansens]. I’m working on turning this into a series with Universal.” — KATHLEEN ROBERTSON, actor, Northern Rescue

“In This Little Light, Lori Lansens imagines a near-future that is stark, visceral and terrifyingly real. Hallelujah for the audacious self-professed heathen, Rory Ann Miller, who holds the adults in her world accountable while reminding us to never stop fighting for freedom. This book is one hell of a wake-up call. I was rooting for Rory from page one.” — AMI MCKAY, author of The Witches of New York, The Virgin Cure, and The Birth House

“Lansens throws her readers right into the action and keeps them there, as thirsty, hungry, and frightened as two young girls on the run. A crazy-good coming-of-age thriller that will make you sweat, starting at page one.” — CHRISTINA DALCHER, author of the bestseller VOX

This Little LightRory Miller and her best friend Fee are teen girls on the run, accused of planting a bomb at their posh California private school during a much-anticipated chastity ball, where they swear to their fathers that they will remain virgins until marriage. They watch their attempted capture crowd-sourced by Christian zealots and bounty hunters on social media and cable news. Terrified, alone, and not sure whom they can trust, the girls struggle to understand their sudden infamy as the media brands them “Villains in Versace.”

Taking place over the course of 24 hours in the year 2024, in a country that has swung far right with illegal abortion, probationary citizens, and vigilante vengeance in God’s name, This Little Light is Rory’s blog, a real-time narration of their perilous hours in hiding, their dangerous attempts to find safety, and Rory’s response to the onslaught of accusations leveled against them. It’s also an uncensored journey into Rory’s world of uncommon wealth, predatory men, and Kardashians. To understand how they got there, Rory examines all that came before and describes what life is like for two American girls who have been unjustly labelled the “New Face of Holy War.”

Lori Lansens has nailed southern California culture, especially wealthy Calabasas, and what it may become just a few years from now. It’s the culture of ten-acre private Christian schools (whether you are a Christian or not), triple-gated communities, celebrity worship, and both religion and surveillance run amok, including evermore stringent restrictions on women’s bodies. Channelling the voice of her teenage daughter, Lansens has produced a chilling and fast-paced doozy of a rant.



“At last an adventure story where everyone is not supremely competent. At last a wilderness story which because it’s fiction has an actual arc and not just a series of encounters. Wolf is one of the most incredible voices I’ve come across in fiction recently and his trailer park environment is stunningly described; at once as absurd as farce and yet hauntingly real. On the mountain, bad judgment and bad luck are the order of the day and your heart will be in your throat as the inevitability of death draws ever closer to one young man and three generations of city women lost in a very real and dangerous mountain wilderness. You may think twice about piling the kids in the car for your next hike!” — HELEN SIMONSON, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

“Lori Lansens has created a heart-pounder of a book that is every bit as much of an emotional roller-coaster as an adventurous one. Filled with richly drawn characters, unexpected twists, and gritty details about survival, you'll want to read this right now. Unless, that is, you happen to be camping!” — JODI PICOULT, bestselling author of Leaving Time

“Her newest offering is more than just a survival tale. It is a story of friendship and loss, but also of growth and hope, and of family bonds that can either tie us down or help us soar. A great read for anyone who likes character-driven coming-of-age stories with exquisitely described natural settings.” — LIBRARY JOURNAL

“With her new novel, Lori Lansens, the bestselling author of The Girls, may have reached the peak of story-telling prowess. The Mountain Story is a fast-paced and profound adventure that demands to be read in a single sitting… The Mountain Story is the best kind of binge read: exhilarating, inspiring, and life-affirming.” — QUILL & QUIRE, starred review

“By its closing pages, it gains an almost devastating emotional force that accompanies the irresistible quality of its narrative drive: It’s a master class in fiction and its potential.” — THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“A moving portrait of the human spirit — fierce, lovely, and indomitable as nature.”
 — PEOPLE MAGAZINE Book of the Week

“Lansens’ survival tale of four people stranded alone on a mountainside is as terrifying and gripping as it is an homage to the fearsomeness of the natural world.” — ELLE

“Lansens has written a colorful, adventurous wilderness survival novel.... [a] first-rate character-driven thriller.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“As in her earlier novels, Lansens (The Wife’s Tale, 2010) portrays strong, not-soon forgotten characters in this suspenseful, psychologically rich tale…Lansens brings the reader intimately into their plight: four harrowing days with barely any food or water, trapped in a canyon with seemingly no way down. Their ordeal profoundly affects the four survivors and changes the course of each of their lives.” — BOOKLIST

“Right from its opening pages, The Mountain Story has you firmly in its grip. Immensely readable, beautifully written and incredibly heart-breaking… it’s an extraordinary story of survival, heroism and redemption that will stay with you long after you read the last page.” — ASSOCIATED PRESS, UK


This Little Light - Canadian trade paperback editionThis Little Light - Canadian original trade paperback edition


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