‘Ashworth’s novel is bleak and gritty, painting an uncompromising portrait of teenage life… her prose is equally grim and visceral. In the best possible way this novel is an uncomfortable read. Ashworth has the rare gift of being able to make her reader feel perverse and voyeuristic, implicated somehow in the tragedy laid out in the pages. …she leaves her reader feeling sullied by association and, like her protagonists, “bruised all over”.’

Sunday Times Culture


‘Award-winning Jenn Ashworth leavens a bleak but pacey story with dry, wry humour, resulting in an extraordinarily perceptive and beautifully written novel. 5 stars.
Sunday Express


‘Ashworth’s real subject is how we are unwittingly hurt by those in whom we have placed trust. Cold Light is filled with bruises, bleeding and psychological bludgeoning. A novel also about the power and pitfalls of narrative, it is told by the hand of a true storyteller.’

The Independent


‘Remember teenage bitching and insecurity? This book will take you back there, except with more lies and gruesome murder. Scarily believable.’



‘This is Jenn Ashworth’s second novel and she is shaping up as a confident and skilled craftswoman. Her first novel, A Kind of Intimacy, was also bound in the world of the protagonist’s head. But while Lola’s world is small – school, the shops, the neighbourhood – her mind, with its labyrinth of hidden fear and horrors, is bigger than Texas.’

Saturday Age, Melbourne


‘A chilly, blackly funny novel with a surreal edge.’

Grazia Magazine


‘A wonderful tale, beautifully told’



‘Another cleverly skewed tale told from the self-conscious perspective of an outsider… arrestingly observant… Ashworth’s second book confirms that the first was no one-off… her talent could take her a long way’

The Guardian