What the Light Reveals


Format: ISBN: 978-0-9954098-7-3 Trade PB 368pp Rights: World Release / Publication Date: 01 /03 /2018
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Reading group notes available for download here


‘A story about an Australian family facing the ruin of both bonds and belief. Atmospheric, intensely original and utterly unforgettable.’ 

M. J. Hyland, author of Carry Me Down and This is How

‘McCoy has given us that special thing: a powerful, singular vision of the complexities faced by individuals existing alongside each other as a family. This novel is beyond good storytelling: it is taut, evocative and sensationally unique.’

Sarah  Schmidt, author of See What I Have Done


In an increasingly divided and intolerant world, What the Light Reveals is a beacon: a novel that brilliantly captures the sometimes devastating consequences of individual belief. Conrad is falsely accused of passing military secrets to the Russians. His life and that of his family is turned upside down by discrimination and fear. Unemployed, misrepresented by the media, betrayed by relatives and threatened by strangers, Conrad sees no choice but to uproot his family from their homeland to start a new life in Moscow.

It is also the story of Ruby, and of her and Conrad’s adopted son Alex, and biological son Peter, and of the tension and intrigue that confronts them and shapes their lives in two countries. Russia lives and breathes in McCoy’s superb evocation of it, but Australia is never far away. As Peter says, ‘Tell me again why we’re still here?’Told with suspense and rich in characterisation and surprising plot twists, this is a novel of both heart and intellect, a book about the need to belong, about what a family is and why we all need one.

An Australian family living in Moscow during the Cold War. Where is home, what is a family and what does it mean to belong? What can be revealed and what is better concealed? A novel about secrets and lies, guilt, loyalty and betrayal and the urge for survival. Haunting, compelling and memorable, Mick McCoy’s novel has all of the moral complexity and the psychological intensity of an Ian McEwan novel.’

Antoni Jach, author of The Layers of the City and Napoleon’s Double  

Mick McCoy is the author of Burning Sunday, shortlisted for the 1999 Age Fiction Prize, and Cutting Through Skin. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

More at https://mickmccoy.com/