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“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. A tone-perfect evocation of the free-spirited late 1970s and a riveting coming-of-age story.” —Karen Dukess, author of The Last Book Party “In LAD “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. A tone-perfect evocation of the free-spirited late 1970s and a riveting coming-of-age story.” —Karen Dukess, author of The Last Book Party “In LADY SUNSHINE, Amy Mason Doan has crafted an engrossing tale of secrets, memory, music, and the people and places you can never outrun. This novel will transport you to the ‘70s and summertime magic and a long overdue reckoning. A fantastic summer read.” —Laura Dave, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me ONE ICONIC FAMILY. ONE SUMMER OF SECRETS. THE DAZZLING SPIRIT OF 1970S CALIFORNIA. 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. “Lady Sunshine is shot through with free love, hope, and all the magic of the ’70s, but under the sun and music lie dark secrets. It’s a thrilling ride, a beautiful evocation of an era, and a story that will keep readers entranced from the first page to the last.” —Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder “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 “Haunting and vivid, with layered, complex characters and an evocative setting that sparkles with detail, LADY SUNSHINE will stay with me for a long time.” —Julie Clark, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight


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“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. A tone-perfect evocation of the free-spirited late 1970s and a riveting coming-of-age story.” —Karen Dukess, author of The Last Book Party “In LAD “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. A tone-perfect evocation of the free-spirited late 1970s and a riveting coming-of-age story.” —Karen Dukess, author of The Last Book Party “In LADY SUNSHINE, Amy Mason Doan has crafted an engrossing tale of secrets, memory, music, and the people and places you can never outrun. This novel will transport you to the ‘70s and summertime magic and a long overdue reckoning. A fantastic summer read.” —Laura Dave, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me ONE ICONIC FAMILY. ONE SUMMER OF SECRETS. THE DAZZLING SPIRIT OF 1970S CALIFORNIA. 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. “Lady Sunshine is shot through with free love, hope, and all the magic of the ’70s, but under the sun and music lie dark secrets. It’s a thrilling ride, a beautiful evocation of an era, and a story that will keep readers entranced from the first page to the last.” —Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder “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 “Haunting and vivid, with layered, complex characters and an evocative setting that sparkles with detail, LADY SUNSHINE will stay with me for a long time.” —Julie Clark, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight

30 review for Lady Sunshine

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    This is mesmerizingly impressive! This author can draw colorful paintings and create lyrical compositions by only using her talented story telling skills. Time traveling between 79’s to 99’s to tell us whirlwind, emotional, epic friendship of two cousins hook you up to your seats and let you enjoy your virtual trip! You find yourself at the fairy tal-ish universe of Sandcastle: impeccably elaborated, vividly depicted portraits, engaging, realistic dialogues, connectable, genuine characters and This is mesmerizingly impressive! This author can draw colorful paintings and create lyrical compositions by only using her talented story telling skills. Time traveling between 79’s to 99’s to tell us whirlwind, emotional, epic friendship of two cousins hook you up to your seats and let you enjoy your virtual trip! You find yourself at the fairy tal-ish universe of Sandcastle: impeccably elaborated, vividly depicted portraits, engaging, realistic dialogues, connectable, genuine characters and of course realistically reflected Californian coast setting captivate your attention and make you devour each chapter, cancelling your entire program, focusing on your reading! It’s also the unique and thought provoking criticism of the redemption of fame: how it could be destroying when it is positioned by wrong people and how the relationships would be torn apart violently by its terrible side effects! It’s an evolving coming of age, provocative, powerful, exciting story! Both Jackie and Willa are likable characters! The mysterious opening about surprising inheritance part was intriguing and the book kept my attention intact till the end! Well built story line, great characters and remarkable conclusion of longtime friendship story earned my 5 nostalgic, musical, lyrical, poignant stars! Special thanks to Netgalley and HARLEQUIN TRADE PUBLISHING for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    3.5 I really enjoyed this story. ☀️ The writing is lovely and flows well and the narration is perfect as I listened to the audiobook. The characters vividly came alive for me. The story is told in two timelines. In 1979, Jackie Pierce is sent to live with her Uncle Graham (who happens to be a popular folk singer) and his family on his compound for the summer. They live like hippies and this is very new to Jackie. As she begins to get closer to her cousin Willa, they share many new experiences toge 3.5 I really enjoyed this story. ☀️ The writing is lovely and flows well and the narration is perfect as I listened to the audiobook. The characters vividly came alive for me. The story is told in two timelines. In 1979, Jackie Pierce is sent to live with her Uncle Graham (who happens to be a popular folk singer) and his family on his compound for the summer. They live like hippies and this is very new to Jackie. As she begins to get closer to her cousin Willa, they share many new experiences together. The second timeline is twenty years later when Jackie inherits the famous compound. She goes back to pack up things and organize the sale. She finds herself staying longer with another group of people and re-living that summer of 1979...and questioning it. This was nostalgic and I enjoyed the musical references throughout the book. For me the story was a little too slow building. If you like a leisurely told story (much like the summer itself), then I have no doubt this would be a solid 4 stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angela M

    3.5 stars rounded up. Two summers, twenty years apart, characters I liked, a nostalgic look at the 1979 through music, a bit of a mystery (not my usual read). I found this to be a perfect summer read. Light in many ways, even though not without some dark spots. It was easy to read and I was pulled in wanting to know what happened at the end of that first summer. Seventeen year old Jackie goes off to spend the summer at her famous folk singer uncle’s compound in California. It’s a summer of music, 3.5 stars rounded up. Two summers, twenty years apart, characters I liked, a nostalgic look at the 1979 through music, a bit of a mystery (not my usual read). I found this to be a perfect summer read. Light in many ways, even though not without some dark spots. It was easy to read and I was pulled in wanting to know what happened at the end of that first summer. Seventeen year old Jackie goes off to spend the summer at her famous folk singer uncle’s compound in California. It’s a summer of music, of connecting with other musicians and artists who are part of this commune like place and making a bond with her cousin Willa. The mystery of why Jackie has never been back until twenty years later, why Willa has not been a part of her life is slowly divulged in the alternating narratives reflecting the two time frames. Twenty years later, she’s back and some of the magic of the place comes alive again through the music. Part of the ending was pleasantly predictable, only more satisfying than I thought. Another part was not something that I had predicted. Overall, I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would and I recommend it if you’re looking for a good summer read. I read this with my book buddies Diane and Esil and as always, I so much enjoy sharing our thoughts as we read. I received a copy of this book from Graydon Press through Edelweiss.

  4. 4 out of 5

    "Avonna

    Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com LADY SUNSHINE by Amy Mason Doan is a new women’s fiction story that has two intertwining timelines, the first is of an idyllic summer in 1979 when two young cousins come together and the second is 1999, as one cousin faces truths and discovers secrets from that free-spirited summer. This new-to-me author hooked me immediately with vivid characters and nostalgia that takes a very unexpected turn not once, but twice during this capti Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com LADY SUNSHINE by Amy Mason Doan is a new women’s fiction story that has two intertwining timelines, the first is of an idyllic summer in 1979 when two young cousins come together and the second is 1999, as one cousin faces truths and discovers secrets from that free-spirited summer. This new-to-me author hooked me immediately with vivid characters and nostalgia that takes a very unexpected turn not once, but twice during this captivating story. The Sandcastle is the setting for both timelines on the California coast and is the compound of Jackie Pierce’s uncle. The 1979 timeline brings back memories from that time period and compares the two cousins very different lives which at first are pure and simple, but they have underlying secrets that tear them apart. The 1999 timeline brings Jackie back to the compound that she has inherited and she now has to face truths from the past that she has been hiding away from in her small life in Boston. This book has so many different layered facets that come together into a compelling story that has friendship, family, secrets, and forgiveness. This new-to-me author had me completely wrapped up in both timelines with surprising plotlines and realistic characters. I highly recommend this hard to categorize, yet beautifully written story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    I absolutely adored this nostalgic flashback to 1979’s summer of love and music. The setting takes place along the scenic northern California coast at the Sandcastle. From beginning to end the story transported me to another time and place. I loved this coming-of-age tale of self-discovery, revelations and forgiveness. This is the story of a young female friendship entangled with mystery, a family hiding disturbing secrets, and the communal gatherings that surrounded an iconic folk-singer/songwr I absolutely adored this nostalgic flashback to 1979’s summer of love and music. The setting takes place along the scenic northern California coast at the Sandcastle. From beginning to end the story transported me to another time and place. I loved this coming-of-age tale of self-discovery, revelations and forgiveness. This is the story of a young female friendship entangled with mystery, a family hiding disturbing secrets, and the communal gatherings that surrounded an iconic folk-singer/songwriter and his music. With dual timelines, our protagonist’s life was forever changed during her visit there as a 17 year old. At age 37 she surprisingly inherits Sandcastle and returns to ready the property to sell, but her heart is pulling her to seek answers as to what happened in the summer of 1979 and her cousins disappearance. Highly recommend.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    What is on the soundtrack for your summer? After picking up this new release from Amy Mason Doan, it may include an eclectic mix of folk, pop, and disco. There is even a playlist on Spotify all ready to go. For me, this book joins Mary Jane and Daisy Jones & The Six for a hat trick. A trinity of music-themed reads that will transport you back to the 70's. This book has dual timelines 20 years apart. In 1979, Jacqueline Pierce is given the nickname Lady Sunshine by her has-been,folk-singer uncle What is on the soundtrack for your summer? After picking up this new release from Amy Mason Doan, it may include an eclectic mix of folk, pop, and disco. There is even a playlist on Spotify all ready to go. For me, this book joins Mary Jane and Daisy Jones & The Six for a hat trick. A trinity of music-themed reads that will transport you back to the 70's. This book has dual timelines 20 years apart. In 1979, Jacqueline Pierce is given the nickname Lady Sunshine by her has-been,folk-singer uncle Graham. That summer at his compound will be pivotal and tragic. Twenty years later Jackie returns to settle the estate and put it up for sale. Graham, his wife, Angela, and daughter Willa are all gone. When a music producer asks Jackie to delay the sale while they record a tribute album in the basement studio. Trust me, you will love spending part of your summer with Lady Sunshine. The cover does not lie. Includes a list of insightful book group questions. Make this a buddy or group read and share the experience. Thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    It's 1979. Jackie is seventeen years old and wants to escape her life in San Francisco. She is permitted to visit her folk singer-songwriter uncle Graham for the summer. He is the brother of her deceased mother and lives on a 416-acre compound in northern California by the ocean with his wife Angela and teenage daughter Willa. Graham had been a top artist but his career has waned. He now welcomes other artists to use his legendary basement recording studio and come and go as they please. It’s a It's 1979. Jackie is seventeen years old and wants to escape her life in San Francisco. She is permitted to visit her folk singer-songwriter uncle Graham for the summer. He is the brother of her deceased mother and lives on a 416-acre compound in northern California by the ocean with his wife Angela and teenage daughter Willa. Graham had been a top artist but his career has waned. He now welcomes other artists to use his legendary basement recording studio and come and go as they please. It’s a free-spirited, bohemian wonderland with hot springs and waterfalls. Twenty years later, in 1999, Jackie learns that after the death of her aunt, she has inherited the Sandcastle, her uncle’s sprawling property, as well as the rights to his music catalog. She leaves her quiet existence in Boston to head back to the idyllic place that forever changed her. Once Jackie arrives at the Sandcastle to prepare for its sale, she learns that her uncle has left behind a book of song lyrics that, at the request of her late aunt, is to be recorded as a tribute album. Jackie has to confront her happiest and saddest memories and figure out how her inheritance might impact her future as the recording of the album brings back all her suppressed emotions from that special summer. Nostalgic and touching, I loved Lady Sunshine. Author Amy Mason Doan has previously written two wonderful and poignant summer books about friendship and love, with complex characters and beautiful settings. This, Doan’s third book, has the same appeal and is by far my favorite. I was swept back to the summer of 1979 when Jackie and Willa became close friends. Willa, preferred the music of her J singers – Joan Armatrading, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell. Jackie gravitated to Blonde, Andy Gibb and Hot Chocolate. The description of the Sandcastle painted a perfect picture of this magical place. As family secrets emerge, you will be glued to this book. Rated 4.5 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I have loved Amy Mason Doan’s first two books, The Summer List and Summer Hours, and Lady Sunshine is her best yet. Set between 1979 and 1999, Jackie Pierce narrates the story centered her musician uncle’s estate, The Sandcastle. The first timeline is during the three months she lives with her uncle and his family, and the second timeline is during the time she has inherited The Sandcastle from her late uncle. The writing is flawless, and gosh, how I cherished these characters. I loved the friends I have loved Amy Mason Doan’s first two books, The Summer List and Summer Hours, and Lady Sunshine is her best yet. Set between 1979 and 1999, Jackie Pierce narrates the story centered her musician uncle’s estate, The Sandcastle. The first timeline is during the three months she lives with her uncle and his family, and the second timeline is during the time she has inherited The Sandcastle from her late uncle. The writing is flawless, and gosh, how I cherished these characters. I loved the friendship between Jackie and her cousin, Willa. It made me nostalgic for summers with my cousins, which were much less exciting! It’s also an emotional story that pulled on all my heartstrings. Family drama, a touch of mystery, lots of music, hippies, a beautiful beach setting; I really loved it all. I was living, eating, and breathing this book when I read it because the storytelling is that absorbing! I received a gifted copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  9. 5 out of 5

    Madison Warner Fairbanks

    Lady Sunshine by Amy Mason Doan Women’s fiction with just a hint of mystery. Historical is you consider the 1970’s that way. From Jackie’s point of view both in 1979 as a teen and 1999 having inherited the property and deciding where her life will go from there. In 1979, Jackie spent a few months at the California estate of her uncle. There are few rules, communal living, music influences and bonfires with a spin-the-bottle entertainment. Think hippie lifestyle. Not all is happy and carefree behi Lady Sunshine by Amy Mason Doan Women’s fiction with just a hint of mystery. Historical is you consider the 1970’s that way. From Jackie’s point of view both in 1979 as a teen and 1999 having inherited the property and deciding where her life will go from there. In 1979, Jackie spent a few months at the California estate of her uncle. There are few rules, communal living, music influences and bonfires with a spin-the-bottle entertainment. Think hippie lifestyle. Not all is happy and carefree behind the scenes though and the summer ends in tragedy. Jackie inherited the estate and returns in 1999. The more time she spends reminiscing, the more she questions what happened and why her best friend Willa left without word one night. The novel flows well between the two time periods with Jackie either living or remembering the past. The tree house holds a mystery that evolves through the story and both timelines. Interesting and engrossing. I liked that we learned where and what the people did after leaving the estate and the 70’s. 🎧 I listened to the audio version narrated by Ann Marie Gideon. She did a wonderful job expressing the emotions of both the teen and the woman. Chapter headings clearly stated the timeline and the narration actually seemed to slow down to bring attention to the change. It was an effective tool for the change. I loved the narration and believe it made it more interesting and readable for me. I’m not sure I would have made the time to actually read it otherwise.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carlene Inspired

    Find this review and others at Carlene Inspired. Lady Sunshine was a whim pickup for me. I loved the cover, the blurb sounded fantastic, and well, I can't ignore anything with folk music. A young adult girlhood dream to live with the land, to see a musician at work, to live alongside the ocean. The seventeen-year Jackie of 1979 doesn't yet know this will be the summer that shapes her, that changes her forever, but soon she will. The hardened Jackie of 1999 knows what those three-months did to her Find this review and others at Carlene Inspired. Lady Sunshine was a whim pickup for me. I loved the cover, the blurb sounded fantastic, and well, I can't ignore anything with folk music. A young adult girlhood dream to live with the land, to see a musician at work, to live alongside the ocean. The seventeen-year Jackie of 1979 doesn't yet know this will be the summer that shapes her, that changes her forever, but soon she will. The hardened Jackie of 1999 knows what those three-months did to her, to her family, but she still finds she can't deny the pull of Graham Kingston's music, her memories of Willow, and a sundrenched summer. The summer of '79 ended in heartbreak, the summer of '99 appears to be starting that way, but the musicians who are bringing Sandcastle back to life again may hold answers that Jackie didn't even know she was searching for. I admit, I did not expect to get pulled into this story the way that I did, it was quite impossible to put down. Amy Mason Doan does such an incredible job of taking you into the past, into a musical world, and into the thoughts of a 17-year-old girl and a 37-year-old woman. Filled with nostalgia and evocative descriptions, Lady Sunshine is the summer read you didn't know you needed. I was completely captivated by Jackie and Willa, the two cousins whos lives couldn't be any more different, but who found a bond that summer as they grew into themselves, as they faced the truth of fame and family secrets. Even better, Jackie's voice grows with her and I loved seeing the summer of '79 from her adult perspective, I love how Doan wrote about the hold it had on her, how the magic of the 400 acres never faded. If you love historical fiction about the more recent past, folk music, and books like Daisy Jones, Lady Sunshine is a must pick up. A beautiful, dual-timeline tale that takes place in sunny California during the huge folk wave of the seventies. ARC provided.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Linda Zagon

    Amy Mason Doan, the author of “Lady Sunshine” has written a nostalgic, intriguing, and captivating novel. The Genres for this story are Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction, with the essence of mystery and romance. This story takes place over a 20 year period, 1979 and 1999, and goes to the past and future when it pertains to the events or characters. The author describes her dramatic and colorful characters as complex and complicated. I love that this novel mentions music in so many way and that t Amy Mason Doan, the author of “Lady Sunshine” has written a nostalgic, intriguing, and captivating novel. The Genres for this story are Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction, with the essence of mystery and romance. This story takes place over a 20 year period, 1979 and 1999, and goes to the past and future when it pertains to the events or characters. The author describes her dramatic and colorful characters as complex and complicated. I love that this novel mentions music in so many way and that the author vividly describes the scenery and landscape in such a mesmerizing and artistic way. The author also is a great storyteller and ties all these characters, events, art, and music together. This is a novel with secrets, mystery, deceptions, mirrors, and smoke screens. The author describes the importance of family, forgiveness, second chances, love, and hope. Jackie Pierce feels like she is going back in time when she revisits her famous deceased musician uncle’s property that she has inherited. Some of her most memorable thoughts come from the time when she first visited and so wanted to belong. Now she is confronted with the task of possibly selling the property with magnificent waterfalls and hidden treehouses. Jackie’s deceased Aunt wanted a tribute through music dedicated to her Uncle. A former neighbor has the responsibility of completing this task. The music reminds Jackie of a time filled with constant music, bonfires, musicians, and fans idolizing her Uncle. Jackie bonds with her cousin, and writes many things in a diary, which seems to be lost. Her cousin disappeared and declared dead. This spectacular family land represents creativity, love, and loss. Jackie has to decide what she is looking for. I would highly recommend this creative novel to others.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susan Peterson

    Lady Sunshine is more than a story to read and enjoy—it is a story you will LIVE and experience. I was completely and instantly transported to 1979, when Jackie exits the town car that has brought her to spend the summer with her uncle and his family. Like Jackie, I fell under the spell of the spirit of The Sandcastle, with the music, the freedom and the people who lived in the cabins, walked along the beach, hiked in the hills, and sat around the campfire. As idyllic as that summer was, there w Lady Sunshine is more than a story to read and enjoy—it is a story you will LIVE and experience. I was completely and instantly transported to 1979, when Jackie exits the town car that has brought her to spend the summer with her uncle and his family. Like Jackie, I fell under the spell of the spirit of The Sandcastle, with the music, the freedom and the people who lived in the cabins, walked along the beach, hiked in the hills, and sat around the campfire. As idyllic as that summer was, there were secrets and darkness lurking beneath the beauty and peace, things that would alter the lives of everyone who was there in the summer of ‘79. 20 years after that fateful summer, Jackie inherits the property and returns to California with plans to quickly sell it and return to her life in Boston, but when a musician shows up with hopes of paying tribute to her uncle’s music, Jackie once again finds herself transfixed and transformed by The Sandcastle and its temporary residents. This is a glorious novel, nostalgic, lyrical, and clever, with shifting emotions and revelations that took my breath away. This book resonated with me on a deeply personal level; perhaps because I was a teenager in the 70’s, but mostly because I was thoroughly involved in the lives of Jackie, Willa, Shane, and the rest of the characters who were brought to life in this book. Lady Sunshine is going to linger in my thoughts and my heart for a long time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carmel Breathnach

    I'm a big fan of Amy Mason Doan's work. She writes beautiful novels with memorable characters, set in unique locations. I particularly loved the setting for this book & if you want to be transported back to 70's sunny, California, you will too! Throughout the story we meet musicians, song-writers, tree-lovers, hippies & free spirits, all unique & complex individuals. The author does a wonderful job as always, creating realistic, endearing characters and a story so compelling I couldn't put the b I'm a big fan of Amy Mason Doan's work. She writes beautiful novels with memorable characters, set in unique locations. I particularly loved the setting for this book & if you want to be transported back to 70's sunny, California, you will too! Throughout the story we meet musicians, song-writers, tree-lovers, hippies & free spirits, all unique & complex individuals. The author does a wonderful job as always, creating realistic, endearing characters and a story so compelling I couldn't put the book down. Along with Jackie I particularly enjoyed Bree, one of the minor characters, who is a successful & talented singer. There's so much beauty in these pages, I suggest you keep your eye out for Lady Sunshine in June when it comes available. It's going to be a perfect summer read! https://Instagram.com/booksteaandglut...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    I would like to file a petition to make it illegal to have all these amazing-sounding books come out while I'm desperately trying to wrangle my to-read list I would like to file a petition to make it illegal to have all these amazing-sounding books come out while I'm desperately trying to wrangle my to-read list

  15. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 Love the title and cover. My hope was this would be a lighter but not sappy read. Needed a little sunshine in my life. For the most part it met and in parts exceeded my expectations. A nostalgic read as well, taking me back to summers spent with my cousins. For Jackie, it would be a different summer, a time so unlike her life with her father and recent step mother. Time spent with her cousin Willa and her uncle, a musician of past fame who was now living on this compound, trying to bring his 3.5 Love the title and cover. My hope was this would be a lighter but not sappy read. Needed a little sunshine in my life. For the most part it met and in parts exceeded my expectations. A nostalgic read as well, taking me back to summers spent with my cousins. For Jackie, it would be a different summer, a time so unlike her life with her father and recent step mother. Time spent with her cousin Willa and her uncle, a musician of past fame who was now living on this compound, trying to bring his music back. Days spent hiking, camping, swimming, meeting people, bonfires at night. Yet, behind this idyllic facade there is a darkness and summers end would bring tragedy. Years later, Jackie is left to try to come to terms and finds answers to the questions left from that time. Once again music will flow, albeit with a different set of people. Loved all the music mentioned in this, the subtle mystery and a reminder of a time gone by. Read with Angela and Esil. Good discussions as always. ARC from Edelweiss.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Travel.with.a.book

    Amy is at the top of her game, every Year she releases a book I know that my Summer will get much better reading her book! Amy's writing is always so lyrically entertaining with a captivating and thrilling story, her newest book Lady Sunshine is clever, endearing that merges dramatic and thrilling details, stacked with attractions. The author has blended some fascinating elements to bring us an epic and magnificent book with incredible characters and a compelling prose. . Lady Synshine is absolute Amy is at the top of her game, every Year she releases a book I know that my Summer will get much better reading her book! Amy's writing is always so lyrically entertaining with a captivating and thrilling story, her newest book Lady Sunshine is clever, endearing that merges dramatic and thrilling details, stacked with attractions. The author has blended some fascinating elements to bring us an epic and magnificent book with incredible characters and a compelling prose. . Lady Synshine is absolutely a sophisticated novel that merges humour, mystery, romance and music, it shines with an incredible voice and a blistering, sincere and deeply human story about fierce female friendship! Amy has created a vibrant plot filled with a tale of secrets that are about to be unfolded and the details put within the chapters were mind-blowing in a perfect performance, great dialogue and fabulously interesting characters! . The book is set in Northern California and San Francisco, and it follows two different timelines that are connected in such an intriguing and thoughtful way, a remarkable longtime friendship in an engaging and engrossing setting! This is hands down my favourite book from Amy even though her previous ones were also 5/5 books this one stands because of the poignant and special lyrical prose and it includes some powerful topics that Amy has elaborated in a compelling rich manner! The story takes place over two summers twenty Years apart, the mysterious and torn apart events will change everything in an entertaining, painful and atmospheric setting, this was so different from Amy but I LOVED every chapter and every line and I highly recommend you to read it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julie Clark

    Amy Mason Doan dazzles in this epic story of a family torn apart by secrets, only to be stitched back together again by forgiveness. Haunting and vivid, LADY SUNSHINE is a story about familial love, loyalty and redemption. Like her previous novels, Mason Doan has created layered and complex characters and an evocative setting that transports the reader to a time and place that sparkles with detail. The Sandcastle — and the people who live there — will stay with me for a long time.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    This story is awash with summer, reminding me of those summers of childhood where the season seems endless when school's out, but time suddenly speeds up as the number of carefree sunny days dwindles with the new autumn lesson term looming. Jackie Pierce and her cousin Willa are not children this particular summer; they are 17 when the story begins and Lady Sunshine is a story of a summer where everything changes. Twenty years later Jackie returns to the place she left behind, along with her memo This story is awash with summer, reminding me of those summers of childhood where the season seems endless when school's out, but time suddenly speeds up as the number of carefree sunny days dwindles with the new autumn lesson term looming. Jackie Pierce and her cousin Willa are not children this particular summer; they are 17 when the story begins and Lady Sunshine is a story of a summer where everything changes. Twenty years later Jackie returns to the place she left behind, along with her memories of friendship, love and loss. It’s 1979, and Jackie is spending her last summer of high school at The Sandcastle, the home of her Uncle Graham, a 1960s famous folk singer. Jackie, glad to be escaping from the conformist life she usually follows with her father and stepmother, enjoys the free-spirited circle of artists, musicians and friends that knocks about her Uncle Graham's at The Sandcastle on the California coast. That's when she meets her cousin, Willa. Twenty years later, Uncle Graham is long dead, as is her cousin Willa. Jackie inherits the house, the grounds, the studio and all the memories they all left behind. She’s back for one final summer, the summer of 1999, to pack everything up and sell The Sandcastle. She decides to lengthen her stay when she finds out that her estranged aunt promised an up-and-coming producer he could record a tribute album to her Uncle Graham at The Sandcasle's studio. This is such a fantastic summer read! I could feel the heat of the long-ago summer and hear the sound of the rolling surf so richly described by Amy Mason Doan. The story ambles along at a steady pace, building slowly at the beginning, then once the end of both summers, 1979 and 1999 are on the horizon, the pace picks up as Jackie in her identity of a young woman and then when she is twenty years older, relives the bittersweetness of the remaining days. I enjoyed the air of mystery that has a major presence throughout the story as much as the complex, nuanced characters. Waiting to discover what that mystery thing might turn out to be added intrigue to this compelling tale. When Jackie finally faces her issues and the past head-on, it facilitates a marvellous ending for this whole emotional journey. Very highly recommended. A special thank you to Graydon House and the author for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request, received via NetGalley. This review is my unbiased opinion.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    Lady Sunshine , Amy Mason Doan's newest novel, is a beautifully written, nostalgic story of friendship and family secrets. The summer Jackie was 17, in 1979, she went to live with her musician uncle at The Sandcastle, his sprawling, campground-like, coastal estate in California. Friends, acolytes, and fellow musicians would flock there and live a bohemian lifestyle in the cabins and on the grounds, bringing and finding merriment, love, and musical inspiration. Jackie took all of this in earnest Lady Sunshine , Amy Mason Doan's newest novel, is a beautifully written, nostalgic story of friendship and family secrets. The summer Jackie was 17, in 1979, she went to live with her musician uncle at The Sandcastle, his sprawling, campground-like, coastal estate in California. Friends, acolytes, and fellow musicians would flock there and live a bohemian lifestyle in the cabins and on the grounds, bringing and finding merriment, love, and musical inspiration. Jackie took all of this in earnestly, marveling at the coastal beauty of the estate and the love and intensity her uncle radiates. She becomes fast friends with her free-spirited cousin Willa, and each shares their unique life experiences with the other. It’s an idyllic summer until one fateful moment ends it all, and Jackie leaves abruptly as Willa vanishes. Twenty years later she gets the surprise of her life when she learns she has inherited The Sandcastle, despite not having set foot there since 1979. As she plans to get the compound ready to be sold, the process of packing reawakens memories and reopens questions about the past. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Jackie, her estranged aunt had agreed before her death to let a music producer create a tribute album to her uncle and produce it at The Sandcastle. While she is first reluctant to share the space, his presence, and that of his musicians and their families, rekindles the spirit of those days of Jackie’s youth. How reliable are our memories? How indelible are the friendships and relationships we form as teenagers? How much can the trajectory of our lives change in an instant? Lady Sunshine addresses these questions in a story that feels nostalgic and yet timeless in many ways. I’m not one of those people who reads books based on seasons but this really was a great summer read. Amy Mason Doan's imagery is particularly evocative and gorgeous, and this is definitely a book I’d love to see on the big or small screen someday. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kendall

    Lady Sunshine is a story about family love, loyalty, and growth. Like her previous novels, Doan has created layered and complex characters with a beautiful setting in this dazzling story. It's an evolving coming of age story that's provocative, powerful, and beautiful. I loved the dual timelines exploring the 70's to the 90's. Doan is an inspiring storyteller and I look forward to seeing what she comes out with next. A book that is definitely needed on your tbr. 4/5 stars Thank you to the publishe Lady Sunshine is a story about family love, loyalty, and growth. Like her previous novels, Doan has created layered and complex characters with a beautiful setting in this dazzling story. It's an evolving coming of age story that's provocative, powerful, and beautiful. I loved the dual timelines exploring the 70's to the 90's. Doan is an inspiring storyteller and I look forward to seeing what she comes out with next. A book that is definitely needed on your tbr. 4/5 stars Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Amy Mason Doan is a natural storyteller and I enjoy reading her novels. I think she outdid her previous two with Lady Sunshine. I was worried that it was going to be another rock and roll biopic complete with lots of drugs and alcohol. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the angle with which she approached the combination of 1970s and famous musicians. I liked the parts that took place in 1979 a lot. Amy really captured the feel of that time period. Given I was too young to appreciate that ye Amy Mason Doan is a natural storyteller and I enjoy reading her novels. I think she outdid her previous two with Lady Sunshine. I was worried that it was going to be another rock and roll biopic complete with lots of drugs and alcohol. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the angle with which she approached the combination of 1970s and famous musicians. I liked the parts that took place in 1979 a lot. Amy really captured the feel of that time period. Given I was too young to appreciate that year, it was nice to live it through Jackie's eyes. I enjoyed seeing her friendship with Willa develop throughout the story. I also liked the combination of music and setting to bring the story to life even more. While the 1999 parts were also well told and interesting, they didn't give off a strong feel for the time period as much as the 1979 parts did. I also wish the characters didn't say what actually happened in 1979 so that I could be more surprised about how things unfolded during those parts. (If they referred to something that had already happened, that was okay.) Overall, this is an idyllic look at a simpler time, even though it had its own complex issues. I recommend checking it out when it publishes this summer! Movie casting ideas: Jackie (1979): Danielle Rose RussellJackie (1999): Chyler LeighWilla: Ellery SprayberryGraham: Eric StonestreetAngela: Jane KrakowskiShane: Chris WoodPaul: Josh LawsonBree: Gwyneth Paltrow

  22. 5 out of 5

    Corina

    I really enjoyed this one. Love books about the music industry (thanks to Daisy Jones), and this one gave me the all the flower power vibes, some family drama, and in the end it was a really well written and enthralling novel. Full review: I love this genre!! The Rock’n’Roll area, the flair of the 70s, summer vibes, music, and people just enjoying life. Ever since Daisy Jones & the Six I’ve come across books that channel this vibe very well. I just recently read MARY JANE, also a novel set in the 7 I really enjoyed this one. Love books about the music industry (thanks to Daisy Jones), and this one gave me the all the flower power vibes, some family drama, and in the end it was a really well written and enthralling novel. Full review: I love this genre!! The Rock’n’Roll area, the flair of the 70s, summer vibes, music, and people just enjoying life. Ever since Daisy Jones & the Six I’ve come across books that channel this vibe very well. I just recently read MARY JANE, also a novel set in the 70s and fell in love all over again. LADY SUNSHINE was my first book by this author, and I enjoyed it all, story, characters and voices. The story was told in flashbacks, which were actually really well done. The present time even included a romance which I loved. Although this story wasn’t as memorable for me as MARY JANE it was nevertheless captivating and I finished the audio in just a couple days. The book turned out to be a great summer read. A mystery, with some family drama, great story telling, with wonderful characters, and a heartwarming friendship between cousins. The setting was the Northern California coast which brought up fond memories, and the music and beach vibes had me longing for an era that is long gone. I love it when a book can transport me into a different time period easily with vibrant images and great storytelling. I can only recommend this audiobook/book. It was an easy and charming read, well narrated and just the right genre for a breeze summer day. ___________________________________ You can find me on my blog and on Bookstagram

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amy Doan

    Look forward to sharing this book with you on June 29, 2021. Thanks for your support and hope reading is a comfort during this strange time. xoAmy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: December 7, 2020 Publication date: June 29, 2021 When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is once again closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from Date reviewed/posted: December 7, 2020 Publication date: June 29, 2021 When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is once again closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. AN IMAGINATIVE NOVEL OF FAMILY, MUSIC, AND SECRETS—SET AGAINST THE DAZZLING SPIRIT OF 1970S CALIFORNIA 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. Amy Mason Doan is an excellent writer and this book did not disappoint - it is a level and utterly readable novel that will delight you. Great story, fascinating characters and a few secrets make it for a delightful book that I will recommend to friends, patrons and book clubs alike. A great book to take to the beach, but sit under an umbrella as you will lose track of time and get a massive sunburn ... also great for the porch or backyard. As I watch the snow tumble down, it feels weird to write that but this book does not come out seven months! As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🧁🧁🧁🧁🧁

  25. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    Lady Sunshine is part coming of age story, the endearing and heartbreaking moments that come with it, and part story of loss, the loss of loved ones and of innocence. The story is told using a dual timeline, 1979 and 1999. Both time periods were done very well. I felt especially engaged in the ‘79 storyline. There is a playlist on Spotify with some of the music enjoyed throughout the story and it was a great way to really immerse yourself in the setting and time period. This is the second novel Lady Sunshine is part coming of age story, the endearing and heartbreaking moments that come with it, and part story of loss, the loss of loved ones and of innocence. The story is told using a dual timeline, 1979 and 1999. Both time periods were done very well. I felt especially engaged in the ‘79 storyline. There is a playlist on Spotify with some of the music enjoyed throughout the story and it was a great way to really immerse yourself in the setting and time period. This is the second novel that I’ve read by Amy Mason Doan and I could see her becoming a go to, especially when looking for that specific type of story. Highly recommend.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karin F. Reed

    This book. This book!! Mason-Doan has quickly become one of my favorite authors, and I was really happy to get early access to an e-copy of her latest, Lady Sunshine. As someone who has read both of her earlier books multiple times I was a little nervous that this one wouldn't live up to my expectations, but it did, and then some. I think it might now be my favorite of the 3. It's a stunner of a book, and I don't just mean the gorgeous 1970's-inspired cover. Mason-Doan has a way of teasing out de This book. This book!! Mason-Doan has quickly become one of my favorite authors, and I was really happy to get early access to an e-copy of her latest, Lady Sunshine. As someone who has read both of her earlier books multiple times I was a little nervous that this one wouldn't live up to my expectations, but it did, and then some. I think it might now be my favorite of the 3. It's a stunner of a book, and I don't just mean the gorgeous 1970's-inspired cover. Mason-Doan has a way of teasing out details of a plot at just the right time so you don't want to put the story down. Within a page, I HAD to know what happened to Jackie as a rich and suffocated teenager back in '79, when she was sent to live with her free spirited cousin and her extended hippie family in Northern California, and what would happen to her and her surprise musical houseguests when she was summoned back as an adult in 1999. The story of Jackie, Willa, Graham and the rest seems sunny on the surface, but there is mystery and heartache alluded to just below from the beginning, and it builds to a totally unexpected but satisfying conclusion with several twists along the way. The period details are nailed here, too. From 70s clothing to language to music, it feels authentic and transportive. If you are drawn to beautiful writing, expert plotting, escapism, and characters who feel completely real and will genuinely tug at your heart, this book is for you. My book club will certainly be reading it next summer. 5 very enthusiastic stars Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advance electronic copy of this novel.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Booksandchinooks (Laurie)

    AMAZING BOOK ALERT!! I have loved Amy Mason Doan’s previous books and Lady Sunshine was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I LOVED this book!! I actually went into this one with no idea what it was about. All I knew was that it was a book of Amy’s and that meant it was an auto read for me. The story takes place over two summers twenty years apart. Both time periods were exceptionally written and the characters were complex and engaging. I was hooked from the first chapter and the myst AMAZING BOOK ALERT!! I have loved Amy Mason Doan’s previous books and Lady Sunshine was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I LOVED this book!! I actually went into this one with no idea what it was about. All I knew was that it was a book of Amy’s and that meant it was an auto read for me. The story takes place over two summers twenty years apart. Both time periods were exceptionally written and the characters were complex and engaging. I was hooked from the first chapter and the mysteries and family secrets had a steady buildup until the end. I loved everything about this book! If you are looking for a great summer read be sure to pick this one up! 5⭐️ . Thank you @kccpr @amymasondoan for my free review copy! Pub Date June 29, 2021.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This was such a perfect summer listen, there’s family drama, a mysterious element, a free spirited beachy setting and lots of drama. There’s a dazzling and magical quality here that was conveyed perfectly by the narrator

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Behring

    What a beautifully written book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    wellreadtraveler

    I am a huge fan of Amy Mason Doan and if you know me well, I’m a huge hippie at heart. This book had all the bohemian feels and reminded me of my summers spent visiting my cousin in Santa Cruz. Riding our bikes to the store, taking the bus to the beach, being young and just living life! I loved Lady Sunshine and it’s the perfect summer read to take you back to summers of your youth. ☀️ Jackie is looking forward to her summer on the California coast. She’s never met her Uncle or her Cousin but 10 I am a huge fan of Amy Mason Doan and if you know me well, I’m a huge hippie at heart. This book had all the bohemian feels and reminded me of my summers spent visiting my cousin in Santa Cruz. Riding our bikes to the store, taking the bus to the beach, being young and just living life! I loved Lady Sunshine and it’s the perfect summer read to take you back to summers of your youth. ☀️ Jackie is looking forward to her summer on the California coast. She’s never met her Uncle or her Cousin but 10 weeks in Humboldt County is better than going to France with her dad and new stepmother. The Sandcastle is a place for artists,musicians, and creative minds to crash and just be their free selves. Jackie will spend the summer getting to know her Cousin Willa and discovering who she is, try new things and grow as a person.So much will change in such a short time and none of it will be good. 1999 Jackie never imagined returning to The Sandcastle after her stay 20 years ago. The house,the land,everything was left to Jackie and she must go back to prepare the house to be sold.The quicker she can get out the better. So much saddness and unanswered questions.... every room feels suffocating. This trip will be nothing like she thought, and everything she didn’t know was possible.

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