My Sunshine Away
M. O. Walsh’s novel My Sunshine Away doesn’t have a great deal of sunshine. But, in that sense it feels real. The unnamed narrator seems unreliable from the beginning. That “not-quite-right” feeling he elicits is compounded by his confession. The events of the book pivot around the rape of 15-year-old Lindy Simpson. The narrator, a boy two years Lindy’s junior, admits that he was one of the prime suspects, and the case was never solved. This is not a spoiler, this is all in the first chapter, and already Walsh has the reader on edge. The defining event of Lindy’s rape is the method by which Walsh opens a window to life and the horrible beauty of adolescence. At its heart, My Sunshine Away is a dark journey into the mysterious molding of an adult, with all the paradoxes of youth, and the unknown consequences of and in actions.
Because the narrator does not seem worthy of trust, this was a difficult read. But, I don’t regret pushing through. Without ruining it, Walsh waits until the very last moment to reveal his purpose and the nature of his narrator, closing the journey in a most unexpected manner that makes this a highly recommended book.