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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Little Ray of Sunshine

***** A Little Ray of Sunshine by Lani Diane Rich. Women's fiction.

Lani is one of my must-buy authors, and this is one of the reasons why.

Emmy James has been living in an Airstream, traveling around, going from job to job, state to state, moving whenever the whim strikes her--ever since she destroyed her life six years ago. She's working at a Quik 'n Go when she meets Jess, who announces that she's an angel, and that the universe has sent her to help EJ.

EJ obviously thinks Jess is a kook, but before she can decide what to do about her, childhood friend Digg shows up to invite her to the wedding of his father and her mother. EJ has a few problems with that: 1) Lilly Lorraine, EJ's mother, is selfish and cruel, 2) Danny, Digg's father, is a wonderful man and she doesn't want to see him ruin his life, 3) EJ was engaged to marry Digg's brother Luke until the implosion six years ago, 4) EJ never wants to go home again.

But Jess hooks up the trailer while EJ's sleeping, and tricks/coerces/cajoles EJ into heading for Fletcher, Oregon.

The meeting, the trip, and the wedding (or, rather, what happens when EJ arrives for the wedding) all have their effect on EJ. It's literally a journey of self-discovery.

The wonderful thing is that EJ doesn't make that trip alone--she's not the only character who grows or changes--and they all affect each other in various ways. These are fabulous, quirky characters, a little larger than life, but all the more real because of that.

I laughed, I cried, I stayed up too late reading it. I can't wait to read her next book: Wish You Were Here.

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