On a summer's evening in 1989, on an empty street in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson is knocked from her bike and attacked just yards from her home. No one sees or hears anything. The police have few suspects and no real clues. Eventually the community puts it behind them. Everyone tries to move on.
Welcome to Baton Rouge, Louisiana: a neighbourhood of lush, sweltering summers, afternoon cookouts on the lawn and vats of chilled beer under the crepe myrtles. A terrible crime is just about to take place...
One day Lindy Simpson cycles home from school and straight into a trap: someone is lying in wait for her, a wire strung between lampposts blocking the path. She is raped just yards from her front door. No one sees a thing and the perpetrator is not caught.
14 year old Kevin has cherished a crush on Lindy, the ultimate girl next door, since they were kids. After her assault he becomes determined to solve the crime, investigating each suspect in the neighbourhood. But before this long, hot summer is out, it will become clear that the friendly community of Baton Rouge has much to hide.
Behind every white picket fence in suburbia lies a tangled web of darkness. In his zeal to solve the crime, Kevin stumbles across a sinister world he doesn't recognise, drawing ever closer to a terrifying denouement.
My Sunshine Away is an extraordinary debut novel from a unique new literary voice. M. O. Walsh captures the dreamy, Technicolor days of a childhood spent in small-town America, immersing the reader in a world that is irresistible and ominous. For everyone who loved The Lovely Bones and The Virgin Suicides comes another haunting tale of disturbance in suburbia.
"Try and restrain yourself from flying through the pages of this wonderful novel. Instead savour this lush Louisiana mystery that takes you back to what life tasted like when you were still somewhat naïve to the ways of the world. Not just Southern, but American in its vivid Baton Rouge colours and scents, treetops and grasses, My Sunshine Away is the story of how the events of our youth profoundly affect us as adults. The last page is as satisfying as the first. A mystery you cannot wait to solve." -Kathryn Stockett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Help
"This is literature of the highest order. Although the book snaps with the tautness of a thriller--and Walsh keeps the reader guessing until the end --My Sunshine Away also asks essential questions, like how much responsibility we have to each other, and whether we can we ever fully reassemble the pieces of broken lives. And while Walsh hints at answers, it's his willingness to engage such ideas that makes My Sunshine Away an important work of fiction. We need more novelists with the guts and clarity of M.O. Walsh." --Matthew Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves
"If you start this novel, you will not put it down. My Sunshine Away is a riveting, suspenseful, page-turning mystery. It is also a wise, insightful, and beautifully written novel. This is an extraordinary debut." --Jill McCorkle, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life
"I really loved this book. I am swept up in the quiet beauty of the prose, and in the wisdom and compassion of the narrator. I can't praise it enough. My Sunshine Away is not a thriller; it is a page turner and it's realism at its finest -a story made memorable in paragraph after paragraph by the brilliance of its author and by the scope of the questions he asks. It's about love, obsession, and pain. A beautiful, remarkable book. I hope M.O. Walsh writes many more." -Anne Rice, #1 bestselling author of Prince Lestat
"Walsh's word-perfect rendering of the doubts, insecurities, bravado, and idealism of teens deserves to be placed in the hands of readers of Tom Franklin, Hannah Pittard, and Jeffrey Eugenides..." Booklist"My Sunshine Away is that rarest find, a page-turner you want to read slowly and a literary novel you can't look a