In the summer of 1989, a Baton Rouge M.O. Walsh best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom is rocked by a violent crime when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson—free spirit, track star, and belle of the block—is attacked late one evening near her home. As the dark side of this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia is revealed, the close-knit neighbourhood is irreversibly transformed.
In My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh brilliantly juxtaposes the enchantment of a charmed childhood with the gripping story of a violent crime, unravelling families, and consuming adolescent love. Acutely wise and deeply honest, it is an astonishing and page-turning debut about the meaning of family, the power of memory, and our ability to forgive.
About the Author
M.O. Walsh’s fiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Oxford American, The Southern Review, American Short Fiction, Epoch, and Best New American Voices, among others. He is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Mississippi and is currently the director of the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans, where he lives and works, happily, with his wife and family.
This novel is part crime story and part coming of age story and the two work seamlessly together. Seen through the eyes of the narrator, the crime against a young girl he obsessively loves, changes the trajectory of his life. Walsh treats his characters honestly but with compassion and understanding. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the setting for the novel, comes to life at Walsh’s masterful hands.