From the opening pages of Laura Dave’s Hello, Sunshine, I knew I wouldn’t be able to put this book down. Hello, Sunshine is like talking to a girl friend with a really good story. One of those what-had-happened-was stories. The kind of story where you know it’s all messy and your girl friend is probably in the wrong but it’s also so juicy that you don’t dare stop her to tell her about herself. That kind of really good story.
The pages flew by and so did the unraveling of Sunshine MacKenzie’s née Stephens’ perfectly curated life. Gone were her million Twitter follows, YouTube subscribers, Food Network show deal, cookbook contract (and the generous advance), her irresistible husband, and gorgeous too-good-to-be-true New York City apartment. With a few damaging tweets all aspects of her life and reputation were gone. As intimate details of her life became front page news, Sunshine began suspecting everyone of the hack … except the one person closest to her.
Her sleuthing would have to be put on hold as she scrambled to pick up the remaining pieces of her life, few as they were. With no money, no friends, and no where to go, she did what everyone does when they have nothing and no one – return home. Home for Sunshine was the Hamptons, a far cry from the down home, Southern upbringing she sold her followers on and which served as the basis for her cooking persona.
While her New York life was in shambles, her Hamptons one wasn’t in much better shape. Her sister wanted her gone from the moment she set foot on the property of their childhood home, and the tight-knit Hamptons community was fully apprised of her New York undoing.
As she plots her return, Sunshine begins to question who she had become or rather who she had been portraying herself to be. In an Instagram world where every picture seems effortless and every caption insightful, had she fooled herself into believing her life was purely the sum of her posts? The questions of the misapplications of social media recur throughout the latter half of the story as Sunshine tries to make sense of how she ended up sleeping on her sister’s couch with no money and no one in her corner. Without sounding too preachy, Hello, Sunshine presents itself as a warning of the dangers of keeping up with the Kardashians.
A quick and entertaining read, Hello, Sunshine is the perfect selection especially when you’ve run out of bad decisions to regale your girl friends with and vice versa.
PAIR IT WITH a raspberry peach prosecco and ricotta and honey toast (there are a lot of variations of ricotta toast, but I like this one with pistachios the best.).