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A Little Ray of Sunshine

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  859 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
Emmy James is not the kind of girl who attracts angels. In fact, after she sent her life into a nosedive six years ago, she's tried to attract as little as possible -attention, people, or responsibility. She skips from town to town in an Airstream trailer, working odd jobs and keeping to herself until a sudden whim lets her know it's time to move again.

And this works jus
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 5th 2008 by NAL Trade
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 16, 2009 Tammy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Sophie Kinsella fans; Jennifer Crusie fans
Emmy James has lived in an Airstream trailer for six years, taking odd jobs and keeping to herself. Things change when a childhood friend shows up to tell her that her mother - a Hollywood Diva and major drama queen - is getting married to his father. To complicate things, a very odd woman also shows up, claiming to be an angel who specializes in relationship-mending and blueberry pancakes. Emmy ultimately decides against going to the wedding and refuses to deal with the past. Imagine her ...more
Olga Godim
Nov 12, 2012 Olga Godim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mainstream
This novel touched me deeply, plucked the strings that still reverberate long after I finished the last page. I read it and thought about my life and my relationships with the people I love.
We all make mistakes, hurt others willingly or unwillingly. And sometimes, others hurt us. To live our lives to the full despite the damage to our hearts and souls, we all need forgiveness: to grant it and to receive it. Forgiveness, the absolution of guilt, makes our lives worth living. This story is about
Rosina Lippi
Jan 18, 2010 Rosina Lippi rated it really liked it
Rich takes a turn toward the serious in a romance where the primary focus is a mother-daughter relationship. Emmy James is a nomad, living out of her Airstream, working odd jobs until she gets the urge to move on. She's been living this way for six years when she crosses paths with Jess, a young woman who declares herself Emmy's angel, sent by the universe to help her with her problems. At the same time, Digs shows up, a childhood friend who would now be her brother-in-law if Emmy hadn't left ...more
Nov 03, 2013 Hallie rated it really liked it
Of course this is really classifiable as chick-lit, but I hate the term so much, I'm going to be a pain and say it's relationship lit. The family relationship is every bit as important as the romantic one, and maybe more so. This was another of those happy matches for book reading and book mood, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I especially admired the way that Rich managed to make me convinced that EJ's mother could, just, be redeemed, from a starting point that made that extremely unlikely. I sure ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Chanouel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
Wow! What a little gem this book was. Loved it, couldn't put it down. It's categorized as "chick-lit" which is not my favorite genre but after reading it, I'm not sure exactly how I would categorize it.
Yes, there is a love story, but the book is so much more than that. Mother/daughter relationship, redemption, forgiveness, tragedy...all wrapped up in a neatly tied-up story.
I love the humor and sarcasm of EJ, the main character. The story is told in the first person, through EJ's point of view. S
Jacob Proffitt
Nov 25, 2013 Jacob Proffitt rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
A good, straight-forward romance, though with more family drama than most and a satisfying emotional core. Indeed, much of the novel depends on EJ's connection to her partially-surrogate family. Even more hinges on Rich getting EJ's mother right and she set herself quite a job with it. The mom is a selfish one-time child star with little time for her daughter and enough reprehensible incidents in the past to push her past sympathy as a character. Working out a way forward with EJ seems hopeless ...more
Aug 09, 2008 Karina rated it it was amazing
This was another quick and fun read by a great chick lit author. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants a feel-good read that will make you smile, laugh out loud, and just not want to put the book down...
Beth Roberts
Dec 28, 2015 Beth Roberts rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2015-read
This book confirms one of the many reasons I read. It's a simple, three-star, enjoyable read, but within its pages can be found small nuggets of life philosophy. Or at least, a piece of life philosophy I'm willing to pick up and incorporate in my own.

I don't like to rehash plot summaries in book reviews, Instead, I try to simply tell you why I liked it (or didn't) and why I find it worth reading (or not). This is a simple story of family dynamics (or lack thereof). Each of the characters is, of
Sep 26, 2013 Cathleen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is my first read by this author. This book is a gem. The main character "EJ" is a young woman who has grown up doubting her ability to love and be loveable. EJ's mother is a former child star and spend most of her time ignoring or mocking her only daughter. Emmy James (EJ). EJ runs away from her home town carrying a burdensome secret on her shoulders. She finds herself employed in a dead-end job at a Stop n' Go. One day, towards then end of her work shift she meets Jess. Jess's car stopped ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Jenni rated it it was amazing
A Little Ray of Sunshine by Lani Diane Rich is one of my favorite books to reread. The story starts with EJ living on the road in an Airstream constantly running away from her past and her regrets. That all changes when Jess's car breaks down at the gas station where EJ works and Jess decides this means she's supposed to help EJ. That night EJ's childhood friend shows up to tell EJ that she's expected to show up for her mother's eight wedding, this one with Digs's father as the groom. Going back ...more
Jun 21, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book; it had fun characterizations and was a good summer read. Unfortunately, I almost didn't get far enough to find that out. I got this on Kindle and the first few pages had a handful of really basic errors and typos, so I very nearly gave it up as a self-pub by someone who didn't take the time to have it edited. (Although, note that as an editor I am super-picky bordering on neurotic, so...)

Luckily, I stuck with it. But I have to say, the whole thing really needed a good copy e
Mar 03, 2013 Hildy rated it really liked it
I have no idea where I saw this book recommended but I put it on my list and put it out of my mind. Then I saw that it was free on Amazon and I thought I'd give it a go. It was such a pleasant surprise. I was really unsure after the first few pages but I kept going and read it all in one day. I have a read a lot of books with a lot of angst and sexy, tattooed bad boys lately and was hoping for something a little different. I picked the right book. It was clever, funny, sweet and touching. There ...more
Kate George
Aug 01, 2010 Kate George rated it it was amazing
I shouldn't have been surprised at the depth of emotion I felt reading A Little Ray of Sunshine by Lani Diane Rich. As a regular reader of Lani's blog (Lucy March is the name Lani is currently writing under) I have experienced Lani as a deeply connected, emotionally honest writer. What I thought would be reading was humor, what Lani delivered was so much more. I laughed and cried, but more than that this story stuck with me after I finished it. It is a masterfully written with ...more
Mar 20, 2009 Lynda rated it it was amazing
I first saw this book at Target eight months ago and thought about buying and then put it back. I finally bought it about a week ago at Barnes and Noble.

I loved this story. I loved the characters and their struggles. It made me laugh out loud, it made me cry a little and overall just a touching story. It is a beach read, so don't expect to make any life changing self discoveries but definetly a fun book!
Carolyn F.
Feb 28, 2014 Carolyn F. rated it really liked it
EJ does a freak out and leaves her fiancee with no explanation. Six years later her fiancee's brother tracks her down because his dad and her former child celebrity mom are getting married and he says her mom won't marry him unless she's there. The same day this happens a girl who claims to be an angel said she's been sent to help her out. Very sweet, sad, funny book. This author is becoming one of my favorites.
Nicola Marsh
This book was a revelation.

I've had it sitting on my kindle for ages and finally got a chance to read this week since I have the flu.

I read it in one afternoon.
Couldn't put it down.

It made me laugh and cry.

The characters are real and flawed.

I'll be glomming Lani Diane Rich.
Georgina Allen
Feb 13, 2013 Georgina Allen rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 10, 2008 Jenifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: womens-fiction
Lani did it again. All the main characters of this book just grab you. It's a pretty emotional book, and I cried several times, but there were plenty of opportunities to laugh as well.
Karina Halle
Jun 09, 2012 Karina Halle rated it it was amazing
Happy tears *sniff* Review to come.
Mar 14, 2013 Cari rated it really liked it
Well, that was lovely! Never doubt the Book Domme. Never.
Carrie Ann Lahain
The alienated daughter of a has-been child star is "tricked" into going home and facing her past.

I loved this book. Loved it. Wish I could give it more than five stars.

EJ is hard to like at first. She's jaded and sarcastic, but she's also funny and compassionate and (one senses) is in her heart of hearts looking for the tiniest opening to go back and recover the unrecoverable. For the past six years, she's been living a nomadic life out of her Airstream RV, hopping from one minimum wage job to
Jane Stewart
I probably would not have read this if I had known what it was about.

The first Lani Rich book I read was "Wish You Were Here" which was a romantic mystery. I gave it 4.5 stars. I wanted more. I bought this book thinking it would be another romance novel, but it was not. I wish genres were clearly labeled on the outside of books. I'm having trouble defining the genre for this book, but the best I've come up with is "single women reconciliation fiction" (taken from the
Jan 23, 2012 Ellen rated it really liked it
Shelves: loveeee
I'm so glad I picked up this book a few years a go for really cheap at a library book sale. I didn't even read it until months later when I ran out of other things to read, which was a big mistake. I'm surprised how much I liked it.
EJ is the kind of character people can really connect with. At the beginning, you don't feel bad for her because she messed up her whole life and it seems to be all her fault. But then as the story unfolds, you figure out more about her past life and fall in love with
Honey Windsor
Sep 09, 2012 Honey Windsor rated it it was ok
EJ is a social misfit. Her mother is an aging television star who never wanted children and EJ has spent the last 6 years of her adult life on the run, moving from place to place to avoid making attachments. That's until she meets an angel.

Jess drops into EJ's life when Jess's car stalls at the gas station where EJ works. Jess is used to inconveniences like this happening: it's a sign that the universe wants her to help someone. In this case, she's pretty sure the someone is EJ. But EJ doesn't w
Jul 28, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, 2010
It's been a while since I read a good chick lit book and this one fit the bill. I almost set this one aside because I thought it was a little too cutesy, but I am glad I stuck with it because I really ended up enjoying it!

I love books that explore relationships between people, whether it is family relationships, friendships, couples, etc. This book had a lot of relationship problems that needed to be worked out. I liked the story behind EJ's bad relationship with her mother. And of course, I lov
Jan 22, 2016 Melody rated it really liked it
This was easy to read. It had a bit of wit in the writing, which I consider very important.

EJ had realistic issues in self-perception and in obstacles to change. I related to her struggle to become a better person.

For example, at one point she dithered about doing something that she deemed more sentimental than she wanted to be, but she knew it would be appreciated by the person she would do it for. In the end she decided to do it because doing it would be something that would help her reach her
Oct 29, 2013 Laurie rated it it was amazing
I think this is my favorite Lani Diane Rich book. The way she mixed humor, a touch of quirk, and moments that at times seem to break your heart was so engaging.
I read the book in one day as I became invest in the characters' lives.
EJ has spent the last six years moving from place to place living in a Airstream trailer. She makes a point of not spending too much time in any one place.
At her latest place of employment she meets Jess, a woman claiming to be an angel who insists she's there to help
Londonmabel Mabel
Aug 28, 2011 Londonmabel Mabel rated it really liked it
Recommended to Londonmabel by: lani diane rich
[This refers to the 2011 rereleased version, that may have been revised.]

The book made me cry on the bus. And then on the metro. And I'm not a big cryer So ya, it's really, really good.

The strongest storyline is the one between the protagonist and her mother, and it's when the mother enters the book that it really takes off--this story arc is flawless. It's moving without being shmooshy, and it's believable. One thing I can't stand in a lot of contemporary romance and women's fiction is too muc
Feb 12, 2013 Wendy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Wendy by: Lani Diane Rich
This is one of Lani Diane Rich's women's fiction book, as opposed to one of her frothy romantic comedies. And although I enjoy her frothy romantic comedies, I *really* enjoy her women's fiction novels, with their complex characters with richly fractured psyches and unreliable world views. Emmy James starts out sassy and funny, and everything she says, thinks, and does, every person she interacts with, uncovers another layer of a complex, flawed human being. I loved Emmy (or EJ, as she prefers to ...more
Nina Post
Apr 10, 2012 Nina Post rated it it was amazing
My favorite Lani Diane Rich book. Like a darker 'Wonderfalls.' Deeply emotional, but leavened with some laugh-out-loud humor and Rich's quirky details and unique style. The romance is lovely, but this is a book about a prickly young woman getting the courage to mend her relationships - the love interest being one of those. The only book I've read that felt like it was downloaded from my own mind. Highly recommended.

"You look at [the past], and it's like this big, tangled mess of yarn you'll nev
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