2015 Book #35 – My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

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Title: My Sunshine Away
Author: M.O.Walsh
Date finished: 4/22/15
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Pages in book: 303
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

It was the summer everything changed.…
My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson—free spirit, track star, and belle of the block—experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too.
In My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh brilliantly juxtaposes the enchantment of a charmed childhood with the gripping story of a violent crime, unraveling families, and consuming adolescent love. Acutely wise and deeply honest, it is an astonishing and page-turning debut about the meaning of family, the power of memory, and our ability to forgive.

My rating: 3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count for the challenge I am participating in for April, the#ReadingMyLibrary reading challenge. I checked out this book from the Simsbury Public Library. I’ve seen this book in a number of recent book review publications and it was listed as #11 on Amazon’s Best Books of February 2015 listing. Going into this book, I knew that it was not going to be a happy-go-lucky book. This was an odd book for me. From the beginning of the novel, you can feel the narrator’s guilt. It is confusing at first trying to discover whether the narrator was the actual criminal in the act that would forever alter Lindy Simpson. After learning of the narrator’s character through the story though, it is hard to imagine him capable of rape. The book alternates between memories from before and after Lindy’s rape, centering around our narrator’s experiences with his family and with Lindy herself.
There were a lot of profound thoughts that this adult narrator looking back on his teenager self is realizing or just now articulating. His description with his mother and father, who are divorced, as well as how he deals with his sister’s death, are thought-provoking. His description of realizing that weakness lives in both his parents is something every child realizes as they grow and have to realize that a weakness lies within all of us. One of the thoughts from the book that really stuck with me is when the author states that he finds it amazing how little information children have to work with on a daily basis, or something to that effect. It really is entirely true. Children have to operate on a daily basis with less information that adults because the adults in their life are (hopefully) trying to shield them from the harsh realities of the world.
The whole story is told in the first person through the view of our narrator and I found it really amazing that looking through the narrator’s eyes as a teenager, I could connect so well and see the hormonal ups and downs and emotional rollercoaster that the narrator was just trying to survive during this awful period of time in Lindy’s life.
I thought this was overall a very interesting book. It deals with some very heavy issues though so I would say that readers definitely need to have the mental maturity to handle those issues that are introduced in the story.

The bottom line: A little dark but I think contains some very important thoughts, I would recommend with a precaution. You read about the aftermath of how a neighborhood deals with a girl’s rape. It is harsh. Just be prepared. Not for kids.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

4 thoughts on “2015 Book #35 – My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

  1. I’ve been tempted to by this book, mainly because I like its title! 😉 After reading your review, I think I will definitely give it a go! 🙂

  2. Pingback: #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge – Weekly Update #4 April 25th / Wrap Up | Rebeccabookreview

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