Sunny Cooper is a pessimist. It could be the results of an unhappy childhood spent growing up in a commune in New Mexico. Or maybe the memories of a tragic accident that took the life of her younger sister, whatever the cause, her fiance describes her as having a melancholy streak a mile wide. She struggles with her life and her relationship, having no preparation for either in the commune. When a second tragic accident—and the devastating truths that come to light in its aftermath—turns her world upside down, Sunny runs.

With just the clothes on her back, and her ever present pessimism, she ends up in the town of Harmony on San Miguel Island, where she learns it is possible to trust people and let them help her. With a new job, new skills and new friends, she starts to build a new life, but her past life intrudes. There is soon a constant reminder and she reaches out to her estranged mother as she embraces an uncertain future.

The book is written in the first person, in the present, with ‘flashbacks’, a format that is not my favorite, in the skilled hands of Judith Hendricks it works. The past is brought forth in a series of memories, tied to present events, and as these memories are told, they explain Sunny’s present day actions. The vivid descriptions of the heat and the dust and later the fog and rain and black dirt give a sense of realism and richness to the account. This was a pleasant and enjoyable read. A believable story that was easy to follow.

I only had one problem, when I first read the description, I thought San Miguel Island was in the Caribbean, when I realized that the location was off the coast of Washington State I got totally confused since I lived there for 4 years and don’t remember a San Miguel Island, so I Googled it. Yes there is no San Miguel Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and there is a Harmony, WA but its about 225 miles from the San Juan Islands. There is however, a Lopez Island and Orcas Island. Just a little bit of trivia for any other OCD readers.

That being said, I enjoyed reading this book, and recommend it.

About Belleza

I got the name Bella because my grandfather called me Suzabell. I use that as a username and my friends on the site started calling me Bella. Thus was born: Bella Foxx's Life, now known as "just a city girl" since I have made the big jump from the country and am now living in the City, UES. I like to make jewelry (check out my blog "Bella is creative" started April 17, 2008) and write. I like to do cross stitch and knit. I sew, I don't really enjoy it, but I enjoy the clothes. I like to read the Bible, books, magazines, online newspaper articles, blogs, jokes on candy wrappers, ads on the subway, billboards, backs of food boxes, lists of ingredients and recipes, cleaning directions, sayings on shirts. I post my reviews on "Just a girl, living, reading, watching, and writing", on Shelfari, Library Thing and Goodreads.. I am allergic to practically everything: grass, trees, weeds, animal dander, dust, mold, wheat, apples, nuts, fish and coconut. The fish and coconut are so serious I carry an Epi-pen and wear a Medic-Alert bracelet. And last but not least. I love the Yankees.

5 responses

  1. Bonnie says:

    Wonderful Review Bella! I like how you described Sunny as a pessimist, that’s true but she does change in the end and I liked her transformation. I just finished this book and really enjoyed it. It’s strong in character development, and a strong story. I hope that she writes a sequel!

  2. Jess says:

    Thanks for the review. Book Club Girl had a wonderful chat with the author on her website. I will have to put this in my TBR pile.

  3. wisteria says:

    I like the plot of this novel. I will put it on my TBR list. Thanks for your honest review, Bella.

  4. Anna says:

    I’ve heard good things about this book. Glad you liked it.

    < HREF="" REL="nofollow">Diary of an Eccentric<>

  5. Yvette Kelly says:

    I love the last comment about “other OCD” readers.That’s me and I love the trivia bits in your reviews.