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Song in the Dark
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Song in the Dark

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  27 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Where do you end up when you have nowhere to go, and no one to turn to?

Paul isn't thinking clearly. After destroying a series of relationships – with his friends, his flatmates, his mum – he finally hurts the one person he cares about most of all. And then he runs away.

An extraordinary and heartrending story of love, betrayal, addiction and hope.
Paperback, 174 pages
Published February 27th 2013 by Penguin Australia
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Song in the Dark by Christine Howe is set in Wollongong. Nineteen year old Paul Taylor has moved around a lot in his life. When he was five, his dad left and his mum said he could never come back. She moved them away and Paul never saw him again. He found out about his death via the newspaper and his mum became depressed. Paul moved out of home when his mum moved in with a new boyfriend, he started doing jobs for a mate’s older brother, a drug dealer. Now Paul is addicted to heroin, and finding...more

This book was just not for me. It wasn't bad. In fact, it was rather well-written. But for some reason I just couldn't connect with it. Which really surprised me because it's set in my hometown of Wollongong - a rare experience and something that I was very excited about. But even though the setting was familiar, I felt distant from the narrative and I can't quite put my finger on why.

Song in the Dark is the story of Paul, a young drug addict who does something terrible in his quest for drug mon...more
Maybe it started back in Woollongong, when Paul’s mum packed them up and ran away from his dad . . . that was when Paul learnt to start letting things go. Even things he loved. They were on the run throughout Paul’s childhood, his mum forever paranoid that they’d one day bump into his old man, and Paul would be taken away from her.

And then one day they stopped running and returned to Woollongong. Because his dad was dead, and nobody was looking for them, for him.

Now fresh out of high school Pa...more
If you picked up this book thinking it would be a light, contemporary read, you'll be disappointed. Song in the Dark is a gritty and confronting read that details the downward spiral of a troubled Australian boy and it's a bit tricky to deal with at times.

I went into this story thinking I was going to get something a lot different to what I received. The blurb doesn't give you a lot to go off, but I was definitely thinking this would be a story of self discovery and making something better of y...more
Bree T
Where do you go when you have no where to go, and no one to turn to?

Paul is in a downward spiral. He’s removed himself from the few family members he has and he’s living with a friend, without a job, barely able to make the rent. For several years, Paul has been used by the older brother of his friend to complete drops and collect money. In return, Paul gets some of the product for his personal use. This arrangement has changed Paul, has made him a slave and there isn’t much he’ll do in order to...more
Paula Weston
Christine Howe's writing is so evocative and moving in Song in the Dark, I kept making myself slow down to appreciate it.

This is a difficult to story to read at times because addiction is not an easy topic. But even though Paul's addiction is a key part of the story, it's his responses to it - and the consequences of his actions - that drive the story. And the hope he's going to have the courage to get his shit together.

I really appreciated the story's structure, moving backwards and forwards be...more
Sue Warren
Song in the Dark – Christine Howe
Penguin Australia
Published: 27/02/2013
Format: Paperback, 184 pages
RRP: $17.99

Anyone looking for a gripping and gritty read for young adults should look at this extraordinary novel with its themes of love, betrayal, forgiveness, addiction and especially hope.

Paul is a teenager who has dealt with numerous difficulties throughout his relatively short life, beginning with his mother disappearing with him - abandoning his father...more
2.5 stars.

Christine Howe’s debut novel Song in the Dark is a book of tough and mature themes definitely written for a mature young adult audience. It’s nice to know that some authors write to not squeeze into what’s popular within the age group such as young protagonists, cliched romances, and genre trends, but write matters that have meaning and levels of emotionality that you wouldn’t see elsewhere. Song in the Dark is one of those, but sadly for me, I didn’t quite connect with the book. I mea...more
Song in the Dark is an in your face read. The story of addiction is powerful, the images of the confusion and lack of hope early in the book are palpable. Paul has many issues. He has had to deal with the loss of his father, his grandmother, friends, homes and his childhood in the early part of the plot. The love for his grandmother is the shining light, the memories of his father are joyous in many ways. His mother's fears and possessive traits lead to a miserable life for Paul as she moves to...more
Klara Louise
It was a well written book and it addressed some important issues, that teenagers and young adults really need to take into consideration in their lives. So I really recomended this book be used for text studies on high schools.

I however was unable to connect to the book itself, compared to the way I connected with the blurb - which lead me to borrowing the book from my school library to read over the holidays.

I was hoping for a light read and I found something that was very confronting and it...more
Very good for a first book by the author: well written and leaves out enough to keep you interested to the end. Good insight into some of the dark sides of human nature, including drug taking and family breakdown. I was a bit disappointed with the slightly abrupt ending though; I would have liked there to be a bit more of a resolution between Paul and his family. Christine Howe could be an author to watch out for in future.
I received this novel from NetGalley.

This novel is a touching tale of a boys fight with drugs and his recovery.
It is difficult to get into but it gets much meter as you progress through.
I love that it's an Australian novel.
This novel is a must read, it is touching engaging. A great read.
Definitely senior fiction - 15+

Gritty, in your face, confronting story of a boy with nowhere to go and nothing to look forward to, other than his next hit.
Kirren Wilson
Tough read... Maybe because of the content. I would have liked the hope theme to be stronger and dominating the pain the protagonist feels.
Cass -  Words on Paper
Going to try and squeeze this one in for this month since it's so short and it's Aussie...
Picked up about halfway through and the ending was good
This book was raw and intense and brilliant.
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Christine Howe grew up on the Far South Coast of NSW, and currently lives in Wollongong. She was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing in 2009, and has been lecturing at the University of Wollongong since 2005. Song in the Dark, written while she was completing her PhD, is her first novel.
More about Christine Howe...
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