“The Sunshine Sisters” is a compelling story of love, loss and the power of forgiveness. The book is a longer one than I usually read, but I found myself eagerly page-turning to discover what would be revealed next.
This novel is about the Sunshine family. Ronni, the mother, is a beautiful and famous Hollywood actress. She has three daughters, Nell, Meredith and Lizzy, all alienated from their mother because she seems to be disinterested in their lives.
Ronni also is very moody and emotionally difficult. Her career is of utmost importance to her. The girls' father is divorced from Ronni, and he is a happier person now.
The oldest daughter, Nell was a tomboy in her younger years. Nell had an affair with her high school crush, but he abandoned her after the birth of River. She has escaped her mother's wrath by living and working on a farm with her son. She seems to be very happy in the peaceful setting of the farm.
Meredith is the sister who takes care of things, trying to please everyone, especially her mother. However, she is chubby, and so Ronni is always criticizing her. Meredith's passion is art, but her father disapproved of that study so she is getting a degree in English at University College London. She lives with her grandparents there and has found a boyfriend who makes her feel loved and accepted. Moving to London, and getting away from her mother, was the best thing she ever did.
The youngest sister, Lizzy, is the only one who gets along with her mother.
She is very much like Ronni, ambitious and driven to excel in her chosen career. Lizzy figured out early that the thing to do was to laugh to diffuse her mother's anger. She is a good cook with some training at the Culinary Institute of America. However, she became bored there, itching to get into the real world and make her mark, so Lizzy becomes interested in starting a "pop up supper club" in New York City with another chef, Sean. This venture looks to be an instant success.
The author continues to engage the reader as she develops interesting and entertaining stories of the lives of the three sisters. Then comes the "shock" from their mother. Ronni has a devastating disease and wants her three daughters to come home so she can make amends.
She reveals her condition after they arrive and shares her final wishes, which the daughters find hard to believe. The final chapters are engaging as the sisters begin to realize their family ties are drawing them closer.
This novel by Jane Green was the first of her books that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed this rewarding summer read – on to Jane Green’s next treasure.