By Laura Dave
Narrated by: Joy Osmanski
Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
From Laura Dave—the author of the “addictive” (Us Weekly), “winning” (Publishers Weekly) and critically acclaimed bestseller Eight Hundred Grapes—comes a new novel about the secrets we keep…even from ourselves.
Sunshine Mackenzie has it all…until her secrets come to light.
Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.
And then she gets hacked.
When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.
In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age. http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Hello-Sunshine/Laura-Dave/9781508239987
This book has a lot to offer; but I am not sure it offers what the publisher/authors thinks it does. Honestly, I can only imagine what those persons or personifications of a large corporation such as the publisher, have in mind but the authenticity argument isn’t what I thought the book was about.
Yeah, that stuff is there on the surface; but what I see is not just the loss of a lucrative job – a trope I feel I have been reading over and over the past 18 or so months, but the loss of both personal and professional esteem. To me that goes back to a theme from my generation (perhaps yours too?): the imposter syndrome. That’s what women, and probably some guys, feel when they get a job that they don’t feel they have earned or that they don’t feel qualified for. I felt that with every job I ever had.
Not that this woman actually had her purported skills, but she might have been just as successful as herself as she was as the fake image she was poured into.
Identity theft, is frightening, identity revelation is probably not always as bad. Unless you’ve been pretending to be someone else for several years. Also, the idea of living up to others’ expectations comes into play
Losing the job and career is something millions of people in the world face regularly. Humans are resilient mentally where, perhaps, we aren’t so resilient physically: mental boulders are easier to survive than physical boulders.
This character has to survive all kinds of betrayal, and from where she would least expect it. Although there doesn’t seem a good way back to her position in the heavens without selling her soul and her outlook is dark for a while the book is not a downer. The ending is left a little uncertain but hopeful.
I thought the family drama in the story was a little manufactured: the tension between the sisters seems based in events as fleeting as Sunshine’s career.
The narration by Osmanski was great, I didn’t hear anything so glaring I stopped to note it. Her slightly husky, but youthful, voice is a great representation of the character.
This book is much like the chick lit from its earlier successes such as Bridget Jones, or Anna Maxted’s RUNNING IN HEELS. If you enjoyed Anna Maxted you will probably enjoy this too.