In Laura Dave's latest addictive work of fiction, Hello Sunshine, she explores how we exist in a truthful way when we are exhibiting so much of our lives online and through social media. Dave wanted to explore that idea further, so she created an online culinary celebrity, dubbing her as a 'modern day Ina Garten'. Sunshine Mackenzie was living the dream as a Internet sensation culinary star with millions of fans, a line of best selling cookbooks, a possible FoodNetwork show on the way, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor. And then the unthinkable happened, Sunshine got hacked, revealing all her secrets about herself and her business. Her fall from the top is especially catastrophic as she loses her husband, show, fans, and her apartment. Sunshine is forced to face her demons and return to her childhood home and estranged sister to pick up the pieces of her life after it all fell apart.
Hello Sunshine is especially captivating due to the modern aspect of the story. Social media plays a huge role in the novel, and I'm sure you will recognize many of the platforms that Dave writes about! Helen wanted to know if the strong concept of self examination was Dave's intent after she started writing the book.
"It was," Dave explains. "I really wanted to think bout where we are. it's such a weird, challenging time when technology is so critical to how most people experience their daily lives and in someways its connective but in other ways its very alienating. It alienates us from our daily lives and ourselves. It's hard to be present in any moment if what you're doing is checking your phone to see whats going on, and especially if you're getting your news that way today. your sources are very compromised."
Even though the book is fiction, it has a whodunit theme that will keep you wondering who was the culprit behind Sunshine's hacking. Sunshine spends a lot of time figuring out who would want to do this to her and why. When she finds out, the novel moves into an entirely new phase!
As readers, we gobbled up Hello Sunshine faster than a box of chocolates! You will cringe at Sunshine's mistakes, laugh at her attempts at honesty, and cry with her when she gets hurt. Watching Sunshine salvage relationships even as she couldn't help herself from burning down will be thrilling and as entertaining as ever. Dave worked hard to create a relatable, likable heroine whom readers can sympathize with as well as root for. Sunshine's journey has enough surprising twists to keep the story fresh, and on the edge of your seat until the very last page.