by Molly Fader
In 1967 Iowa, farm girl BettyKay enters nursing school over the objections of her parents. There she meets Kitty, her new roommate, that she seems to have nothing in common with. BettyKay is very dedicated to her studies while Kitty seems to just want to break the rules. She likes to sew and is escaping her unhappy home for nursing school until she can head to Hollywood and be a costume designer to the stars. They meet Jenny who really wants to be a doctor but pursues nursing so that she can enter the Vietnam War as a nurse. She is hoping that by doing this she will be able to help keep her brother from being drafted. The girls become fast friends and form a bond that will last their entire lives.
In present day, Clara and Abbie Beecher reunite for their mother’s funeral. BettyKay had always been a good mother but when she makes a deathbed confession, the girls are thrown into turmoil. Things get worse when a famous movie star, Kitty Devereaux, show up at the funeral claiming to be a good friend of their mother. Why have the girls never known or heard about Kitty when they knew Jenny, their mother’s other friend from nursing school?
Over a long weekend the sisters, who are dealing with their own issues, try to bring back the closeness they had as children as they try to unravel the mysteries in their mother’s life with unexpected consequences.
From 1960’s Iowa to Hollywood in the 1970’s to the Vietnam War and the present, The Sunshine Girls is an engaging novel about strong women, family secrets and the power of female friendships. The author’s note at the end reveals that something that happens in the book was taken from her own mother’s life. This engaging novel kept me turning the pages and I love the cover of the book!
The Sunshine Girls will be published on December 6, 2022. Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin .Trade Publishing for the advanced reading copy.