Publisher: Penguin Audio

Audio Review: The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green

Posted October 10, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 0 Comments

Audio Review: The Sunshine Sisters by Jane GreenThe Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
Narrator: Jane Green
Published by Penguin Audio on June 6, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Length: 11 hours, 57 minutes
Source: Library
Audio | Goodreads
four-stars
two-flames

The New York Times bestselling author of Falling presents a warm, wise, and wonderfully vivid novel about a mother who asks her three estranged daughters to come home to help her end her life.

Ronni Sunshine left London for Hollywood to become a beautiful, charismatic star of the silver screen. But at home, she was a narcissistic, disinterested mother who alienated her three daughters.

As soon as possible, tomboy Nell fled her mother's overbearing presence to work on a farm and find her own way in the world as a single mother. The target of her mother's criticism, Meredith never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Her life took her to London--and into the arms of a man whom she may not even love. And Lizzy, the youngest, more like Ronni than any of them, seemed to have it easy, using her drive and ambition to build a culinary career to rival her mother's fame, while her marriage crumbled around her.

But now the Sunshine sisters are together again, called home by Ronni, who has learned that she has a serious disease and needs her daughters to fulfill her final wishes. And though Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy have never been close, their mother's illness draws them together to confront the old jealousies and secret fears that have threatened to tear these sisters apart. As they face the loss of their mother, they will discover if blood might be thicker than water after all...

 

 
Ronni Sunshine is a famous but mildly aging actress and the mother of three daughters. By her own admission, she failed as a parent, so much so that as adults, they have very little interaction with her or each other. In fact, her middle daughter, Meredith, moved abroad to London in order to put some serious distance between them. Now that Ronni is facing a serious illness, she wants to make things right with her daughters and bring them together at her home in Connecticut.

 
I found this story fascinating in how Ronni’s narcissism and self absorption manifested itself in each of her daughters. The eldest, Nell, became aloof and emotionally challenged, except when it came to her son. Her middle daughter, Meredith, who had weight issues all of her life, couldn’t have lower self esteem. The youngest, Lizzy, is most like Ronni in personality and temperament, also following a self destructive path with her marriage. The story shifts back and forth to each character during pivotal moments of time from childhood to present day. At times it was confusing but overall it was effective in creating vivid images of all of them and made for an interesting story.

 
Throughout most of the book, I didn’t find any of them likable but that slowly evolved to a healthy respect by the end. I cared what happened to them, even Ronni, and found myself pulling for them to find their way. Narrated by the author, the story was made even more distinctive by her performance, which isn’t always the case when the writer takes this on. The benefit, however, is the narrator knows the intended nuances and in this case, it worked. It’s my first by this author and now I’ll seek out other titles as I very much enjoyed this one.

 

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About Jane Green

Jane Green is the author of eighteen novels, of which seventeen are New York Times Bestsellers, including her latest, Falling Previous novels have included The Beach House, Second Chance, Jemima J, and Tempting Fate. She will be debuting her cookbook, Good Taste, on October 4th.

She is published in over 25 languages, and has over ten million books in print worldwide. She joined the ABC News team to write their first enhanced digital book— about the history of Royal marriages, then joined ABC News as a live correspondent covering Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton. A former journalist in the UK, she has had her own radio show on BBC Radio London, and is a regular contributor on radio and TV, including as well as regularly appearing on television shows including Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart show, and The Today Show.

Together with writing books and blogs, she contributes to various publications, both online and print, including anthologies and novellas, and features for The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan and Self. She has taught at writers conferences, and does regular keynote speaking, and has a weekly column in The Lady magazine, England’s longest running weekly magazine.

A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, Green filled two of her books, Saving Grace and Promises to Keep, with recipes culled from her own collection. She says she only cooks food that is “incredibly easy, but has to look as if you have slaved over a hot stove for hours.” This is because she has five children, and has realised that “when you have five children, nobody ever invites you anywhere.”

She lives in Westport, Connecticut with her husband and their blended family. When she is not writing, cooking, gardening, filling her house with friends and herding chickens, she is usually thanking the Lord for caffeine-filled energy drinks. A cancer survivor – she has overcome Malignant Melanoma, she also lives with Chronic Lyme Disease, and believes gratitude and focusing on the good in life is the secret to happiness.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


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