Here’s the blurb from Barnes & Noble:
“Sunny Cooper has been running since she was eighteen—from the New Mexican commune where she grew up . . . and from the haunting memory of the freak accident that took the life of her younger sister. Now, at thirty-two, Sunny voices radio spots in Albuquerque while struggling to hold on to a floundering relationship. But when a second tragic accident—and the devastating truths that come to light in its aftermath—turns her world upside down, Sunny runs again.
In the town of Harmony on San Miguel Island, she takes a new job, learns to ride a motorcycle, and makes some surprising new friends. But the past is never far behind. A startling discovery—along with an emotional and revelatory reunion with her estranged mother—is forcing Sunny to step out from the shadows of yesterday to embrace an uncertain future.”
Sunny is a likable character. Albeit a bit scattered and not quite sure where her future will take her, but she’s easy to relate to and she is far from perfect. The story is told in three parts. The first part gives you the current, here and now info and includes some flashbacks to Sunny’s childhood growing up in a commune in New Mexico. Part two focuses on Sunny’s new life in the small town of Harmony, the friends she has made, her new job and the entire “rebuilding” process that must take place after a tragic loss. The third part focuses on resolution and her coming to terms with her new life and it’s all about her not having to rely on other people for her happiness or well being.
What was interesting to me is that the most well-developed characters were also the most supportive ones to Sunny. The characters that did little to support her, were not as well fleshed-out. To me, that worked and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was intentional on Hendricks part. An example of this would be Michael, Sunny’s boyfriend. We don’t see many sides to him and we are left wondering why she was ever drawn to him in the first place.
I also enjoyed reading about the vastly different climates. The dry, desert of Albuquerque, New Mexico versus the lush, green (fictional) town of Harmony in the Pacific Northwest. They were both appealing in their own ways. When she arrives in Harmony, you can almost smell the sea air and feel the sense of renewal that it brings.
I really enjoyed this book. If you’d like to read more about Judith Hendricks, click here to visit her website.