Book Review: The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green  3

The Sunshine Sisters

by Jane Green 

 

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“A plum of a novel: juicy, ripe and bursting with sticky situations. I savored every page.”—Elin Hildebrand, New York Times bestselling author of The Identicals

“A warm, satisfying tale about the love that binds even the most dysfunctional of families.”—People

“With clear prose and a straightforward plot, Green spins a breezy story.”—The Washington Post

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 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…

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My Rating:

 

Favorite Quotes:

For the past few months she has had a huge, mad crush on him and has built him into some sort of demigod, with otherworldly qualities that would mean he would never have a normal, human conversation with someone like her.

 

She pauses just inside the front door, trying to gauge the temperature of the house. She does this a lot; they all do this a lot, pause just inside the front door to try to sniff out their mother’s mood, try to figure out who they need to be.

 

It doesn’t matter how many years go by, how grown-up we think we are, how much we presume we have changed or evolved, when we are back in our childhood homes, we become exactly who we have always been, Meredith thinks. I bet we will all just slip back into the roles we have always played, whether we were ever comfortable with them or not.

 

“Also” — she pops her head back around the doorway, with a big thumbs-up— “yay, lesbians. Big fan.”

 

My Review:

 

The Sunshine Sisters was a surprisingly nuanced and thought-provoking family drama that spanned several households and time periods in the lives of four women.   I was fascinated by these deeply flawed and emotionally wounded women as well as the various colorful and humiliating memories they retained of their fractured family. Compelling scenes of emotionally provocative and damaging instances from their childhoods with their heinously self-absorbed and mercurial diva of a mother were so well-crafted and polished, they played like a movie reel in my head.   Written in the third person from multiple points of view, I was captivated by the richly detailed and evocative storytelling. Each character was fully fleshed out and well inhabited with relatable, heart-squeezing, and cringe-worthy moments from their pasts and their present – all of which were observantly and insightful detailed from several angles. Even as unhappy yet successful middle-aged adults, their manipulative mother continued to pull their strings from her deathbed and lure them in to her mechanizations, hoping to right some of her wrongs before heading into the great beyond.   As much as they dreaded and fussed, the sisters grudgingly allowed it to happen, and much to their surprise were all the better for it.

About the Author


Jane Green’s eighteenth novel, Falling, is soon to be released with Berkley/Penguin; she is the author of sixteen previous New York Times Bestselling novels, and known as one of the world’s leading authors in women’s fiction, with over ten million books in print, and translations in over 25 languages.

Previous novels have included The Beach House, Second Chance, Jemima J, and Tempting Fate.

She joined the ABC News team to write their first enhanced digital book— about the history of Royal marriages, then joined ABC News as a live correspondent covering Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.

A former journalist in the UK, she has had her own radio show on BBC Radio London, and is a regular contributor on radio and TV, including as well as regularly appearing on television shows including Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart show, and The Today Show.

Together with writing books and blogs, she contributes to various publications, both online and print, including anthologies and novellas, and features for The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan and Self. She has taught at writers conferences, and does regular keynote speaking, and has a weekly column in The Lady magazine, England’s longest running weekly magazine.

A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, Green is bringing out her first cookbook: Good Taste , with Berkley in October 2016.

She is a storyteller for The Moth radio hour on NPR,
and lives in Westport, Connecticut with her husband and their blended family. When she is not writing, cooking, gardening, filling her house with friends and herding chickens, she is usually thanking the Lord for caffeine-filled energy drinks.

A cancer survivor, she continues to raise awareness for Malignant Melanoma, Hashimoto’s Disease, and Lyme Disease.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green 

  1. Reply J. Hooligan @Platypire Reviews Jul 6,2017 5:56 am

    I was drinking when I saw this, “yay, lesbians. Big fan.”

    I choked on my drink from laughing!

  2. Reply Cassie's Library Jul 6,2017 6:18 am

    This sounds like a beautiful book. The synopsis sounds like my type of book. I enjoy stories were people have to come back together after a long period of time, just as long as it is not overly romantic. This sounds more like it is about a family coming back together after numerous issues. It also sounds like the family dynamics stayed similar, especially based on one of the quotes, but they learned to dance with them instead of against them. I really like the way this book sounds. UGH, my TBR pile hates you for this 😉

  3. Reply Katie Jul 6,2017 1:28 pm

    I love this cover…makes me want to go to the beach.

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