Best friends Jude and Teddy are 16-year-old boys who skip school, smoke pot and listen to The Misfits and Black Flag. When they crash a house party on New Year's Eve, along with their new friend, Eliza, their drug-fuelled night provides a lesson in how lives can change in a single, precious second. Eleanor Henderson's ambitious coming-of-age story is set in the late 1980s between sleepy suburbia in Vermont and the hardcore punk and straight-edge scenes of New York City's East Village. Full-throttle and hell-bent, Henderson captures the dark, gritty milieu of 1980s New York – in the throes of the Aids epidemic – while exploring the relationships between friends, lovers, parents and children, and how these connections are made, broken, strengthened and twisted by circumstance. Ten Thousand Saints is a beautiful, elegiac, relentless novel that knocks the wind out of you. Take a deep breath before you dive in.