Bob S. (Lawrenceburg, IN)
We all arrive oddly
Lydia Nester's first book is striking and endearing. I found her celebration of the oddities of her protagonists a reminder that we are each of us unique, never repeatable, and ineffably singular. Sunny and Maxon are notably ill-suited for the cultural expectations around them. But is it not true that in our attempts to meet our society's norms, we lose touch with the authentic integrity which which each of us arrives. Brava, Lydia.
Carm D. (Omaha, NE)
Shine Shine Shine
I highly recommend this book. It takes a few chapters to settle into this unusual love story, but believe me, you will be rewarded. It is a tale where being different is the norm. I love brave bald Sunny, her autistic son Bubber, her astronaut husband Maxim who also shows signs of autism. Sounds odd doesn't it? Well it works! You will be so glad that you were allowed into the lives of these extraordinary people. I for one cannot wait for more from Ms Netzer.
Marta M. (Santa Ana, CA)
Shining on what is normal
I enjoyed this book very much. It took me a few chapters to understand the characters. It is about a family full of very unusual people. Maxon is autistic and speaks in the language of numbers. Sunny was born bald without a hair on her body. They find each other and what develops is a wonderful love story. As the couple try to find their way through life, Sunny craves normalacy and what she finds when she finally opens her eyes is that nothing is normal. To be yourself is the best the best you can be. I highly recommend this book.
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.
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.
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.
Diane W. (Lake Villa, IL)
Well, it does shine!
As others have previously stated, it did take me quite a while---and several stops and starts--- to really grasp the scope and focus of this story and it's rather quirky characters. But, in the end, it really spoke to my heart and made me think well beyond it's finish about the uniqueness of each of us individually, as members of our (sometimes) quirky families, and what holds us together as human beings. Would recommend it....but make sure to give it a chance!