THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"A tantalizing mystery and a tender coming-of-age story...Unputdownable."—Oprah.com
In the summer of 1989, a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom is rocked by a violent crime when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson—free spirit, track star, and belle of the block—is attacked late one evening near her home.
For such a close-knit community, the suspects are numerous, and the secrets hidden behind each closed door begin to unravel. Even the young teenage boy across the street, our narrator, does not escape suspicion. It is through his eyes, still haunted by heartbreak and guilt many years later, that we begin to piece together the night of Lindy’s attack and its terrible rippling consequences on the once-idyllic community.
Both an enchanting coming-of-age story and a gripping mystery, My Sunshine Away reveals the ways in which our childhoods shape us, and what happens when those childhoods end. Acutely wise and deeply honest, this is an astonishing and page-turning debut about the meaning of family, the power of memory, and our ability to forgive.
Named A Book of the Year by NPR, The Dallas Morning News, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist
An Entertainment Weekly 'Must List' Pick
In Walsh s debut, a horrible crime shatters a community in 1989 Baton Rouge, La., when teenager Lindy Simpson is raped and her attacker is never caught. The nameless narrator of this tale is an adolescent boy with a crush on Lindy. The narrator s love for Lindy manifests in a desperate desire to connect with her under any circumstances, causing him to be suspected of her assault. This need to connect grows stronger after his sister dies in a freak accident and that draws him and Lindy closer together. Everything comes to a head when he tries to play the hero and expose the man he thinks was her rapist on their street. Walsh s novel is both tenderly nostalgic and a window into a unique and specific corner of America. The narration moves seamlessly between the adult narrator s thoughts and his memories as a teenager. Despite the dark subject matter, this book is often charming, and thoroughly immersive.
The whole story
Thank you for the whole story. I too lost my only child. Your mom was so lucky to have you and your sister. The amazing unconditional love for our own child was a revelation to me and your words describing the joy and the fear are accurate. I dreaded reading the book after the rape. But I am grateful for the whole story. We do persevere and unknown resilience can carry us on through the harshness of life. Your book shows that and that inspires hope. Thank you for the whole story.
Have to get it up for m.o Walsh! His first novel is absolutely stunning and heart wrenching at the same time. Love how he tied in so much history about New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Great read!
I thought it started a little slow. But I'm very glad I kept reading. It's touching, insightful, and interesting. Definitely worth reading.