Friday, February 6, 2015

My Sunshine Away -- M.O. Walsh


"The narrator of My Sunshine Away tells the riveting story of the summer of 1989, when he was a fourteen-year-old boy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in love with the girl across the street, Lindy Simpson. Lindy was the girl with the golden hair and perfect legs, who rode her bicycle to track practice every afternoon, leaving a trail of beguiled boys in her wake. Yet one late-summer eve, a crime shattered everyone's illusion of the supposed idyllic neighborhood, and nothing was ever the same again."     -- taken from the book cover

Glowing reviews for this book are popping up everywhere, like a literary whack-a-mole. Everything about this book just screamed: READ ME, and I did, and I must say....


It was very readable. There were so many beautifully written passages, very compelling story lines that made up the whole, and well-drawn characters. All of those elements tend to earn raves from me, I know. 

The narrator, never named (which always irritates me), is one of those guys you get stuck with at a party; the one who has interesting stories to tell, but who can't resist the urge to go off on tangents in order to lay background or create a setting for what he's really trying to tell you. It's not that his stories weren't well told. It's that his stories so constantly interrupt the flow of the story that it was easy to be pulled off track. I can quibble about that: I am frequently "that guy," I know. 

Of particular note, for instance, is the narrator's sharing of the history of the nutria, a large rodent that was imported to the United States by the folks who make Tabasco sauce. So, yeah, that kind of off-the-rails thing. 

This was a good read that fell short of being a great read for me. 

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