My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is one of the best written books I have read as the author is an amazing writer, segueing one scene into another with easy transitions. He remembers well the details of adolescent thinking patterns before the prefrontal lobes are developed and decisions are made based on a reaction.
With incredible clarity, the protagonist recalls the details of his childhood, explaining to the audience how and why things were the way they were due to the years in history. How phone calls were so important yet lacked real privacy. There was no internet so teenagers talked on the phone for hours if they could which was difficult. Others wanted their turn and call waiting had begun its ascent. Additionally, many phones were still tethered to the wall by cords of varying lengths.
The rape of Lindy Simpson begins the recollection and that and the protagonist's obsession of Lindy is the central theme of his adolescence. It is the years of his coming of age and the way Lindy and her rape impact him so deeply. His thoughts are deep and age appropriate and the reader watches the slight shifts and maturing of his thought processes as he becomes slightly less egocentric (he is just a teenage boy, remember) and finally to the present day when he realizes his part in Lindy's pain is his to carry unless it would lessen Lindy's.
The reading is, at times, somewhat laborious as the POV meanders through and explores side memories which often do play a part of the main mystery or aspects of those pivotal summers. I almost felt like I had to relive my own long and confusing adolescence via reading about his. Except that, with his obsession of loving Lindy, his own family tragedies, my own adolescence was much less complicated. Admittedly, the adolescence of those recalled in this book is what parents dread and fear. It is not a feel good read. It would most likely resemble a diary kept to cleanse a conscience. It is not a book I would suggest to a book club.