Where the Light Goes

By Sara Barnard

A heart-wrenching exploration of rage, love and bereavement in the wake of suicide, from bestselling prize winner Sara Barnard

"Lizzie Beck" is one quarter of British pop sensation The Jinks, who launched their career via a reality TV talent show and rose straight to fame – and in Lizzie’s case, infamy, for her tumultuous relationship with her boyfriend, stints in rehab and candid confessions about her mental health on Instagram. To Emmy, though, she will always be her older sister, Beth, the person whose footsteps she intends to follow. Except now she can’t. Because Beth, Emmy's beloved sister, has died by suicide. Forced to face a world without the guiding light of her bright, brilliant big sister, Emmy must wrestle with the impact of private grief, public scrutiny and discover who she once was and who she will become, now that Beth is gone.

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 14+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781529509137
  • Published: 04 May 2023
  • Price: £8.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 384

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Customer reviews


'"raw and brilliant"' Holly Bourne

'A powerful and raw exploration of grief and fame, Where the Light Goes is infused with empathy and hope.' The Observer

'Emmy’s grief, her rage at those she feels let Beth down, and her attempts to cope with social media onslaughts shape this wrenching, powerful novel for 14+, the talented Barnard’s best yet.' Guardian

'The always-thoughtful Sara Barnard is on form with Where the Light Goes [...] both heart-wrenching and hopeful”' The Irish Times

'A heart-wrenching, unflinching exploration of grief, rage, sadness and hope, in all its messy forms told with a deeply authentic and moving voice.' WRDExtra

'This difficult journey towards finding light in the darkest of times is both truthful and hopeful. This powerful multi-layered and important novel is enthralling, moving and utterly compelling.' LoveReading4Kids

'Profoundly moving and laced with hope, Sara Barnard’s Where the Light Goes presents a raw and compassionate account of grief and the perils of fame and public scrutiny. Unflinchingly honest, it shines a light what it means to grieve, love and find a way to live after loss.' Lovereading4kids

'“a powerful, devastating exploration of grief and loss and fame”' Louise O’Neill

'"A devastating dive into grief set against the toxicity of celebrity and social media, Barnard's book is a must-read. An important, timely, and flat-out beautiful book about family, grief, and the lies and truths that both bind and unravel us."' Kathleen Glasgow

'“This book says so much that needs saying - about grief, about fame, about social media - and it does so in a way that is as beautiful as it is raw and compelling”' Natasha Devon

'Barnard explores with confidence the impact of grief, of fame and of love, in all their myriad forms and strips them bare. […] Barnard writes with great sensitivity and insight. […] Where The Light Goes is an accomplished and wide-ranging exploration of extremely difficult subjects - and it never falters.' Books for Keeps

'Where the Light Goes will not just support young people but it will educate as well. […] Perfect for fans of Holly Bourne and Adam Silvera.' Little Blog of Library Treasures

'This book tackles some really hard hitting themes. It's essentially a book about grief. It's a YA book, but never undermines or patronises its audience. It's incredibly real and gave me all the feels. [...] I haven't read a YA book like this for a long time. [...] Sara Barnard has done it again!' NetGalley Reviewer

'Absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking. Sara Barnard writes about difficult subjects with such nuance, care, and sensitivity.' NetGalley Reviewer

'"This book is stunning and beautiful. Really well written. And you can really relate to it. I loved the point that when you are at your lowest point there is always a light shining through ready to show you back into the light. Beautiful.' NetGalley Reviewer

'Even when you are in your darkest place, there will be a light to pull you through. Isn't that a message that we all need to hear more often? A beautiful and emotional read that does just that.' NetGalley Reviewer

'This was one of Sara’s best books to date. I loved the premise and the impact of grief on your day to day life and how to navigate your day to day feelings. Will definitely be buying for the school library.' NetGalley Reviewer

'This book is emotional […] When it's dealing with such a sensitive subject, its undoubtedly going to make you cry, and cry this book made me. […] it was so addictive to read because I just wanted to find out that Emmy was going to be okay and find her own way in a world without her sister. [...] I think it's important that people read this and experience it for themselves. I'll definitely be recommending this book to everyone who will listen, it was truly beautiful.' NetGalley Reviewer

'This was outstanding.' NetGalley Reviewer

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