“Mysunshine away” by M.O. Walsh (FICTION WALSH)
The author takes us back to Baton Rouge in 1989- a nice safe suburban enclave with barbeques and children’s games after dinner until 15-year-old Lindy Simpson is raped one evening- and everything changes. The narrator is a 14-year-old neighbor who is convinced that Lindy is his soul mate. He wants life to go back to how things were before the rape; his attempts to solve the crime himself only to make things harder for Lindy, while exposing the ugly undercurrents of that idyllic Louisiana summer.
Ghosts exist and other adults can see them…to remind them of the one awful thing: that life is made up, ever increasingly, of what you cannot change.
This is Walsh’s first novel. The atmosphere he creates reminds me of Pat Conroy but Walsh is more succinct. He allows the reader to feel the heat and humidity, the delight in a cold glass of iced tea on a blistering day, the adolescent confusion about the adult world; these serve as background to the growing realization that rape violates not only the victim but the surroundings as well.