Shine Shine Shine, by Lydia Netzer (2012)

Genre: Adult Contemporary Fiction
Interest Level: Adult
Shine Shine ShineAlopecia, autism and a couple of accidents, on Earth and in Space, combine in this quirky, moving, provocative and delightful first novel. Sunny is nine months pregnant with her second child when a car accident knocks her wig off and into a puddle. She wears a wig because she is completely hairless, not even eyelashes. The wig serves as a disguise in more ways than one, as she is determined to be not only normal, but perfect. She is undeterred by the fact her son has autism, using medication to keep him sedated, as her Nobel Prize-winning husband Maxon uses computer language to decode puzzling human behaviours. But when two accidents, literally thousands of miles apart, reveal the truth of her fiction, Sunny is forced to rethink her priorities, confront her fears and find acceptance for herself, her family, and her marriage. This is a gem. Netzer plays with metaphors (cracks in the wall, birth, the wig) as she reveals the myth of perfection, the incredibly frail veil between life and death, and the unbelievably strong bonds of love) as she explores what it means to be human, to love, to regret and to forgive. I loved getting to know all the characters, and their stories – Sunny, her son, her parents, and even her husband’s vicious father. Netzer could have spent more time with Maxon, in fact – I loved reading his code breaking down interpersonal relations! I was spellbound to the very last page, never quite sure how this would turn out. When it ended, I was reluctant to close the book, always a sign of great writing.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13167199-shine-shine-shine

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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