Not your Normal “Beach Read” 

 

The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
Genre: Drama
Publisher: Berkley
Date: June 6, 2017
Reviewed by: Brit Yancey
Fiction Addict Scorecard: A

The Sunshine Sisters follows the lives of three sisters: Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy.  All three are as different as the next which has resulted in a severe rift in their relationships to one another. But the one thing that brings them all together? Their narcissistic mother who each sister had to learn to deal with in their own way. But their now terminally ill mother, Ronni, has asked something of her daughters that is more than each can bear. Will this trip to visit their mother heal the wounds between sisters? Or will new wounds push the women farther away than ever before?

Follow the lives of the Sunshine Girls.  There is Nell, the hardworking, straight to the point, single mother who stays close to home and runs a farm.  Meredith, the middle child, who suffers with image issues deep seeded in her childhood from having a Hollywood star for a mother who pushed her own goals on the “chubby” one.  And then there is Lizzy, the baby of the family. Lizzy is the most like her mother, and loved for it. Her older sisters hold a grudge that Lizzy was spoiled and did not seem to get the brunt of their mother’s mood swings and temper.  But Lizzy was left alone with her mother after her older sisters fled home at 18.

Each sister has her own way of coping with their difficult mother, and these sisters use these coping mechanisms to live in the world around them. Many of these coping mechanisms will seem very familiar and close to home.  I found a bit of myself in each sister, but most especially Lizzy. I too am the baby of the family and have family members that hold grudges for me being the youngest and being “spoiled”. Coming from a bit of a dysfunctional family myself, the other family members forget what it’s like to be left alone with the dysfunction.

My first few reviews with Fiction Addict were in my safety bubble. These were authors I knew, continuations of stories I knew well and anticipated, and even just reveling in genres that felt comfortable to me. When asked if I would like to review Jane Green’s The Sunshine Sisters I was honestly hesitant. The novel was hailed as a beach read which instantly made me think of my mother who seems to only read when at the beach. Being a little bit of a book snob (surprising I know) I assumed it was a quick an easy read and I might as well branch out.

This book consumed me. After an hour or two reading session, I would emerge back into reality but I would still be reeling. And that continued until the book was finished. I did recommend the book to my mother, but my book recommendations to her are generally far from the “Beach read” I was snobbish about before.

I recommend that you read this book most especially if there are some untreated wounds in your past. Allow The Sunshine Sisters to remind you of relationships that need mending, and that at the end of it all you can love one another even with all your differences.

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