Book Review : My Sunshine Away by M O Walsh

May 15, 2015 Book review 26 ★★

I was really excited about this book as I loved the sound of it and good reviews are everywhere for it. But for me personally it just didn’t hit the spot.

Book Review : My Sunshine Away by M O WalshMy Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh
Published by Penguin on February 10th 2015
Genres: Coming of Age, Literary, Mystery
Pages: 320
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

It was the summer everything changed.…My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson—free spirit, track star, and belle of the block—experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too.

In My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh brilliantly juxtaposes the enchantment of a charmed childhood with the gripping story of a violent crime, unraveling families, and consuming adolescent love.

I think I thought it was going to be a darker version of something like The Wonder Years as it’s narrated by a man looking back on his childhood. It’s a lot deeper and heavier than that which is fine I like dark and heavy but overall it was a disappointment for me.


– The setting is fantastic. This was my favourite thing about the book, I could feel the heat of Louisiana rising up around me, I could picture the annoying insects, I could feel the craving for a cool breeze. Baton Rouge was vivid and came to life for me.

– It covers the theme of the rape of a 15-year-old girl and does it in an empathic way that shows the knock on trauma that this has for Lindy and her family.

– I had to know if the narrator was guilty or not and that kept me reading right to the end.


– The pace was far too rambly for me. I wanted things to happen and I wanted them to happen sooner. Instead we got pages and pages of narrative that did nothing to move the plot on.

Overall the pace of the book affected my enjoyment and it became a chore in the end to finish it.  And I feel like this is a very short review for me but basically I just feel a bit flat after finishing it and my main emotion is disappointment that a much hyped book failed to impress me.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: two-stars


Thanks to Edelweiss and G P Putnam’s Sons New York (Penguin) for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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26 Responses to “Book Review : My Sunshine Away by M O Walsh”

    • trish

      It was very creepy and felt all kinds of wrong. And just putting it down to his age, doesn’t really sit right with me.

    • trish

      Well I can’t deny that I’m in the minority with my views on this one. So you might still love it but it didn’t work fully for me.

    • trish

      LOL I have to depend on books for my scorching hot weather but it’s probably a lot better reading about it than living with it!

  1. RO

    The plot of this sounds well put together, but I was just mentioning this on another blog, when it takes too long to put all of the pieces together, or has a slow pace, that book will lose me, causing it to end up on the “maybe later” pile. Great review! Hugs… and happy weekend! Ro

    • trish

      A slow pace is the one thing that can ruin a book for me as I just don’t excited about picking it up. I can overlook lots of other things but not this.

    • trish

      Like you I don’t want filler content, no matter how well written it is. I just don’t need it and it kills my enjoyment of the book.

    • trish

      Oh well, you can’t win them all. And I did it enjoy some of it so it wasn’t a total disaster.

  2. Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

    I love a book set in Louisiana. I’m not sure why, but even though I live in the South (Georgia) the culture is so different from ours and so fascinating. It’s always disappointing when a premise sounds so fantastic and flls way short of expectations. :/ I for one like a fast or steady pace and would probably have the same issues with the rambly plot :/
    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger recently posted…Not Your Average Romance Writer by L.J. Wilson

    • trish

      I find personally that when the pace of a book is slow and is weighted down with too much description that it really kills my excitement for the book. But yes the setting was fab and like you I’m fascinated by the culture.

  3. Sarah's Book Shelves

    I appreciate your honesty! I was one of those who loved this one…the rambling didn’t bother me because I loved his writing style. I know a lot of people have knocked him for the Katrina section b/c it was off topic, but that was one of my favorite parts. I’d never heard the Katrina perspective from neighboring towns and found it really interesting.
    Sarah’s Book Shelves recently posted…Weekend Cooking: Grouper with Spicy Hoisin & Ginger

    • trish

      I know I’m really in the minority with this one as most people loved it! And I’m glad that it did work for you. I think I just have no patience as I want plots to move fast.

    • trish

      I’m the black sheep on this one as most people did love it! And I’m glad you are one of them. Slow pace is a bit of an excitement killer for me though but I could appreciate how fab the setting was.

    • trish

      Oh well, you can’t love them all. And most people really did enjoy this one so maybe you will too if you get to it.

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