Please don't take my sunshine away...

In My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh brilliantly juxtaposes the enchantment of a charmed childhood with the gripping story of a violent crime, unraveling 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.

My mother would often say things like Surely you remember the time you two fell asleep in that hammock? Surely you remember when you caught that catfish at False River? Surely you remember horseback riding with him, snug in the same saddle, at that business convention in Butte? I didn't. Listen, she'd say, Surely that pool party where he taught you to swim? No. The time you locked yourself in his car while he was washing it? Not at all. So here, here, she would say, and scramble around for the album. Let me show the pictures.

Yet the closest I ever felt to my father in the years right after he left us were the times I would walk through a department store, dragged along by my mother on a shopping trip after school, when would pass through the men's section on our way to the mall. The smell of shoe leather. Yes there was something in that. The whiff of a specific cologne. There was a memory there, too. So I would raise my head vaguely at these scents, something deep in me stirred, and look around.

I would expect nothing. And I would receive it.

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