Monday, April 1, 2013

Book Review: The Sunshine When She's Gone by Thea Goodman w/ Flash Giveaway

Closed. Congrats Annette!!!!

The Sunshine When She's Gone

Published by Henry Holt and Company
Hardcover: 240 pages
March 5, 2013; $24.00 US/$27.50 CAN; 9780805096620


A Bold and Funny Novel About Trust and Love

"One frigid, January morning in Manhattan, a new father, racked by sleep deprivation, decides to let his wife sleep in -- then spontaneously flees lower Manhattan with the baby for a weekend in the Caribbean. It wasn't a kidnapping, he wasn't leaving his wife; he just wanted to spend a little time with the baby and give his wife a break. When the wife awakes, truly rested for the first time in nearly a year, she feels great -- and embarks on a city adventure as misguided in its own way as her husband's impulsive escape.

Told from the couple's alternating points of view, the story unfolds across one life-changing long weekend. The wife tries to recapture who she was before the baby. The husband struggles to care for his daughter -- far from the special homemade formula and high-end diapers she requires. Parenting had seemed like such a doable idea -- until they tried to do it. Lucky, highly educated Americans, this couple barely survives making the first real sacrifice of their lives. But survive they do, in a hilarious, touching, tour de force debut about passion, ambivalence, and love."


My Thoughts:

I have been trying to find time to read this book, as I have read so many great reviews in magazine and other blogs about it, and also so that it received a B+ in Entertainment Weekly's book section.  But, with two little ones, my free time is limited and unpredictable.  I find that I do my best writing in the wee hours of the morning, and can fit in a few chapters of a good book into between spoonfuls of oatmeal in the AM before the girls get up.  But, lately, they have been getting up at the crack of dawn -- thanks to the recent time change -- so, my morning reading has been put on hold.  Thanks to husband who took a surprise day off the other day to give me a break with the kids, I was finally able to sit down and enjoy this book.  In less than 3 hours, I was able to read cover to cover this book, which has 225 pages -- not bad considering I haven't read a book in one sitting in a long time. :-)  The reason I stuck with this book was that the storyline was that good. 

Even though you scratch your head as you read about a new dad taking his newborn daughter to Barbados, to give his wife time to rest and have a little "me time."  I remember when both my girls were born, I was so exhausted in the first few months, and had wished I had a day or two to catch up on sleep, and just pamper myself or sit and do nothing.  But, I would never think or want my husband to take the girls out of state, let alone another country.  But, this is what happens in "The Sunshine When She is Gone."  Kind of far fetched, but I am guessing this has probably happened.  Yes, the characters, especially the husband are flawed, but this only makes the story more relatable.  I found myself laughing at times, and then feeling bad for the dad when he couldn't find the right milk for his child.  I also wondered what must be going through the mother's mind back in NY.  I would have been going crazy.

Don't worry, I will not spoil the ending for you.  But, I will say I can see why so many people and critics have giving great reviews on Thea Goodman's new book, and why it got a B+ from  If you are looking for a good book to read now or poolside this summer, why not consider picking up this recent release?  It even made Oprah's Book of the Week feature. :-)



The first person who emails me will win a copy of this book, thanks to the publisher.  Good luck!
Author Bio:

Thea Goodman
, author of The Sunshine When She's Gone, has received the Columbia Fiction Award, a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and fellowships at Yaddo and Ragdale; her short stories have appeared in several journals, notably New England Review, Other Voices and Columbia. Born in New York City, she studied at Sarah Lawrence and earned her MFA from Brooklyn College, CUNY. She has taught writing at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and lives in Chicago with her husband and children.

For more information please visit, and follow the author on Facebook

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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