screenshot203LOVED M.O. Walsh’s My Sunshine Away. I’ve struggled with this review because I loved every moment of reading the book- even the uncomfortable parts- and I want to do it justice and I want you to read it and love it like I do.

From the Amazon Summary: A debut novel, 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.”

Walsh’s writing style is what really drew me in and kept me turning pages.  I simply like the way he writes- honestly, and without melodrama. And the picture he paints- you see Lindy, you see our narrator, you feel as if you are there, watching it all. I don’t think a word is wasted in his narrative. He tells a compelling story that allows you to feel the emotions of the characters tempered by the perspective that maturity, distance, and growing up would provide.

And these characters are real. The plot is authentic. Anyone growing up in the suburbs in the timeframe of the novel will recognize the environment, the families, the stories.

The parts of this I most want to share with you are the parts you simply must read for yourself.  I don’t want to give anything away. I want you to savor it yourself, but at the same time itch to read faster because you just are that immersed in the story.

In a way it’s a shame I read this book in January.  It’s set a high bar for all the other books I read this year.

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This is one you want to be on the  early side of. Entertainment Weekly just blurbed about it in the issue that arrived on Friday.  My Sunshine Away is being released Tuesday, February 10, anywhere new release books are sold.