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 My Sunshine Away 

                 by M.O. Walsh  
In the summer of 1989, in an upscale Baton Rouge, Louisiana, neighborhood, a horrible crime was committed on Piney Creek Road. The narrator, a fourteen year old boy who lives across the street from the victim, sets the scene with his opening comment:
\”There were four suspects in the rape of Lindy Simpson, a crime that occurred directly on top of the suburban sidewalk of Piney Creek Road, the same sidewalk our parents had once hopefully carved their initials into, years before, as residents of the first street in the Woodland Hills subdivision to have houses on it.\”

We then learn that our young narrator is one of the suspects. The Woodland Hills subdivision was, until that time, a wonderful place to grow up. Neighbors  got together for crawfish barbecues, children played together, neighbors worried about keeping their gardens watered and alive in the sultry heat and everyone supported their football team.  All of that changed when fifteen year old Lindy, a talented track star, free spirit and neighborhood favorite was assaulted. Neighbors turned on each other, suspicions ran wild, families unraveled and secrets were revealed.

Set in the sultry heat of Baton Rouge and told through the eyes of our young narrator, who was in love with Lindy, this coming-of- age story is honest, heartbreaking and compelling. As he looks back on what happened, with an adult perspective, we can feel his heartbreak and guilt as he recalls that horrible time.  He is a likable narrator and I was hoping that he wasn\’t the one who committed this terrible crime. Readers are rewarded at the end with what did happen and how it affected everyone on Piney Creek Road.  I felt like I was right there in the Louisiana heat experiencing the story along with our narrator.  It is a dark story but so well written that I couldn\’t stop reading it. I listened to it on audio and the reader, Kirby Heybourne, was perfect!

This debut novel was a New York Times Bestseller, an Amazon Featured Debut and was named a Best Book of 2015 by NPR, Kirkus and Booklist.

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