Killer Nashville Book of the Day

My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh / Reviewed by M.K. Sealy

Purchase My Sunshine Away or read other reviews through Killer Nashville’s affiliate, Amazon.com*

M.O. Walsh  Credit: Sam Gregory
M.O. Walsh
Credit: Sam Gregory

The New York Times, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist, alongside authors like Anne Rice, Tom Franklin, and Kathryn Stockett have given M. O. Walsh’s My Sunshine Away accolade upon accolade, yet I found describing the novel to be difficult. Hailed as a Southern gothic piece of art, My Sunshine Away (Walsh’s debut novel), is, by far, one of the best pieces of fiction that I have encountered in months and utterly beyond the fumbling words of this reviewer.

The writing style of My Sunshine Away is crisp, clear, unique to Walsh, and so hypnotizing that I did not realize that I was consuming it so quickly until I came to the final page, astonished and with the satisfaction that only an extraordinary novel can provide.

Here’s why: Within the first five pages, we discover in 1989, a girl was raped in a seemingly quiet, friendly neighborhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a hot, tepid place; no arrests were made; and our narrator was one of four suspects in the rape case. Immediately, the storyline, the prose, and the narrator grip us, as we are engulfed in the humid air, sounds of children playing, and the tragedy and mystery of what happened to Lindy Simpson and how our narrator was involved.

Written with the narrator contemplating the events in hindsight, My Sunshine Away allows Walsh to incorporate important emotional and psychological elements into the story that, admittedly, were greatly influenced by his own childhood. Less concerned with nostalgia and more interested in the wonder of childhood, My Sunshine Away is an excellent novel and one that I highly recommend.

M. K. Sealy earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in literature from a Nashville university. She is a copyeditor for a Nashville-based publication, but also writes poetry, fiction, and is currently attempting a screenplay, all while working to obtain a Master of Education.

(If you have a book you would like featured, send an ARC for consideration. The Killer Nashville Book Reviews are coordinated by Clay Stafford with the irreplaceable assistance of Clay Janeway, Maria Giordano, Will Chessor, and credited guest reviewers. For more writer resources, visit us at www.KillerNashville.com and www.KillerNashvilleMagazine.com)

*Killer Nashville is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you purchase a book from the links on this page, Amazon will give Killer Nashville a small percentage of the total sale. Killer Nashville receives zero compensation (other than sometimes the book to review) from publishers who have been selected for the Book of the Day.

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