A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green- Feature and Review


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 Girls 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 are all going through crises of their own, their mother s illness draws them together to confront old jealousies and secret fears and they discover that blood might be thicker than water after all.



The Sunshine SistersThe Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green is a 2017 Berkley publication.

This book is the ideal beach read.

Ronni Sunshine was once a famous actress, defining the narcissist personality we so often associate with that occupation. But, she also has three daughters, Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy, all of whom couldn’t wait to get away from Ronni… and each other.

But, now they have all been summoned home by Ronni, who has been diagnosed with a fatal disease… for real this time. She only has a little time left to get her daughters back together in one place, and to apologize to them for being such a wretched mother, and hopefully receive their forgiveness, but she also needs their help to carry out one final, shocking request.

After years of estrangement from their mother, the girls gather together with all their resentments and baggage coming along for the ride. Can they make peace with their mother and mend their broken relationship with each other?

All of Ronni’s daughters bring high drama with them- Nell, a single mom, who has never been able to get over her first love, no matter how hard she tries to feel a connection and real passion with someone else.

Meredith took a dull job, has a boring boyfriend, and finds great comfort in food, while trying to make everyone else happy.

Lizzy, is the youngest, and the most like her mother. She’s a successful celebrity chef, with a husband and young son, but she is also having a long running affair, she can’t seem to withdraw from, having also inherited her mother's spoiled self-absorbtion.

Under the same roof, the sisters become catty, with their barely contained annoyance with each other simmering just underneath the surface. But, when they find out their mother is gravely ill, they each take stock of their lives, and find the courage to take risks, embrace their sisterhood, and commonality with each other, and embark on a new chapter in their lives.

The story got off to a slow start, for me, but I’m glad I stuck it out. The real turning point comes when a writer shows up at Ronni’s, hoping to do a documentary over her life. His presence allows the sisters to look back over their mother’s life, and helps them put their childhood’s in perspective.

Other than Ronni’s illness, the story is not too heavy, and there are several comical moments along the way, but the emotional levels stay on an even keel, so you won’t have to worry about doing the ugly cry sitting poolside.

But, mostly this is a story about three sisters who did not have a strong parental influence in their lives, because their mother was so caught up in her career, always trying to keep the attention on herself and was a real life drama queen, and father who chose his second family over them. They all endured some kind of side effect from their upbringing that influenced the decisions they made and the actions they took as adults, with disastrous results.

They now have the rare chance to change the course of their lives, to make peace with the past and with each other and enjoy the last, but best gift their mother ever gave them… each other.

Overall, this is a nice and easy read, with nice character growth, and a feel good ending.





Jane Green is a bestselling author of popular novels. She has been featured in People, Newsweek, USA Today, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan. She lives in Connecticut with her family. 

Connect with Jane: Facebook.com/AuthorJaneGreen

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