Book Review: Shine Shine Shine

August 31, 2012 audio, book review 3

By Lydia Netzer

Published by: St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan Audio- July 17, 2012

Narrated by: Joshilyn Jackson

Length: 11 hours

Source: Audiobook Jukebox and Macmillan Audio in consideration for review

To say that Sunny and Maxon are a quirky couple is an understatement.  On the surface Sunny is the beautiful blonde attentive wife to Maxon Mann, brilliant mathematician and astronaut now on his way to the moon to set up a colony of robots.  Their son Bubber is autistic, but they’ve found him the best schools they can, and they live in a lovely area in Virgina.  Sunny shares with her friends that she is from Burma, her father an activist who died there and her mother brought her back to the States.  What Sunny doesn’t share is the fact that she was born bald, yes totally hairless.  She’s living a lie in her comfy home, until one day an accident sends her wig sailing off her head and her secret is out, and Sunny decides she’s tired of hiding her head, and she decides to just be herself…..but there is so much more to Sunny. 

This debut novel by Lydia Netzer is funny and also thought provoking.  The obvious reasons for hiding your baldness are not necessarily the ones that Sunny has for trying to conceal what is really going on in her life.  The novel goes back and forth in Sunny’s life, from the story of her parents in Burma to her birth, and her life growing up and knowing Maxon. The two had awkward and tragic histories, dark secrets, and yet they formed a bond that seems unlikely on the surface. Sunny is also pregnant with their second child, and in addition to the car accident, something has hit the rocket Maxon is traveling in, their off track……, what a coincidence, many things with the Mann family are off track!

I learned of this book by the narrator and author, Joshilyn Jackson.  She urged me to read or listen to this one, and the audio was worth waiting for.  It perhaps made some of the mathematical problems more complex, but in total I once again loved Jackson’s narration and she added to my pleasure in listening to this book. 

I’ve given this a 4 out of 5 stars, it was a really enjoyable book.  I was intrigued by the relationships, and long held secrets are always good to uncover.  I’m looking forward to more good things from Ms. Netzer. 

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