Original Sins

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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

‘Isn’t everyone’s childhood an indoctrination in the more or less deranged outlook of the people who raised them? And isn’t growing up for everyone a more or less successful attempt to overcome their conditioning and see clearly, with their own eyes?’

Matt Rowland Hill grew up the son of a minister in an evangelical Christian church in south Wales and then south-east England. It was a childhood fraught with bitter family conflict, the ever-present threat of hell and damnation, and a burgeoning cycle of temptation, sin and shame. After a devastating loss of faith in his late teens, Matt began his search for salvation elsewhere, turning to books before developing a growing relationship with alcohol and drugs. He became addicted to crack and heroin in his early twenties, an ordeal that stretched over a decade and culminated in a period of hopeless darkness. This story takes us to his bleakest, most desperate moments and recounts his struggle towards the light.

Original Sins is an extraordinary memoir. It is a story of faith, family, loss, shame and addiction, but ultimately it is about survival, growing up and learning to live. It’s recklessly honest, as funny as it is grave, courageous and compulsive.

© Matt Rowland Hill 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Critics Review

  • Electric…artfully structured…with novelistic verve… Rowland Hill is a blazing talent

  • A stunningly well-written, funny, heartrending and utterly gripping memoir about learning how to live with who we are. Read it. Read it now

    Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall
  • really very good…Hill has a light descriptive touch, but when he aims at poetry, he hits it... Hill’s command of tone – his ability to glide beautifully between comedy and horror – has made us trust him happily.

    Literary Review
  • A courageous and often shocking book about the plague of addiction. Yet Original Sins is written with a wild, brilliant humour that offsets the horror. Gripping, hilarious and unforgettable, this is an inspirational survivor’s story

    Gabriel Byrne
  • A wildly original and gripping debut, told with humour and compassion, about what it means to survive

    Christie Watson, author of The Language of Kindness

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