The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
This novel is a prime example of the old saying that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. The Sunshine Sisters is not a summery beach read as the cover might lead you to believe, but rather it’s about a dying woman named Ronni Sunshine and a reflection back on raising three daughters and the events that happened in their lives that leads them up to this point. Ronni is 65 years young and yet she’s developed ALS that slowly progressed undetected and will now quickly make it’s way through her body, weakening her until she can no longer control her body or enjoy her life. She plans to take her own life and her wish is to bring her three daughters back into one another’s lives. She’s part of the reason why they’re not close and it’s her dying wish to remedy that. Her personal desire is to kill herself before the disease takes full control of her body and she wishes to die with dignity, which is a very real issue in today’s world.
The novel rotates between present and past to reflect on where they came from to where they are today. Although interesting, I did find this to be a slower read than I usually enjoy. Common themes written throughout the novel are the real life issues that people face in their everyday lives. All four Sunshine women have their own set of issues; the daughters each have distinctive personalities and characteristics that go along with being first, middle and youngest child, though a lot of their issues are due in part to their selfish mother and somewhat unloving upbringing. Infidelity is another theme written into the novel. Affairs play a role in some way in each of the women’s lives and it makes for an interesting argument on personal values and behavior. I found myself crying at the end of the novel, which had a bittersweet ending. The main takeaway from this novel is that it’s never too late to stand up for yourself, find love, rekindle a dying love, and make amends with previous wrongdoings with the people you care about most.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I received a complimentary review copy via NetGalley. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.
About the Book
Title: the Sunshine Sisters
Author: Jane Green
Published: June 6, 2017
Book Blurb: The New York Times bestselling author of Falling presents a warm, wise, and wonderfully vivid novel about a mother who asks her three estranged daughters to come home to help her end her life.
Ronni Sunshine left London for Hollywood to become a beautiful, charismatic star of the silver screen. But at home, she was a narcissistic, disinterested mother who alienated her three daughters.
As soon as possible, tomboy Nell fled her mother’s overbearing presence to work on a farm and find her own way in the world as a single mother. The target of her mother s criticism, Meredith never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Her life took her to London and into the arms of a man whom she may not even love. And Lizzy, the youngest, more like Ronni than any of them, seemed to have it easy, using her drive and ambition to build a culinary career to rival her mother’s fame, while her marriage crumbled around her.
But now the Sunshine Girls are together again, called home by Ronni, who has learned that she has a serious disease and needs her daughters to fulfill her final wishes. And though Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy are all going through crises of their own, their mother s illness draws them together to confront old jealousies and secret fears and they discover that blood might be thicker than water after all.
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