Sunny Cooper has been running since she was eighteen—from the New Mexican commune where she grew up . . . and from the haunting memory of the freak accident that took the life of her younger sister. Now, at thirty-two, Sunny voices radio spots in Albuquerque while struggling to hold on to a floundering relationship. But when a second tragic accident—and the devastating truths that come to light in its aftermath—turns her world upside down, Sunny runs again.
In the town of Harmony on San Miguel Island, she takes a new job, learns to ride a motorcycle, and makes some surprising new friends. But the past is never far behind. A startling discovery—along with an emotional and revelatory reunion with her estranged mother—is forcing Sunny to step out from the shadows of yesterday to embrace an uncertain future.
Satisfying psychological depth and original characters help move along Hendricks's clumsily plotted latest. Sunny Cooper still has problems with Gwen, her mother. Raised on a New Mexico commune, Sunny now lives in Albuquerque with her boyfriend, Michael, doing voice-over work. When Michael is killed in a mysterious accident, Sunny discovers he was not who she thought he was, and creditors and cops inundate her. Looking for solace, Sunny heads back to the commune, where she finds her mother to be the same maddening hippie chick she always was. Again, fed up and out of options, Sunny decides to sell everything and leave, this time for San Miguel Island off the coast of Washington, where, in a little town called Harmony, she tries to rebuild her life. But events from her past follow her to the island, and before long she's heading off-island for some closure. Hendricks's gentle humor and vivid depictions of island and communal life put a little sugar on the unfortunate and overbusy plot.