Title: The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 378 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
The New York Times bestselling author of Falling presents a warm, wise, and wonderfully vivid novel about a mother who asks her three estranged daughters to come home to help her end her life.
Ronni Sunshine left London for Hollywood to become a beautiful, charismatic star of the silver screen. But at home, she was a narcissistic, disinterested mother who alienated her three daughters.
As soon as possible, tomboy Nell fled her mother’s overbearing presence to work on a farm and find her own way in the world as a single mother. The target of her mother’s criticism, Meredith never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Her life took her to London—and into the arms of a man whom she may not even love. And Lizzy, the youngest, more like Ronni than any of them, seemed to have it easy, using her drive and ambition to build a culinary career to rival her mother’s fame, while her marriage crumbled around her.
But now the Sunshine sisters are together again, called home by Ronni, who has learned that she has a serious disease and needs her daughters to fulfill her final wishes. And though Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy have never been close, their mother’s illness draws them together to confront the old jealousies and secret fears that have threatened to tear these sisters apart. As they face the loss of their mother, they will discover if blood might be thicker than water after all…
The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green is an emotional family drama about a movie star and her dysfunctional relationship with her three daughters.
Ronni Sunshine never quite reached the pinnacle of stardom she hoped for and her quest for success and self-centered behavior took a huge toll on her marriage and daughters. Her three daughters dealt with her volatile behavior in very different ways. Oldest daughter Nell is indifferent to her mother’s rage-filled diatribes and she shuts down when faced with conflict. Middle child Meredith is a people pleaser with extremely low self-worth due to her mother’s cutting remarks about her appearance and weight. Youngest daughter Lizzy is spoiled, selfish and acts without considering how her choices affect others. The three girls left home as soon as possible and over the years they have grown estranged from their mother and each other. Living completely separate lives with little interaction with one another, Nell, Meredith and Lizzy come together at Ronni’s request but is it too late to repair their fractured relationships?
Nell found solace working on a farm not too far from her family’s home and after becoming a single mom at a young age, she devoted her life to her son. Content to raise her son on her own while running the farm, she never really thinks too much about her lack of companionship. After her son goes off to college then grad school, Nell is finally ready to begin dating but has the time for romance passed her by?
Meredith calls England home and despite the distance between her and Ronni, she still lacks confidence and turns to food for comfort. Now an accountant, she is engaged to a handsome, successful man that no one in her family cares for. Meredith is not exactly thrilled with how he controls nearly every aspect of her life, but her insecurities make it impossible for her stand up for herself. The trip back home is fraught with tension but Meredith is enjoying the freedom to express herself without her overbearing fiancé by her side. When faced with the prospect of returning to her regular life, will Meredith be able to go back to a life that no longer feels right?
Lizzy has a wildly successful career as a chef but her selfish and thoughtless choices might destroy her marriage. She is impulsive but well-liked and respected by the people who work for her. Never having dealt with the consequences of her actions, is it too late for Lizzy to repair the mistakes she has made?
The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green is an engrossing novel of forgiveness, healing and redemption. Ronni’s decision to bring her daughters to her side is not exactly selfless, but the reunion does provide Nell, Meredith and Lizzy the opportunity to reconnect and move past some of their emotional wounds. The storyline is bit predictable, but the growth of the characters is quite satisfying. An overall entertaining read with emotional depth that fans of the genre will enjoy.