My Sunshine Away, by M.O. Walsh

4 Sep
FIVE out of FIVE stars

FIVE out of FIVE stars

I don’t have the words right now. Extremely powerful and so very beautiful.

Okay, let’s try to review:

I would say this is a pretty great piece of literature as it works on so many levels. But it’s hard for me to describe it without spoiling things. I’d say it’s a great look into a teenage male mind, and you wonder if the narrator (a self-admitted unreliable one) is psychologically damaged, or actually the norm… It’s a look into childhood and how things change as you move into becoming a teenager, how there are so many dark and dangerous and evil things lurking about as a child and a teen, both real and imagined. How relationships change between you and your family and your peers, and how they can go from idyllic to dark and dangerous in the blink of an eye. And yet, through all the terrible things that happen in this story, if I really concentrate and remember, of course those things happened in my childhood too, and had the same trajectories and results, and then the memories fade and we all look back with a general idea that our childhoods were great. The memories of those terrible things become a part of us but also fade away, so that we can remember beautiful childhoods but also remember the dangers that we will need to attempt to protect our own children from, but we never realize that it will not matter. In many ways, though we believe children are innocent and untouched by the adult world, they are really the most touched by the adult world, and live in the darkest place of all because they have no control, not over the adults in their lives, not over their own feelings and emotions and hormones, and not over anything that happens to them.

I did not find the descriptions of life in Louisiana, both in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, to be long or boring at all, as I’ve heard other reviewers state. I think it was a great glimpseĀ into the mind of a man trying to look back and make sense of why things happened during those years. I didn’t find any of it boring or repetitive, or unnecessary actually, and as an English Major I think this book is full of essay and literature potential.

And most of all, I found the end to be profoundly moving.

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