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My Sunshine Away Bets On...

My Sunshine Away

February 2015

I was lucky enough to read MY SUNSHINE AWAY back in the spring of 2014, as I interviewed M.O. Walsh for the BEA Book Buzz session last May. When I read the title, I started humming the song “You Are My Sunshine,” which I learned is one of the state songs of Louisiana. Then I read the first line of the book, “There were four suspects in the rape of Lindy Simpson,” and I stopped thinking sunny thoughts.

In the summer of 1989, Lindy was a girl who caught boys’ eyes, but while she was turning heads, she never seemed to notice. Then she is attacked one night, and the world changes for both her and those in the neighborhood around her. Their “safe” world became a lot less innocent.

MY SUNSHINE AWAY is a brilliant, beautifully written coming-of-age story that has a mystery rolled into it --- a mystery that is not resolved until the last few pages (no reading ahead). It harkens back to a time when life was simpler and less complicated. It examines time and memory --- what we choose to remember and what we choose not to see. But as the author shares his tale, it also reminds us that, when looking back, life may not be as perfect as you once recalled it.

The prose is beautiful and moving, and will keep you reflecting on it long after the last page has been read. Walsh chose Baton Rouge as the setting for the book as he loves that city. While New Orleans is always looked upon as the jewel of Louisiana, he is proud of Baton Rouge, which has its own rich history, and he worked to convey that in his story.

MY SUNSHINE AWAY is perfect for book groups. The discussion can tumble in many directions, but I can’t help but think that readers will return again and again to the thought that this is one well-written and satisfying story.

My Sunshine Away
by M.O. Walsh

  • Publication Date: April 5, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0425278107
  • ISBN-13: 9780425278109