If you’re looking for a feel-good summer read with hippy vibes, look no further than Lady Sunshine, a new book by Amy Mason Doan. Fans of Songs of Ursa Major and Daisy Jones & the Six will LOVE this book. Full of 70s music and cultural references, Lady Sunshine is pure magic. And who doesn’t need a little more magic in their life?
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Jackie avoided the events of the summer of 1979 for years, but the trauma of that summer has lurked in the shadows of her life for as long as she can remember. On one hand, it was the most incredible summer of her life. But on the other, it was, by far, the worst. For the first time in a long time, she felt like she belonged somewhere. Spending the summer with her uncle at his coastal Northern California estate, The Sandcastle, was like a dream come true. Artists, musicians, and like-minded people surrounded her, making her feel wanted in a way that her father and stepmother never had. It wasn’t long before she and her cousin, Willa, were inseparable, like sisters.
But all good things must come to an end. Sadly, her summer at The Sandcastle ended in a tragedy that no one could have foreseen. And decades later when she inherits the property, she must return and face the music. Will she be strong enough to open the door to her traumatic past? And, if she does, will she be able to push past her pain to uncover the truth about her role in what happened that summer? Ghosts of the past surround the estate, ready to transport her back in time to the summer that forever changed her life.
My Thoughts on Lady Sunshine
What a terrific dual timeline summer read! I snatched up Lady Sunshine in the airport bookstore earlier this summer. Not only is the cover gorgeous, but the synopsis on the jacket also screamed summer read, which is exactly what I was hoping to find. Lady Sunshine reads like slipping into a pair of much-loved jean shorts.
I’m a huge fan of music, so I’ll read just about anything that centers around music, musicians, and/or the music industry. The sunshine and music literally seeped from the pages into my pores, making this one difficult to put down. At times it felt like I was watching a Vh1 Behind the Music episode, complete with sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll drama. I could live at The Sandcastle, enjoying fireside chats in flowy, flower-child skirts and flower crowns.
@shesbecomingbookish Lady Sunshine is exactly that! If you’re looking for a coming of age summer read then look no further than this gorgeous new book from @amymasondoan. This dual timeline captures the spirit of the summer of 1979, when rock was changing as fast as the world around it. Enjoy this book aesthetic inspired by the book. Images are not my own. #summerreading #bookstoread #booktok #bookaesthetic ♬ Seventeen – Sharon Van Etten
Jackie’s character develops throughout the entire novel in both timelines, giving this somewhat of a YA feel. I loved being privy to her growth and maturity, especially as the secrets begin to emerge in the storyline. I enjoyed the backstory more than the modern timeline, but both were captivating and worked well together. While there were some predictable aspects of the story, I was so lost in the world the author created that I didn’t care.
Of the many indelible characters in Lady Sunshine, Willa has to be my favorite. She reminded me of Jane from Songs in Ursa Major in some ways: free-spirited and nymph-like. Her naivety pours off the pages, endearing her to readers from the moment she enters the scene. And the relationship between Willa and Jackie is pure magic. I was reminded of innocent summers spent bonding with my own cousins, forging lasting relationships that would last long after the summer’s end.
My Rating for Lady Sunshine
I fell hard for Lady Sunshine, and I feel confident that anyone who enjoyed Daisy Jones & the Six or Songs in Ursa Major will love this book, too. There’s something transformative about summer in your youth, and Amy Mason Doan captures that moment in time like a firefly in a jar. If you’re looking for a new novel to add to your summer reading list, do not miss this book.
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