The Sunshine Sisters
Contemporary Women’s Fiction > Sisters
Setting – Connecticut
Berkley (June 6, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Hardcover: 384 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01LWRVCS1
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 sisters 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 have never been close, their mother’s illness draws them together to confront the old jealousies and secret fears that have threatened to tear these sisters apart. As they face the loss of their mother, they will discover if blood might be thicker than water after all…
The Sunshine Sisters is about a DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY. (Yes, all caps). Ronni is concerned about herself and her career. Her daughters learned at an early age how to read her moods and when to “duck and cover”. As soon as they were old enough they got out of her house, rarely visited, and didn’t really stay in touch with each other. Nell still lives nearby with her son and has the most contact with Ronni. Meredith is in London pretending to be happy. Lizzy landed in New York as a chef. She is married with a son but her marriage is rocky. When their mother calls them all home they assume it is for one of her big dramatic displays but are shocked by her appearance and they know there is something really wrong with her this time. This pulls the girls together until they learn her final wishes.
First I have to say the cover of the book is very misleading. Reading the synopsis I thought this would be a story about a family coming back together after a dysfunctional upbringing with a happy ending but it took a dark turn with a trigger theme for me – suicide. While different than what my family experienced it still gave me pause.
The characters were all so different, each had their own ways of dealing with things. The sisters fit the stereotype many believe of children. The eldest being the strongest, steady, independent, but in Nell’s case she closes herself off from so much, happy on her farm, alone. The middle child, Meredith, is the people pleaser with low self esteem, thinking she needs to settle for what is offered. Lizzy is the baby of the family and most like her mother. She got everything she ever wanted and she inherited a drive from her mother to pursue her dreams while following in her footsteps of putting her family last.
The pace of the book was a little slow in the beginning. It didn’t really grab me until about halfway through. It picked up near the end but that was where the theme became problematic for me. The saving grace for me was that that the sisters were starting to evolve and look at themselves and their relationships differently. When they were together they were more engaging than the parts of the story when they were on their own.
This is the first Jane Green novel I have read and while it was not an off the charts read for me it was still a good story. There are some heavy topics so for me this is not the summer beach read I expected from the cover. It ended the exact way I thought it would which made me a little sad. I do want to read more by this author because I think the subject matter just weighted me down this time.
About The Author
Jane Green is a bestselling author of popular novels. She has been featured in People, Newsweek, USA Today, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan. She lives in Connecticut with her family.
Find more books by Jane Green at Amazon here.
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