The filmy past and unfinished business are novelist Amy Mason Doan’s recurring subjects, and in Lady Sunshine, those themes emerge like sea glass: pretty and inviting, all sharpness smoothed away ... Doan is strongest in the flashback sections, where she moves the well-paced action between scenes of group life and the intensely private friendship that develops between Jackie and her cousin, Willa. Willa is sensitively drawn, a girl at home in the woods who sees — and hides — secrets ... From inspiration to publication, music and nostalgia make Lady Sunshine a feel-good book, and who at this moment doesn’t crave a little comfort?
Fans of Crossing California and Daisy Jones and the Six will be enamored with the world of Lady Sunshine, flipping between the estate’s heyday and the continued allure of fame. Doan paints Jackie as a sympathetic, heartwarming narrator facing an introspective journey she never anticipated.
... takes us back to an era in music that was fun and much more carefree. While far from innocent, it was a much less strident period in our history. Like the book's cover picture, young women wore flowers in their hair and sundresses, and went barefoot. Amy Mason Doan’s novel allows readers the chance to enjoy that all over again while embroiled in a family secret, the consequences of which are bound to be uncovered.
Doan has created a story that is half set in each world as Jackie clears out the house for sale in 1999 while working through her memories of the one idyllic summer she spent drenched in love, happiness, and sunlight before everything went very wrong. Doan’s descriptions of the rugged landscape in Humboldt County create a visually rich backdrop for her characters to inhabit ... A well-written, well-paced novel that unfolds slowly, hinting at the events that broke apart a young woman's life.