The Sunshine When She’s Gone
by Thea Goodman
Pub. date 3/5/13
Description: “One frigid, January morning in Manhattan, a new father, racked by sleep deprivation, decides to let his wife sleep in — then spontaneously flees lower Manhattan with the baby for a weekend in the Caribbean. It wasn’t a kidnapping, he wasn’t leaving his wife; he just wanted to spend a little time with the baby and give his wife a break. When the wife awakes, truly rested for the first time in nearly a year, she feels great — and embarks on a city adventure as misguided in its own way as her husband’s impulsive escape.”
I think all parents can relate to being so exhausted and desperately needing large amounts of uninterrupted sleep. We may have even thought up some crazy ideas to try to get that sleep, but this couple takes it one huge step further.
With some novels, I like the characters. With this one, I didn’t like them at all but I did enjoy the thought provoking adventure.
The book alternates between the perspectives of husband and wife, who probably should not have had a child – neither was ready or willing to put the needs of their baby first. The wife thoroughly enjoys her self-centered child-free life and the husband has a rough time taking care of the baby without their expensive modern conveniences. This couple probably would have had a more successful relationship had they not had a child.
The book reinforces the idea that not everyone should be a parent. For many, it’s the right choice. For others, it isn’t. It’s important to realize which type of person you are before bringing a child into the world.
The Sunshine When She’s Gone is both humorous and sad. It would be a good book to read and discuss with a book club.
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