Bright Objects (Hardcover)

Bright Objects By Ruby Todd Cover Image

Bright Objects (Hardcover)


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A young widow grapples with the arrival of a once-in-a-lifetime comet and its tumultuous consequences, in a debut novel that blends mystery, astronomy, and romance, perfect for fans of Emma Cline’s The Girls and Ottessa Moshfegh’s Death in Her Hands.

Sylvia Knight is losing hope that the person who killed her husband will ever face justice. Since the night of the hit-and-run, her world has been shrouded in hazy darkness—until she meets Theo St. John, the discoverer of a rare comet soon to be visible to the naked eye.

As the comet begins to brighten, Sylvia wonders what the apparition might signify. She is soon drawn into the orbit of local mystic Joseph Evans, who believes the comet’s arrival is nothing short of a divine message. Finding herself caught between two conflicting perspectives of this celestial phenomenon, she struggles to define for herself where the reality lies. As the comet grows in the sky, her town slowly descends further and further into a fervor over its impending apex, and Sylvia’s quest to uncover her husband’s killer will push her and those around her to the furthest reaches of their very lives.

A novel about the search for meaning in a bewildering world, the loyalty of love, and the dangerous lengths people go to in pursuit of obsession, Bright Objects is a luminous, masterfully crafted literary thriller.
Ruby Todd is a Melbourne-based writer with a PhD in writing and literature. She is the recipient of the 2019 Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest Award for Fiction and the inaugural 2020 Furphy Literary Award, among others. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, Overland, and elsewhere. Her debut novel, Bright Objects, was shortlisted for the 2023 Victorian Premier’s Unpublished Manuscript Award. She is a 2023 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow.

Product Details ISBN: 9781668053218
ISBN-10: 1668053217
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: July 16th, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English
"Smart, propulsively readable...Her prose is elegant but accessible, her narrative embraces both mystery and quick plot pivots, and her protagonist, though flawed, remains sympathetic. And Todd’s grip only tightens as the story turns downright chilling."— Los Angeles Times

"Bright Objects builds to a satisfying (and satisfyingly unexpected) finale. A little bit thriller, a little bit mystery, the novel's genre elements are commendably propulsive...Todd's confidence and talents augur a bright future."The Washington Post

"Todd's debut is at once a soaring epic and a grounded tale...with graceful, elegant prose that walks the line between ethereal and painfully human."Booklist

"[An] intoxicating debut...Todd skillfully ratchets up the suspense on the way toward a stunning climax. The result is a lyrical and inventive literary mystery from an author whom readers will hope returns far sooner than any visiting comet.”Publishers Weekly, (starred review)

"That this is Todd's first book bodes well for Australian literature...the writing remains unfailingly engaging and wise. It is also darkly humorous and witty...profound, gentle, clear-eyed."Australian Book Review

"[A] lushly detailed debut novel...Sylvia is a compellingly contradictory narrator, drawn to both stability and risk, and Todd places her in an equally complex community...a heady look at the influence of the heavens on a small patch of earth."Kirkus

Bright Objects is a mesmerizing, profound tale of obsession, exploring the need to believe in something and the duty to live in reality. Ruby Todd infuses the novel with almost unbearable tension—it moves toward a breathtaking climax as surely as a comet hurtling toward Earth.”—Clémence Michallon, author of The Quiet Tenant

“I loved Bright Objects. Sylvia is an enormously appealing narrator who offers a thoughtful and nuanced perspective on a world turned on its axis.”—Polly Stewart, author of The Good Ones 

Bright Objects is the story of a woman consumed by an unquellable obsession, reduced by solitude and incompleteness, caught in an unconscious embattled conspiracy of her own making. Ruby Todd writes of the strain of fearful events and discoveries, and the fatal inevitability of a sense of guilt when someone close to one is killed, all the while revealing to us the hidden realities that lie in wait for us.”—Susanna Moore, author of In the Cut and The Lost Wife 

“A novel written with immense grace, beauty, and depth, Bright Objects plumbs the farthest reaches of one widow's grief, ultimately revealing the brilliance of our humanity in the face of immense loss—the will to fight for what's right, the will to hope, and most importantly, the will to love again. A surprising, thrilling, and seductively dangerous comet of a book.”Chelsea Bieker, author of Godshot and Madwoman 

The X-Files meets Nick Cave’s Ghosteen—science, faith, and human folly collide in this celestial melodrama.”—Laura Elizabeth Woollett, author of The Newcomer 

“A literary mystery of consummate elegance and gravity. Bright Objects traces a graceful orbit around the phenomena of human grief and love.”—Jessica Au, author of Cold Enough for Snow 

“Gripping, thrilling. An electric story of small towns, big secrets and the last great comet of the millennium.”—Felicity McLean, author of The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone