“This debut author offers a wonderfully written story about a boy coming of age in the late '80s in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is narrated by a 14-year-old boy who, along with all of the other young males in the neighborhood, is infatuated by 15-year-old Lindy Simpson. Everything changes that summer, when Lindy is brutally raped and no one is ever charged with the crime. Told with a sense of humor, some sadness, and, at times, a wisdom beyond the narrator's 14 years, the story focuses on all of the suspects and shows how suspicion and violence can change lives forever.”
— Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER"A tantalizing mystery and a tender coming-of-age story...Unputdownable."--Oprah.com In the summer of 1989, a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom is rocked by a violent crime when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson--free spirit, track star, and belle of the block--is attacked late one evening near her home. For such a close-knit community, the suspects are numerous, and the secrets hidden behind each closed door begin to unravel. Even the young teenage boy across the street, our narrator, does not escape suspicion. It is through his eyes, still haunted by heartbreak and guilt many years later, that we begin to piece together the night of Lindy'sattack and its terrible rippling consequences on the once-idyllic community. Both an enchanting coming-of-age story and a gripping mystery, My Sunshine Away reveals the ways in which our childhoods shape us, and what happens when those childhoods end. Acutely wise and deeply honest, this is an astonishing and page-turning debut about the meaning of family, the power of memory, and our ability to forgive. Named A Book of the Year by NPR, The Dallas Morning News, Kirkus Reviews, and BooklistAn Entertainment Weekly 'Must List' Pick
About the Author
M.O. Walsh's fiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Oxford American, The Southern Review, American Short Fiction, Epoch, and Best New American Voices, among others. He is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Mississippi and is currently the director of the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans, where he lives and works, happily, with his wife and family.