Rated of 5
by 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.
Rated of 5
by 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.
Rated of 5
by Shelby L. (Hamden, CT) Touching and tender read
When all about you is not "normal"...how do you "fit in".
This is the story of Sunny, a woman born without any hair, her husband Maxon, an abandoned boy who grows up to be a savant genius and their son Bubber, who is autistic. It would appear that all is against them yet Sunny's deep love, understanding and compassion which she learned from her mother Emma, keeps them welded to each other.
The story is at times funny, heartwarming and suspenseful. I don't want to reveal any of the plot except to say that Maxon plans to colonize the moon with robots...a little out there for a love story.
Lydia Netzer has written a smart, imaginative book. I don't ever remember reading anything like it although there were moments that works of John Irving came to mind.
I highly recommend it.
Rated of 5
by Joan P. (Owego, NY) Shine, Shine, Shine
The lesson learned from this book is things aren't what they seem. Could Sunny have more problems- strange astronaut husband- autistic child- and a mother in a coma? Yet she seemed to be able to handle anything that came her way. Once she began to wear a wig to deny her baldness, she built a world that seemed normal. An accident tore the wig from her head anther facade crumbled and she faced her true self. The premise of the novel is intriguing but I was confused by the flashbacks and wished the ending had been clearer and more conclusive.
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