THE SUNSHINE WHEN SHE'S GONE
THE SUNSHINE WHEN SHE'S GONE
BY THEA GOODMAN
ABOUT THE BOOK:A fresh, funny, and wisely observed debut novel about marriage—about the love, longing and ambivalence exposed when a husband takes the baby on a highly unusual outing
When Veronica Reed wakes up one frigid January morning, two things are “off”—first of all, she has had a good night’s sleep, which hasn’t happened in months, and second, both her husband and her baby are gone. Grateful for the much-needed rest, Veronica doesn’t, at first, seriously question her husband’s trip out to breakfast with baby Clara. Little does she know, her spouse has fled lower Manhattan, with Clara, for some R&R in the Caribbean.
Told through alternating points of view, The Sunshine When She's Gone explores the life-changing impact of parenthood on a couple as individuals and as partners. Thea Goodman brings us into intimacies made tense by sleep-deprivation and to losses and gains made more real by acknowledging them. Here is the story of a couple pushed to the edge and a desperate father’s attempt give them both space to breathe.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Thea Goodman has received the Columbia Fiction Award, a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and fellowships at Yaddo and Ragdale; her short stories have appeared in several journals, notably New England Review, Other Voices and Columbia. Born in New York City, she studied at Sarah Lawrence and earned her MFA from Brooklyn College, CUNY. She has taught writing at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and lives in Chicago with her husband and children. To read more about Thea Goodman, visit her "Bio" on her website HERE.
AN EXCERPT FROM THE SUNSHINE WHEN SHE'S GONE:1
Kidnap was not the right word. John had simply meant to take Clara to breakfast at the corner diner, where they had good poached eggs and were especially kind to babies. But in the end he couldn’t explain the inexorable pull, the electric thrum that made him rise from the bed, strangely untethered, and begin to shave with scalding water, or the innocence of his motive—he just wanted to be with her. He couldn’t describe the indefinite urgency that had propelled him. Yes, he took the baby with him, but she was his daughter.
Veronica had started it. She’d sat up in bed, waving a finger in protest. “She’s fine,” she’d hissed when John left to check on Clara, as he did every night. Clara slept down the hall, in a nursery with walls the color of pollen. They’d rejected bicycle yellow and lemon yellow in favor of pollen, the potent reproductive center of a flower. As he walked toward the nursery, a small vibration filled the air, the joyful tension that had tinged the atmosphere since Clara was born. The yolky color summoned, spilling warmth onto the stunned concrete floors and his cold bare feet: The baby was warm and breathing. He was sure of it. When he arrived in her room, it was pitch dark. He felt around the baseboards, searching in vain for the delinquent night-light, then stood staring down at the vague shape of the crib but saw only blackness, like the deep velvet center of a pansy. Had she been stolen?
To finish reading this excerpt, visit the Macmillan website HERE.
PRAISE FOR THE SUNSHINE WHEN SHE'S GONE:"Thea Goodman shines in The Sunshine When She’s Gone."—Vanity Fair
"A deft account of love and its sacrifices."—Marie Claire
"[An] exhausted-new-parent fantasy. . . Readers…laughed a lot."—Elle "Readers’ Prize" Pick, March 2013
"First-time novelist Goodman is a master of sustained, 'are-you-KIDDING-me?' tension as John and Veronica compete for the title of Worst Parents Ever. New parents should find validation that their own sleep-deprived insanity is normal and will pass." -- Library Journal
"A sobering tale of two people discovering what it means to be a parent."—Publishers Weekly
"Sharp, intuitive, and empathetic. . . Goodman offers a wickedly incisive take on the pressures of parenthood and the resiliency of marital trust."—Booklist
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