This Little Light by Lori LansensThis Little Light by Lori Lansens

This Little Light

byLori Lansens

Paperback | August 13, 2019

see the collection The World Needs More Canada

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER

This brilliant new novel is an urgent bulletin from an all-too-believable near future in which the religious right has come out on top. And where a smart young girl who questions the new order is suddenly a terrorist. By the bestselling author of The Girls and The Mountain Story.


Taking place over 48 hours in the year 2024, this is the story of Rory Ann Miller, on the run with her best friend because they are accused of bombing their posh Californian high school during an American Virtue Ball. There's a bounty on their heads, and a social media storm of trolls flying around them, not to mention a posse of law enforcement, attack helicopters and drones trying to track them down. Rory's mom, a social activist and lawyer, has been arrested and implicated in her daughter's "crimes" whereas her dad (who betrayed his wife and daughter in a nasty divorce) is cooperating with the authorities. The story exists in a universe of gated communities, born-again Christians, Probationary Citizens (once known as "Dreamers"), re-criminalized abortion and birth control, teenage virginity oaths and something called the Red Market, which is either a Conservative bogey-man created to further polarize the "base" or a criminal network making money from selling unwanted babies to whomever wants them and fetal tissue to cosmetics and drug companies.

Rory is cynical and scared, furious and scathing, betrayed and looking for something or someone to trust. What she has to say about the dads and bosses and politicians lining up to keep women in their place, and about the ways women collaborate in their own undermining, is fierce, and funny, and sad, and true.
LORI LANSENS was a successful screenwriter before writing her first novel, Rush Home Road. Translated into twelve languages and published in fifteen countries, Rush Home Road received rave reviews around the world. Her follow-up novel, The Girls, was an international success and was featured as a bookclub pick by Richard & Judy in the ...
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Title:This Little LightFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:288 pages, 8.23 × 5.75 × 0.8 inShipping dimensions:8.23 × 5.75 × 0.8 inPublished:August 13, 2019Publisher:Random House of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0735276420

ISBN - 13:9780735276420

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from New from Lori Lansens Lori Lansens is one of my favorite writers. (Rush Home Road will always be near and dear to me) Each of her books has brought something different to the page - and her latest - This Little Light - is no exception This Little Light is set in the near future - 2023. The most frightening thing about this book? It's happening here and now. Abortion has been re-criminalized, as has birth control, 'Virtue Balls' where a teenage girl pledges chastity with a ring (to her father) are the norm, unwanted babies are being sold. And women are being 'kept in line.' Lansens weaves current issues - women's rights, the have and the have nots in terms of money and resources, religion and politics, immigration and more into this latest novel. This Little Light is told by sixteen year old Rory Miller. Rory is (reluctantly) at her Purity Ball when a bomb goes off. And she and her best friend are now 'the most famous girls in America.' But for all the wrong reasons. They are being accused of being the bombers - and are now on the run. Through her blog over the course of forty eight hours, we get a bigger picture of what is going on - and who might be pulling strings. Why is she being targeted? Rory questions the way things are, she's a square peg who refuses to go along with the crowd and accept the edicts being given to women. "I never shut up. I never give up. I ask too many questions I'm a contrarian. So I stared my blog, This Little Light." I loved her, I loved her voice and most of all - her courage in questioning. Lansens has done a good job of finding the voice of a teenager. The dialogue, interior thoughts and actions all ring true. The stream of consciousness as she posts to her blog draws the reader into the action and tension. I was completely caught up in the who and the why. And as the number of pages left to read grew smaller, I couldn't put it down. What would the ending bring? I must admit - I was caught unawares and was gutted. It's right but wrong. Bottom line? Couldn't put it down. Another great read from Lori Lansens. Who would like this book? If you like The Handmaid's Tale, pick up This Little Light.
Date published: 2019-08-13

Read from the Book

T H I S  L I T T L E  L I G H TBLOGLOG: Rory Anne Miller 11/27/2024—9:51 pmWe’re trending. Rory Miller. Feliza Lopez. In this moment, on this night, we’re the most famous girls in America.Those pics you’ve seen in your feeds and on TV over the past few hours? Two fresh-faced teens in bridal couture on the arms of their daddies at tonight’s American Virtue Ball? That’s me and Fee, my best friend. The grainy footage from the school surveillance cameras of two figures in white gowns climbing up into the smoky hills after the bomb exploded at Sacred Heart High? Also us. It’s true that guilty people run. Scared people run too. They’re calling us the Villains in Versace.What they’re saying about us? First—who wears Versace to a purity ball? I wore Mishka. Fee wore Prada. The details matter. The truth—which is not somewhere in the middle as guilty people like to say—is vital. Like oxygen. The truth is that Fee and I did not try to blow up the chastity ball at Sacred Heart High tonight. We had nothing to do with that thing they found in my car, either. And we have no involvement whatsoever with the Red Market. We’re not the spawn of Satan you’re loading your Walmart rifles to hunt.If I’m being honest? Totally honest? I’ve spent a stupid amount of time daydreaming about being famous, and how amazing it’d be to have millions of followers. That’s normal, right? A shallow distraction from reality? I live in California, after all, where fame pollutes the atmosphere then penetrates your skin with the UV rays. But this isn’t fame. It’s infamy. And I feel like I do in my recurring naked-at-school nightmare—gross and exposed.Careful what you wish for? Fee and I don’t have followers so much as we have trolls and trackers. We’re being flayed in the media. Convicted by social. And now we’re freaking fugitives, hiding out in this scrap metal shed behind a little cabin in the mountains overlooking Malibu.I’m so thankful for this old pink laptop—courtesy of Javier, who’s letting us hide in his shed, which I’ll explain later. I’ve caught up on the fake news and read all the hate tweets. Bombers? Religious terrorists? Red Market runners, trafficking stolen babies? It feels like a joke, but it’s not. And to make it even more real, the rock evangelist Reverend Jagger Jonze just put up a million-dollar reward for our capture. There’s a freaking bounty on our heads. So here we sit in this shed. No way to defend ourselves. Nowhere to run.My throat hurts from swallowing screams. And the worst thing—I mean, worst is relative under these circumstances—but Fee is really sick. She’s curled up beside me under a tattered blanket, not really awake but groaning. Whatever’s wrong with her, it started at the ball, and once we got here, she basically collapsed. Her forehead’s hot. She’s pale. Something she ate? She barely ate today. Flu? I don’t know.In order to remain calm-ish, I’m going to write our side of the story. I’m afraid we’ll be tracked to the shed if I post entries in real time, so I won’t submit until I know we’re safe. This old laptop has had a long-life battery upgrade, thank God. I could write all night. Maybe I will. Wouldn’t be the first time. Won’t be the last. Writing? It’s the only way I’ve ever been able to make sense of my life.Just this afternoon, Fee and I were with our other best friends—Brooklyn Leon, Zara Rohanian and Delaney Sharpe, all of us students at Sacred Heart High School—getting ready for the ball at Jinny Hutsall’s house. Hutsalls are beyond rich, so they hired a StyleMeNow crew to come over and do our hair, paint our nails, curl our lashes and plump our lips, which I did not hate. We sipped the champagne Jinny’d cadged from the fridge—a very unJinny move, now I think about it—and snapped a hundred pics of our virgin-bride splendor, while our tuxedoed daddies tossed back Manhattans on Warren Hutsall’s lanai. The others got giggly, but slipping into my gorgeous Mishka, I felt nothing but dread.It wasn’t about the virginity pledge we were about to take. My friends and I weren’t serious about that. Not really, or not all of us. The Virtue Ball was a swag grab, a couture gown, a brush with celebrity, a photo op. Or at least that’s what we said. For me? As an atheist who definitely won’t be saving it until marriage, it was also an opportunity to do some reporting for my blog. That’s what I told myself, over and above the dread, which I’ll explain later.Driving there tonight, I still hadn’t decided if I’d dig into the hellaciousness of vowing chastity to our fathers or if I’d go with a softer piece acknowledging the father/daughter bonding but include some solid stats to show that teaching abstinence doesn’t work. I hadn’t decided which angle would get me more likes. That’s the truth. I hadn’t quite got to the point where I actually was considering exposing the whole corrupt deal. Too scared, maybe?Well, I know which way I’ll go now. Though I couldn’t have imagined I’d be writing about how Fee and I became outlaws hiding in a seven-by-eight-foot shed, crowded by a greasy lawn mower, a couple of leaf blowers, a tangle of fishing rods, three old suitcases and some fat white trash bags leaking lawn clippings.When I look up, I can see the full moon and stars blinking through gaps in the aluminum roof, and the distant lights from passing planes. There are no doubt already bounty hunters out there looking for us in their MiniCops and GarBirds—those homemade flying jobbies people get shipped from China to build in their garages even though they’re totally illegal. They’re crowdsourcing our capture. It’s all over the news.There’s a window at the front of the shed that looks out over the rocky cliffs, and from there I can see the neighbor’s trailer a hundred or so yards away—an ancient silver Airstream, the front tow-hitch propped off-kilter on three big cinder blocks, a big blue tarp that was strung up to make an awning over the porch billowing in the breeze. Light from a television was flickering in the front window when I looked out before. No vehicle in the driveway, though.I’ve seen a couple of drones whir by. Definitely looking for us. The new cam-drones are so quiet and acrobatic you don’t see them until they’re on you taking surveillance. I noticed an UberCopter pass a few minutes ago. Saw the police helicopters flying back in the direction of Sacred Heart High, where the bomb exploded. With the bounty, and the media firestorm, there will be a lot more of them tomorrow in the daylight. Unless the Santa Anas start blowing. The news is saying we should expect strong winds later tonight, and off and on tomorrow. Crossing freaking fingers. The winds will keep the air traffic down.The cable stations are covering us round the clock like we’re a weather event—a hurricane or severe snowstorm or a California wildfire so big and bad they gotta give it a name. Fox News is calling our story “The Hunt”—so ugly rhyming memes. My head’s spinning. It’s been torture to go online. But worse not to know. People say you shouldn’t read the comments section. People are right. I seriously want to respond to each one. Like, I want to tell Twitter user @H8UevlGASHES—who suggested the insertion of a broken bottle into our life-giving lady parts—that he does not understand irony. And I want to tell that congresswoman from Texas who just tweeted that Fee and I should have our “eyes sewn open and be forced to watch a late-term abortion” that she should definitely kill the person who does her hair. The guy who started #rape’em1st? He just makes me wanna cry. And? The president tweeted out a White House dinner invitation to Jinny Hutsall and Reverend Jagger Jonze. It would be funny if it weren’t too true.Our “friend” Jinny is trending too. They’re saying that what happened at the Virtue Ball tonight has ignited an “American Holy War.” Jinny fucking Hutsall. Until that blond-hair, yoga-arm, apple-ass thigh-gap-in-a-tartan-skirt moved in next door a few months ago and joined our class at Sacred Heart High, we were just us. The Hive. Friends since we were toddlers. Now, two of us are the New Targets of Holy War. And the host of tonight’s ball, Reverend Jagger Jonze—the one that put up the million-dollar bounty after everything went down in the parking lot at the AVB? He’s rocketed to superstardom. Just like that. Jagger Jonze is the devil. But more on that later.First—the bomb. We didn’t set the bomb. And if someone wanted to bomb the ball, why did they blow up the bathroom clear on the other side of the school’s fifteen-acre campus? Nothing makes sense. It’s all just crazy. We’ve been accused of being “runners” doing dastardly deeds for the Red Market. My mother’s always said there’s no such thing as the Red Market. She says it’s a construct—evil alt-right propaganda. I don’t know what to believe. I mean, people have been talking about the Pink Market since long before abortion was banned again. Everyone knows there’s a Pink Market out there helping minors access birth control, and morning-after pills, and getting them to underground clinics and all.But the Red Market? Supposedly it’s a baby-stealing mafia that supplies product to illegal stem cell research labs. Even the media say “alleged” or “rumored” when they talk about it. Law enforcement officers and politicians are rumored to be involved in the Red Market too. Even if my mother’s wrong, and people are actually that depraved, Fee and I are not, and never have been, and never would be, involved in such foul shit.I’m scared. No, terrified.

Editorial Reviews

NATIONAL BESTSELLERA Chatelaine Summer Reads selectionOne of CBC Books’s “34 works of Canadian fiction to watch for this fall” One of The Globe and Mail’s “Summer Reads” selections“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 a one hell of a wake-up call. I was rooting for Rory from page one.” —Ami McKay, author of The Birth House and The Witches of New York“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 VOX“Lori Lansens’s 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. Lansens is Canadian and I’m a huge fan of hers. I’m working on turning this into a series with Universal.” —Kathleen Robertson, actor, Northern RescuePRAISE FOR THE MOUNTAIN STORY:“[A] thoroughly delightful reading experience. The Mountain Story is the best kind of binge read: exhilarating, inspiring, and life-affirming.” —Quill & Quire (starred review)“[A] harrowing tale becomes engrossing saga of renewal and redemption. . . . With The Mountain Story, Lori Lansens has written an epic work suffused with raw emotional power and resonance.” —Toronto Star“It would be an utter waste of our magnificent landscape if Canadian authors like Lansens weren’t carrying on the tradition of wilderness lit. Thankfully, Lansens’s 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 Canada“Lori Lansens . . . returns with this terrific novel which plays a delicate and mesmerizing balancing act between survival thriller and heart-wrenching domestic drama. . . . Written with breathtaking pace, tingling with suspense, leavened by humour and high on emotion and drama, The Mountain Story is one of the most memorable and moving novels you will read this year.” —Longridge News