Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 22/06/2023
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Bookseller Reviews

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Beautifully written.
This book deserves to become a classic of LGBTQIA+ fiction. I feelthis is a story that will resonate with a lot of people which makes this book a must read... READ MORE
Kerry-Anne from Waterstones Newry
The perfect summer novel
I loved this story and I feel like it captured really well what it means to be a female in her teenage years coming to grips with her identity and trying t... READ MORE
Libby Low
OHHH MY GOD MAN. Completely heart-wrenching, devastating, all-consuming. This portrayal of queer love in a hostile environment, teenage friendship and comi... READ MORE
Benny Duverge-Pryce
Words can hardly describe the way I feel about this book oh my god. The writing is so precise and cutting yet so tender. I will think about Lucy and Susann... READ MORE
Mason at Oxford
Perfectly expresses the heartbreak of forbidden love
Sunburn is a debut novel by Chloe Michelle Howarth, and what a gem it is. The setting and characters are vividly described with depth and skill. I was ... READ MORE
Libby Chapman


It's the early 1990s, and in the Irish village of Crossmore, Lucy feels out of place. Despite her fierce friendships, she's always felt this way, and the conventional path of marriage and motherhood doesn't appeal to her at all. Not even with handsome and doting Martin, her closest childhood friend. Lucy begins to make sense of herself during a long hot summer, when a spark with her school friend Susannah escalates to an all-consuming infatuation, and, very quickly, to a desperate and devastating love. Fearful of rejection from her small and conservative community, Lucy begins living a double life, hiding the most honest parts of herself in stolen moments with Susannah. But with the end of school and the opportunity to leave Crossmore looming, Lucy must choose between two places, two people and two futures, each as terrifying as the other. But only one can offer her real happiness. Sunburn is an astute and tender portrayal of first love, adolescent anxiety and the realities of growing up in a small town where tradition holds people tightly in its grasp.

  • Publisher: Oldcastle Books Ltd
  • ISBN: 9780857308412
  • Number of pages: 288
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm

Customer Reviews

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A pitch perfect sapphic coming of age read
It’s the early 1990s, and in the Irish village of Crossmore, teenage Lucy feels a sense of nonbelonging; sure, outwardly, she does what she thinks she shou... READ MORE
Georgina (ReadsEatsExplores)
Haunting and Achingly Gorgeous
I’ve never read a book that so accurately portrays my own experiences of growing up queer in a small village! Every line was like a sucker punch. Absolutel... READ MORE
Rachel Chandler