This Debut Novel Shines
By Lydia Netzer
St. Martin’s Press, $24.99, 312 pages
Sunny and Maxon have known each other since they were children. They were different. Maxon is a scientist who looks at the world differently from most people. Sunny was born without hair, and is used to being seen as different from most people. Yet, they fit. They live in a quiet neighborhood with their four-year-old autistic son and a new baby on the way, but Sunny can’t make things perfect. Something goes horribly wrong on Maxon’s mission to the moon, cancer is slowly killing Sunny’s mother, and Sunny’s wig takes her illusions with it when it falls off.
Lydia’s Netzer’s debut novel (pardon the pun) shines. Sunny and Maxon have unique, eloquent voices, and their pairing shows how the universe can work both for and against you, bringing you together and tearing you apart at the same time. Netzer takes the reader through Sunny and Maxon’s past, each piece helping the reader to understand their present in a new way. Shine Shine Shine is an eloquently told story of life and love, erudite yet accessible, rare yet universal, and well worth the read.
Reviewed by Leah Sims