The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green is a contemporary twist on the stereotypical Mommy Dearest theme: glamorous and loved Hollywood starlet produces dysfunctional family dynamics and children. While even a well worn scenario can produce applicable and timeless lessons on life and love I just never got there with this story. By no means was this due to Jane’s writing ability, she is a solid writer with an easy to read style and a knack for building settings and characters through her words. The book flowed easily and I was drawn through the story with hopes that it would be at least a satisfying experience. But that just didn’t happen.
My main issue with the book was that the story was all too predictable. From the progression of the plot to the actions of the characters I could almost tell you what would happen next. The one plot twist I did not expect I will get into in a minute. Like I said earlier, even a predictable story can be heartwarming and remind you of the things that are important in life. The Sunshine Sisters never gave me that warm fuzzy or made me appreciate or evaluate my own life like I would have expected from a story about reconnecting and rediscovery.
Unexpected or Unnecessary content is distracting
I think what ultimately soured me about The Sunshine Sisters was the unexpected and unnecessary sexual content. It’s not that I’m opposed to sexually explicit scenes if they fit with the book. For the most part The Sunshine Sisters is written for a general ChickLit audience; because of their mothers terminal illness, the three sisters must confront their own personal insecurities and perceptions as well as their relationships with each other. In the end, they are able overcome much of damage their narcissistic mother inflicted on them emotionally and mentally. One of the sister’s healing involved her realizing an attraction to another woman while another left her boorish, rigid fiance and connected with a free spirited man. I was on board with these developments until I was hit with a completely unexpected, explicit lesbian sexual encounter, as the story was winding down. In this case a graphic sexual scene was simply out of place based on the rest of the book.
As a caveat, I do not think you should let my experience completely stop you from reading The Sunshine Sisters, especially if you are a Jane Green fan. Different stories speak and impact various readers differently. Hopefully, this review will leave you more informed when ultimately deciding.