Pop Culture Princess

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Monday, June 05, 2017

Jane Green brightens up summer reading with The Sunshine Sisters

I've read Jane Green novels on and off for many years,enjoying her books immensely. This year, I am happy to report that checking into her literary world recently has been a heartfelt delight.

The Sunshine Sisters is a mother and daughters story, as well as one of sisterhood, with ailing former movie diva Ronni Sunshine calling her trio of estranged girls home to her.

 Ronni has been one of those folks who fancy themselves ill at the drop of a hat but this time, her health problems are very real.

While the story sets up the emotional dilemma that Ronni sets up for her children, we get a chance to know each of them in turn, starting with eldest daughter Nell.

She learned early on in life that her mother would always put her Hollywood career and need for attention in first place, well ahead of her family, causing her to look elsewhere for emotional support.

After a brief romance that made her a single mother, Nell found the maternal love she carved from Theodoria, the owner of a small working farm who hired her and over time, made Nell the manager of the place. With her son grown up and on his own, Nell is content with her life yet still feeling the need for that special piece of the puzzle to make her whole:

Next up is Meredith, who always had a weight problem which her mother constantly reminded her of, never bothering to offer any praise for her other abilities, such as her interest in art.

Meredith wound up moving to London, taking a dull yet dependable job as an accountant and only daring once to act on her desire to draw. When that dream was met with a one night stand that broke her heart, she retreated back into her emotional shell and winds up being engaged to the handsome yet horrible Derek.

 While her family can clearly see what a nightmare Derek is, Meredith is so used to negativity from them on any aspect of her life that she's willing to hold onto him despite the fact that she's not really sure that she loves him:

Last and very insistent that she would be far from the least is Lizzy, the impulsive little sister who shares many of her mother's selfish traits.

Unlike her older siblings, Lizzy never takes the drama that her mother displayed on a daily basis to heart,relying on her own charms and bouts of anger to get her though just about anything.

Nowadays, she's bit of a celebrity as a pop-up dinner chef and organizer with a hit TV show, whose business life has mixed into her personal love life, much to the dismay of her goodhearted husband James.

Even with her newfound fame and ambition, Lizzy is still the bold,brash Sunshine girl who rarely hesitates to speak her mind and grab whatever spotlight she can, not to mention her unsolicited advice to her sisters on how to live life:

When Ronni tells her girls of her condition and what she intends to do about it, the three of them find themselves reexamining their relationship to their mother and each other, making choices that they never expect to make about the future course of their lives.

Ronni's sincere wish is to bring her daughters together and have them fully form a bond, in an attempt to make up for lost time and leave them with a strong bond of love. A nice idea, but is it too late for that?

This is a very readable and relatable book, a true you-can't-put-it-down story. I found myself completely wrapped up in it's character driven charms and although I did wish for more time between Ronni and her adult daughters in the latter half of the novel, The Sunshine Sister is a satisfying summer read with plenty of humor and heart to keep the sad situations from falling into the depths of despair.

The Sunshine Sisters will be out and about at a bookseller near you by June 6, so be on the look out for this engaging read as you seek out those beach bag tomes to tote. These sisters are the type that are hard to resist and even their difficult diva of a mother Ronni has her own special brand of pizzazz that makes it easy to see why she and her girls are true showstoppers:

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