Lady Sunshine: A Novel

· Sold by Harlequin
3 reviews

About this ebook

“A delicious daydream of a book.” —Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author of 28 Summers

“With lyrical writing and a page-turning plot, this sun-dappled book has it all: heart, smarts, and an irresistible musical beat.” —Karen Dukess, author of The Last Book Party


For Jackie Pierce, everything changed the summer of 1979, when she spent three months of infinite freedom at her bohemian uncle’s sprawling estate on the California coast. As musicians, artists, and free spirits gathered at The Sandcastle for the season in pursuit of inspiration and communal living, Jackie and her cousin Willa fell into a fast friendship, testing their limits along the rocky beach and in the wild woods... until the summer abruptly ended in tragedy, and Willa silently slipped away into the night.

Twenty years later, Jackie unexpectedly inherits The Sandcastle and returns to the iconic estate for a short visit to ready it for sale. But she reluctantly extends her stay when she learns that, before her death, her estranged aunt had promised an up-and-coming producer he could record a tribute album to her late uncle at the property’s studio. As her musical guests bring the place to life again with their sun-drenched beach days and late-night bonfires, Jackie begins to notice startling parallels to that summer long ago. And when a piece of the past resurfaces and sparks new questions about Willa’s disappearance, Jackie must discover if the dark secret she’s kept ever since is even the truth at all.

“An engrossing tale of secrets, memory, music, and the people and places you can never outrun. A fantastic summer read.”
—Laura Dave, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me

“This book is gorgeous. A gold-drenched, nostalgic dream with a fierce female friendship at its heart.”
—Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of I'll Be Your Blue Sky

Ratings and reviews

3 reviews
Chelsea Taylor
June 17, 2021
Every once in awhile, you come across an author who's a true storyteller. This book was absolute magic! After her father remarries, Jackie spends what starts out as a picture perfect summer at her folk singer uncles estate called The Sandcastle. Being an only child, meeting her cousin Willa gives Jackie the sister she's always longed for. But when a plan goes awry, one night changes the lives of everyone at The Sandcastle. Told in alternating years of 1979 and 1999, this book truly captures how it must have felt to live in California during the huge folk movement. Due to Doan's magical ability to spin words into vivid pictures, simple things such as a tree house become a shabby chic castle and a waterfall in the woods becomes a striking wooded wonderland. Along with vivid imagery, this book truly captures the relationships between best friends, relationships between spouses, and the reality that sometimes our heroes aren't at all who we think they are. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Easily one of my favorite summer reads of 2021, this book deserves five stars and then some. You'll lose yourself in the summer of 79, and feel a loss when the book is over. Novels like this don't come around very often and this is a definite one that no one should miss. Thank you to Amy Mason Doan, NetGalley, and Harlequin Graydon House publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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About the author

AMY MASON DOAN is the author of The Summer List, Summer Hours, and Lady Sunshine. She earned a BA in English from UC Berkeley and an MA in journalism from Stanford University, and has written for The Oregonian, San Francisco Chronicle, and Forbes, among other publications. She grew up in Danville, California, and now lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family.

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