Brooke's Pick: Lady Sunshine by Amy Mason Doan
Inheriting The Sandcastle - a sprawling estate that was once a gathering place for musicians, artists and free spirits - from her great aunt, Jackie Pierce finds a way to bring it to life again while trying to solve a 20-year-old mystery that reveals dark secrets.
A famed musicians’ retreat on the California coast during the iconic era of the 1970s - it is the stuff of music legend and the setting of Amy Mason Doan’s new absorbing novel, Lady Sunshine.
Traveling back in forth in time between the '70s and '90s, Lady Sunshine tells the story of teenage Jackie Pierce’s coming of age at her famous folk singer uncle’s communal estate, The Sandcastle. Jackie, who has lived a banal life of privilege in San Francisco, has her eyes opened to a whole new world during this life-changing summer in which she forms a friendship with her cousin Willa, gets in touch with her inner soul and bonds with some of the Sandcastle’s vagrants, and even finds love. However, nothing gold can stay, and things change forever when Jackie’s wonderful summer ends in tragedy.
Twenty years later, Jackie finds herself inheriting The Sandcastle and returning to the place that helped shape and form the woman she is today. When a group of musicians converge at the estate to record a tribute album to Jackie’s uncle in his iconic music studio, Jackie is transported back to the summer of '79 and the dark secrets she has kept all of this time.
At its heart, Lady Sunshine is a coming of age story set amongst a memorable backdrop of music and an era gone by. The atmospheric setting and vibes that Doan creates within her book really shine, as well as the relationship between Jackie and Willa. Readers who enjoy books about musicians and artists, unconventional living situations, and times of the past, will find much to love about this heady piece of work. On the other hand, the book does move slowly, and it may lose readers who are looking for something more attention-grabbing and fast-paced.
Availability: Book; eBook in cloudLibrary
Rating: *** (I liked it)
Reviewer: Brooke, Public Relations Librarian
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GENRE: Relationship Fiction
WRITING STYLE: Engaging; Lyrical
SUBJECT: Cousins; Family Estates; Family Secrets; Inheritance & Succession; Missing Girls; Musicians
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