Karen M. (Park Falls, WI)
Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer
It took me quite a few pages to 'connect' with the characters in this book....the astronaut husband, the bald pregnant wife and their autistic son and also the dying mother BUT after I became involved it became an interesting and unique read.
I do think the author tried to include too many life-changing events. I also do not know who to recommend this book to as I think it will be one of those books that you either love or hate.
Lori L. (La Porte, IN)
Shine, Shine, Shine
Sunny is a woman I would love to know. On the surface she appears to have it all together, but underneath (her wig) she is just as big a mess as the rest of us. This novel deftly and humorously explores the difference between the face we choose to put on for the world and the richer, lunar landscape of the interior self.
Sherrill B. (Columbia City, In.)
shine shine shine
this is different from any book have read.for review. at first I thought what is this? But as I got more into it I discovered it could be very much today's society, the husband going off into space thinking he could benefit mankind, the wife not understanding and thinking she needs him at hone to help take care of things there, and protect her since she had a few social issues including baldness and an autistic child - and one one the way. Maxon, her husband, is a strong person having endured many beatings as a child from his drunken father. This makes him able to endure it when things went wrong in the space capsule. He could endure physical and mental stress. I would recommend this book to book clubs as it is something different than normal reading and very interesting.
Susan K. (Dartmouth, MA)
Shine Shine Shine
Couldn't figure out this book at all. Thought about rereading it to see if I had missed something that others seemed to see, but decided not to put myself through it again. Didn't like any of the characters and wasn't interested in their lives. I was very surprised, as I was looking forward to this book. Sorry, folks.
Viqui G. (State College, PA)
A Shining Novel
This novel is a totally engaging story. I fell in love with Sunny, the main character. She is an altogether believable woman with a complex past and unusual current dilemas. She and her husband Maxon are true soul mates and they have a very unique relationship. But as we meet Sunny, she is going through a rough spell; she is in her late pregnancy and has a challenging 4 year old and a very ill mother. One of the themes of Shine Shine Shine is of "fitting in" socially and what this means for different characters. Another major theme involves the ultimate acceptance of human imperfections, both personal and of others. I strongly recommend this novel. It is very well written with an strong narrative and engrossing story.
Elizabeth M. (Syracuse, New York)
Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer
When I started thinking about how to review Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer I was sort of stumped because in many ways, it defies description. This is a love story about a woman whose husband goes into space. But it is also a story about unlikely childhood friends who develop a love based on the fact that they are the only one the other could imagine letting into their difficult lives. It is also the story of the differences between the expectations that mothers have of what will make their children happy and the reality of what does make them happy. And it is also a science fiction story about the first steps towards colonization of the moon and a social commentary on the false fronts that many people feel they need to put up to interact with society. And still I feel like I must be leaving out some important theme.
Although it took me a little while to become emotionally involved in this story of Sunny, a girl who is born bald, and Maxon, a boy who is a genius but has difficulty interacting with humans, once I got hooked into the story I felt both emotionally involved in the characters lives as well as intellectually engaged with some of the larger themes the author was seeking to bring into her story.
The only criticism I would have of this book is that the last couple of chapters feel a bit rushed. After the rest of the book has taken time to slowly create detailed portraits of the characters, the conclusion lacked some authenticity that made it seem a bit disconnected from the rest of the story.
I would recommend this book to people who like unconventional romances, people who are interested in issues surrounding the treatment and experience of Autism spectrum disorders and people who are interested in stories about the connections between mother's and daughters.
Jan Z. (Jefferson, SD)
Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer
The power of this debut novel Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer comes from, ultimately, the unique and often startling voice of the author.
The story takes place at some point in the future, Maxon the husband (autistic and genius) is on his way to the moon to place a colony of robots there to start building a place for humans. His departure sends Sunny, his wife, into a tailspin of sorts, and she is forced to look at what she has done and not done with her life. Her mother, Emma, who is a strong presence through-out the story, is dying from cancer, and Sunny has to come to terms with this event in her life, as well as the absent Maxon.
All this drama could be just any average book, but this one is entirely saved by the way Netzer manages to adjust the mood, dialogue, emotions and situations while keeping the drama reined in just enough to keep hold of the story and yet let it go where it needs.
I loved this book, and am anxiously waiting for Netzer's next.