Shine, Shine, Shine - by Lydia Netzer- 309 pages
Sunny Mann has masterminded a life for herself and her family in a quiet Virginia town. Her house and her friends are picture-perfect. Even her genius husband, Maxon, has been trained to pass for normal. But when a fender bender on an average day sends her coiffed blonde wig sailing out the window, her secret is exposed. Not only is she bald, Sunny is nothing like the Stepford wife she’s trying to be. As her facade begins to unravel, we discover the singular world of Sunny, an everywoman searching for the perfect life, and Maxon, an astronaut on his way to colonize the moon.
Theirs is a wondrous, strange relationship formed of dark secrets, decades-old murders and the urgent desire for connection. As children, the bald, temperamental Sunny and the neglected savant Maxon found an unlikely friendship no one else could understand. She taught him to feel—helped him translate his intelligence for numbers into a language of emotion. He saw her spirit where others saw only a freak. As they grew into adults, their profound understanding blossomed into love and marriage.
But with motherhood comes a craving for normalcy that begins to strangle Sunny’s marriage and family. As Sunny and Maxon are on the brink of destruction, at each other’s throats with blame and fear of how they’ve lost their way, Maxon departs for the moon, where he’s charged with programming the robots that will build the fledgling colony. Just as the car accident jars Sunny out of her wig and into an awareness of what she really needs, an accident involving Maxon’s rocket threatens everything they’ve built, revealing the things they’ve kept hidden. And nothing will ever be the same.
My Review: 4 stars
The premise of this book was so enticing to me yet it was the absolute oddity of it that really won me over. There was depth in each of these perfectly flawed main characters as well as in all of the background characters. For some readers, that was a negative but for me it flowed well in the story. Both Sunny and Maxon were completely different than any other characters I’d read about before and their issues were simply poetic in how they foiled one another. Austism/Aspbergers Syndrome, families, love, lies, death, birth, robotics, space, bullying, perfection, beauty, Burma, faith, farming and pretending were all topics touched upon in this book. Great book for discussion and it was filled with symbolism galore!
Quotes I liked:
- “All life is binary. On and off. There is no middle setting. Alive or dead. In love or not in love. Kissing or not kissing. Speaking or not speaking. One choice leads to another with no forks in the road. There are tiny yes and no decisions that make up every movement, but they are all just that: yes and no.
- “When you are sitting on a three-legged stool and you've kicked out all three legs, but you're still sitting upright, must you assume that you're so good, you levitate? Or must you assume that you were sitting on the ground all along?”
- “The tragedy of her father's absence had never actually been an acutely tragic event for her. As she grew up and came to understand the world, he was a part of it. An already dead part. His absence was the landscape of her family. Increasingly, as the years went on, she didn't really know what she was missing, but that didn't stop her from missing it. She fixated on him. She prayed to him.”
Tags: Fiction, 2012
Labels: 2012, Fiction