A Little Ray of Sunshine by Kristan Higgins
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

A Little Ray of Sunshine by Kristan Higgins is a poignant story about love, family, motherhood, and forgiveness. It’s a 360° view of adoption, from various perspectives.

This book is part of My Summer 2023 Reading List.

My Overview

When Harlow was a freshman in college, she gave up her son for adoption. She selected the adoptive parents, but chose not to have any contact with them or her son. She did all of this without her family even knowing she was pregnant. Since then, she’s graduated from college and is co-owner of a bookstore in Cape Cod. She’s made a cozy life for herself, and has no plans for change.

Now, nearly eighteen years after the adoption, she’s surprised at her bookstore when her son (Matthew) suddenly shows up one day. As it turns out, Matthew’s not only surprising Harlow by showing up to meet her. He’s also surprising his parents and sister as well, since they had no idea the reason he picked Cape Cod as the location for their summer vacation was simply because he wanted to meet his birth mother.

The story is told in alternating perspectives, which I thought was effective in conveying each of the characters’ situations. I thought it was a good way to tackle the subject of adoption and its many facets. By the end of the story, I truly felt like I got to know the characters and their experiences. I didn’t always agree with their choices (especially Matthew’s), but appreciated being able to see everyone’s point of view in the story.

The humor fell flat for me, and some of the diversity aspects felt gratuitous and forced. However, I was so invested in the characters’ lives, that I loved the story regardless. Also, don’t be fooled by the cover; this isn’t a fluffy read. In fact, I truly don’t understand the cover image at all. It doesn’t reflect the tumultuous content of the story.

This story could be summed up as the summer of Matthew. It’s the summer that Matthew shook up two families to their core. The summer that uncovered secrets, pain, and changed the lives of everyone involved. Overall, I enjoyed this touching and heartfelt story about love, family, motherhood, and forgiveness.

My Recommendation

I’ve enjoyed other books by this author, and A Little Ray of Sunshine is no exception. I enjoyed the character development, multiple perspectives, and family-focused storyline. I highly recommend this book. I’m glad I opted for the audiobook, and recommend it too. It has multiple narrators, including Xe Sands, who does a fantastic job as the voice of Harlow.

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Other books I’ve enjoyed by this author: