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My Sunshine Away

3.6  ·  Rating details ·  14,438 Ratings  ·  1,909 Reviews
"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
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Hardcover, 306 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by Amy Einhorn Books
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Venetia Butterfield
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Jackye Finch The author has an MFA and teaches creative writing. Yet he makes these grammatical errors that would have resulted in a failed grade when I was in…moreThe author has an MFA and teaches creative writing. Yet he makes these grammatical errors that would have resulted in a failed grade when I was in college. And what about his editor? This misuse of "me vs I" is inexcusable by someone with the author's credentials and by a respected publishing company.(less)

Community Reviews

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David Joy
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With language wrought by skill and a plot never void of movement, M.O. Walsh has written an ode to the power of memory, a beautiful examination of the balance between regret and hope. This novel is about the moments in our lives that hang with us, memories that follow us like ghosts. It's about the choices we make when the stakes are the highest, what we choose to do and what we choose not to, and in that sense, it is simply about being human.
Vickie Becker
I bought this book after reading several stellar reviews and spent my entire time reading it wishing I hadn't. The story is told from the point of view of a grown man looking back 20 years, describing the story through the eyes of himself as a hormonal, love struck teen. There is a horrible event that happens early in the book and then it meanders until the very end when a lackluster "surprise" reveal is supposed to shock the reader. Unfortunately, no amount of reveal would have rectified readin ...more
Cheri
“I want to rely on my memory. It’s important that you understand this. What else, besides love, do we have?”

M.O. Walsh’s narrator wanders to and fro through the sultry days and nights of 1989 Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A summer when he was somewhere between a boy and a man, consumed with a love only dreamt of by the young with Lindy Simpson, a fifteen-year-old free-spirited girl. Neighbors.

"It was the summer everything changed...."

Their charmed childhood unravels the moment Lindy is the object of
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Kelli
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This beautifully written melancholy story has me wrapped in a blanket of nostalgia for those bittersweet days of roaming the neighbor with a posse of kids in a time that felt safer but was not. I need some time to digest this before I post my review to Goodreads (not FB) but I will say this was among the best writing I have ever read. This resonated so deeply with me. 5 (million) tears...I mean stars.

I never wrote a review of this book but I still think about it often and plan to re-read it befo
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Perry
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Suspenseful Literary Ballad of Boy's Path to True Manhood: Husband, Father, Son and Brother

It's rare to find a book that's so piercing, so damn good that it leaves you speechless for a spell, but it's Stradivarius-rare to find a book that's mind-tripping in the sense that, as I'm reading, I think the protagonist was as close to being me as I've ever read, move it over a state, my sisters are younger not older and my parents weren't divorced (but did separate briefly). To say this novel provoked
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Chance Lee
Apr 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lawyer
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Lawyer by: On the Southern Literary Trail
My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh was selected by members of On the Southern Literary Trail as the post-1980 Group Read for April, 2015. This novel was nominated simultaneously by three separate Trail Members. Special thanks to them.

Walsh's debut novel is a bravura performance. This is an upcoming author to watch.

In brief, Walsh chronicles what appears the perfect world of a Baton Rouge privileged neighborhood. The adults belong to the country club. Husbands play golf. Wives play tennis. Their chil
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Dem
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub-reads
January book club read

It was the summer that everything changed>

Debut Novel by M.O. Walsh unfolds in a Baton Rouge Neighbourhood in the summer of 1989 when popular track star fifteen year old Lindy Simpson experiences a horrible crime late one evening in her neighbourhood. No one witnessed the attack and but suspicion falls on everyone not least the nameless young narrator who has been spying on Lindy Simpson since he was 11 years old.

What apparently started out as a typical school boy cr
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Annet
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful... beautiful..... A special, poetic read and a book of rare quality.
4.5, may change it to five, have to let it sink in... It's not an easy read (at least, not for me) and it's not fast paced so I did spend some time getting into it, the story enfolds at a pace that rather fits the stiffling heat of the Louisiana swamps... and you just have to adjust your pace too, it's too hot anyway to speed it up. And then.... enjoy the story, the characters, the environment, the descriptions.... In
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Diana
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars, favorites
The best kind of books make you feel them. You will be reading along and gradually but surely your emotions take over. For me, My Sunshine Away is one of those books.

M.O. Walsh has written a moving story that made me contemplate how events from childhood contribute to the type of adults we become. Everyone has a history. Everyone is shaped by that history in one way or another.

It was easy to get immersed in the narrator's childhood, adolescence and occasional glimpses into his adult life. I fe
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Theresa
Wow. It's hard to believe this is M.O. Walsh's debut novel because it's a....BOMBSHELL! The writing is phenomenal. I was hooked after the first chapter. I felt like I was right there in the story with the narrator. Such vivid and intriguing storytelling. And speaking of that narrator, I loved how halfway through the novel, I still didn't know his name, and I STILL don't know because it was never revealed. There's a reason why we don't know the narrator's name, but don't worry I won't spoil it fo ...more
Diane Barnes
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book late last night, with my heart racing, adrenaline pumping, unable to take my eyes off the page, and fear in my heart for what the narrator was going to reveal. It ended as it began, with beautiful writing and incredible insight into the people residing in this Baton Rouge neighborhood, and a narrator trying to make sense of his teen-age self.
It begins with the rape of a 15 year old girl, which is an unbelievable thing to process for everyone in this well-to-do, safe neighbor
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LeAnne
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am a bit stunned by how much I loved this debut by Louisiana native, MO Walsh. This story of suspense orbits a certain boy - our narrator - who pines for a golden girl just a fingertip out of reach. They've grown up together in the same upscale Baton Rouge neighborhood where everyone roots for the LSU tigers, gathers for crawfish boils, and cheers for high school athletics.

It is an idyllic time in the late 80s, and kids still spend time outdoors in the woods exploring, riding bikes, and visit
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Marie
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
My Sunshine Away is a coming-of-age mystery novel set in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The narrator is a young boy who falls in love with his friend and neighbor, Lindy.  His love is persistent throughout the transformations of identity that Lindy undergoes in the aftermath of being raped.  This young boy is also dealing with other big issues:  divorced parents, a neglectful father, and the death of a sibling.

The mystery in this novel is who the rapist might be.  There are several unsettling characte
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Teresa
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars

I struggle with narratives dealing with the guilt of someone whose age explains his (non)actions. Of course a 14-year-old thinks it’s all about him: it’s the nature of the beast. Yet this book seems pitch-perfect in its re-creation of how a teenage boy thinks and feels, even to the point that his obsessing got to be a bit too much for me a couple of times. It’s true too that the young person needs to realize, for his or her own benefit (as well as for those around him), that “it’s not
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Dana
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
My Sunshine Away is a moving, suspenseful, coming-of-age novel set in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the late 80s/early 90s. The author did a wonderful job creating a nostalgic feeling of time and place - mentioning events such as the Challenger explosion, the Jeffrey Dahmer case, Hurricane Katrina, and popular music of that time. It's a story about the choices we make and how they can haunt us through life.
Eve
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Eve by: Annet
Shelves: read-2017
"There were four suspects in the rape of Lindy Simpson, a crime that occurred directly on top of the sidewalk of Piney Creek Road, the same sidewalk our parents had once hopefully carved their initials into, years before, as residents of the first street in the Woodland Hills subdivision to have houses on each lot."

The first sentence of this novel just sucked me right in; I couldn't rest until it was finished. Even though it revolves around a crime and a mystery, what I found most interesting wa
...more
Elizabeth
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is a gorgeous read.
I was a nervous wreck whilst reading it!

This novel reminded me of what it was like to be a teenager and how who we wish we were often falls short of who we actually are. Loved the setting, the lush writing, and the character study of suburban life. I liked the red herrings, the twists, and the sense of urgency and tension throughout.

LOVED.
Larry H
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I'd give this 3.5 stars.

In the summer of 1989, in a Baton Rouge neighborhood, Lindy Simpson was the object of many adolescent boys' fascination. She was beautiful but didn't seem to know it, a track runner who wasn't afraid to play with the boys.

"She seemed to walk that perfect line between a person you suspect you might not deserve and the prize life would be if everything turned out right."

But one night, Lindy becomes the victim of a crime, a crime that not all of the boys even understand. Man
...more
Briar's Reviews
My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh is a haunting yet beautiful tale about a tragic childhood.

This book has blown me away with how thought provoking it is! M.O. Walsh's beautiful writing style tells the tale of fifteen year old Lindy (in our narrator's point of view) and the horrors that occur in their neighborhood. Add in the setting of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the late 80s and you've got yourself the perfect coming of age story addressing some really tough issues that we are still seeing today.

Thi
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Laura
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This narrator worked for me. He may be unreliable but he kept me glued to his version of his story. It was suspenseful and intense. The book dragged a little in the middle but the author nicely tied up the ending of this book. Very well done! Very much enjoyed and would highly recommend.
Kirk Smith
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Finished in 32 hours,a testament in itself! A book that immediately delves into touchy subjects much the same way Lolita does and has a voice that reminds me of Walker Percy. This book is uncomfortably honest, allowing us to contrast dangerous fantasy and youthful action. The link between love and obsession is here along with guilt conscious voyeurism and the torturous indecision of a teenager coming of age. God, this is like two or three classics in one. I'm still amazed the author could weave ...more
Wendy
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
My Sunshine Away, by M.O. Walsh, is set in the late 80's/early 90's in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The book begins with "There were four suspects in the rape of Lindy Simpson....." and the narrator just happens to be one of them. The story is narrated by an unnamed man who tells of his childhood and teenage years along with his obsession of Lindy.
It was very satisfying to read this story from a male point of view. An interesting storyline that weaves together a coming of age story with a crime/thril
...more
Erin Samiloglu
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I haven't finished this book yet...(I'm at 52%) but I have to say how frustrated I am by it. I'll finish it because I'm OCD like that, not because I care one way or another. As far as I'm concerned, the only way I'd find this book interesting is if Lindy was attacked by Colonel Mustard in the study with the candlestick. It's obvious the writer is talented, but this book reminds me of a large home with a lot of pretty rooms that have no common theme. For instance, he goes out of his way to descri ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I think this has been one of my better reading experiences of the #whodunitbymail book swap that was organized in Litsy. It has quality, suspenseful writing, a questionable narrator, and an interesting setting (Baton Rouge, not New Orleans.) What I loved is the way the author kept me turning page after page, not sure I wanted to know more about what was going on inside the head of my teenage boy narrator or not! When one of his neighbors in suburbia is raped, a neighbor who he has a major crush ...more
SUSAN   *Nevertheless,she persisted*
This story takes place in the eighties,in Louisiana.The story is told through the eyes and experiences of a young man. When a tragic event occurs,it touches the lives of all that reside in the upscale neighborhood in Baton Rougue.

I was anticipating sweltering days,long hot nights,sweet tea, crawfish,hushpuppies,bougainvillea covered porches and trees swathed in Spanish moss. A southern coming of age story.
My expectations were too high. This book became a meandering foray into a boys obsession wi
...more
Camie
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Our unnamed narrator tells the story of his teenage years, when the rape of a young girl named Lindy sent shockwaves through his considerably safe neighborhood in Baton Rouge. And so we have a crime, and neighbors who start to wonder how well they know each other after all. There are plenty of suspects to go around, and it doesn't help that our narrator has had a long standing obsession with the cute girl across the street. I loved the way this story was told , as a coming of age book with all o ...more
Julie
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh is a 2015 Penguin Group publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is an absorbing mystery and poignant coming of age tale that captivated me from the very first chapter and never let go.

In 1989 Baton Rouge, a teenage boy has fallen in love with his neighbor, Lindy. His passion for her borders on obsession as he takes every opportunity to get a glimpse of her. Not in complete control
...more
Mairéad (is roaming the Undying Lands)
{January 21st, 2015} ARC RECEIVED + THOUGHTS THUS FAR

Although I received this the other day, it is an ARC copy I received via a Goodreads Giveaway so I will be reading it, and posting the review later and closer to the release date me thinks. I'm enjoying it so far though!


{January 23rd, 2015} FINISHED READING

Holy... *brains shuts down as she absorbs everything*




{January 29th, 2015} MINI PRE-REVIEW

4.5 Stars.

I finished it before I left for my short trip, but didn't update because short on time and
...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss

My Sunshine Away is a moving and poignant coming of age narrative from debut author M.O. Walsh.

The unnamed narrator of My Sunshine Away is fourteen during the summer of 1989. He lives with his mother in middle class Baton Rouge, where he rakes leaves, plays baseball in the streets, chases the ice cream van and spies on the object of his obsessive crush, fifteen year old Lindy Simpson. One late summer evening his suburban idyll is disrupted when Lindy is is attacked on their street on her way ho
...more
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“She is the innocent stuff in the background of time.” 7 likes
“You’re going to have a hard time in life if you let every little mistake bother you, he said. Life is good, son. Enjoy it.” 7 likes
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