Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer
Shine Shine Shine is Lydia Netzer’s debut novel, published by Simon & Schuster UK, and was chosen as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012 by The New York Times and was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. Lydia is an American novelist who lives in Virginia and teaches literature at her homeschool co-op.
Maxon and Sunny have always stood out from the crowd. Sunny, due to the fact she has not a strand of hair on her entire body and Maxon, because he thinks and processes information almost robotically. When they met at seven years old, they became the best of friends and eventually fell in love. Sunny guides Maxon through emotions and expected responses as she always has done, but when she discovers that they are going to have a baby, everything switches. She suddenly realises a hairless mother and emotionally hindered father just won’t do; they aren’t what is expected of parents. So she changes their life.
She covers her head with a wig, wears false eyebrows and eyelashes and insists on the perfect home in an ideal street. She fits herself in with the ‘perfect’ community around her. But we meet her as this world she created is crumbling. Her mother is dying, her son has development issues she blames on her husband, she has another child on the way, Maxon is on a rocket to the moon and to cap it all off, a car crash has just knocked her wig off in front of her neighbours. Something has got to give.
Shine Shine Shine is a moving story about expectations, love and strength. Not just expectations from other people but how we place them on ourselves every day. How we must look ‘right’ and ‘fit in.’ Although you start the story thinking the character of Sunny is breaking down, you are left with the impression that she has just made an incredible discovery. Lydia Netzer has produced a novel that is moving, poignant, unique and truly enjoyable.
If you enjoyed this, you’d love Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gayle Honeyman.
Buy Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer