4 out of 4 stars
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Lou Dischler’s My Only Sunshine is the story of nine year old Charlie Boone and his notoriously delinquent family living in Red Church, Louisiana during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. With his mother gone and his father in prison, Charlie does his best to navigate school, his home life with his grandparents, and the stigma surrounding the infamy of his family. Charlie has no idea what he’s in for when his jailbreaker uncle Dan comes home, bringing with him a string of crime and a new aunt. Is Charlie cursed to grow up like his father and be thrown into delinquency, or can he rise above societal expectations and redeem his family?
One thing I loved about this book is how the author distinguishes so clearly between the minds of children and adults. Seeing Charlie’s nine year old brain attempt to rationalize the adult problems and situations around him is truly endearing, and even tugs at my heartstrings. I also liked how the chapters regularly switch to the perspectives of different characters. For example, one chapter will revolve around Charlie, and the next will revolve around his uncle Dan. It’s a fantastic way to keep the reader interested and keep the story moving; not that the story needs moving along with all the twists and turns there are!
I can honestly say there wasn’t anything I disliked about this book! Lou Dischler’s writing kept me engaged throughout every chapter. It’s formatted very well, and it reads like it’s been professionally edited. The captivating storytelling and professional formatting exceeded all of my expectations. I didn't find any grammatical errors.
I would consider My Only Sunshine a coming of age novel that any mature audience would enjoy. There are multiple instances of gun violence and several mentions of pornography and sexual acts. As a result I wouldn’t recommend it to young adults due to the violence and sexual themes it contains.
My Only Sunshine is a nostalgic tale of childhood innocence that masterfully portrays what it’s like to grow up with the weight of generational trauma. It swept me up with the first word, and I fell in love with the story of Red Church and the Boone Family. Give it a read, and I’m sure you will too. I loved everything about it, from the plot to the immersive writing style. I couldn’t put it down all day. For these reasons I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
My Only Sunshine
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