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Shine, Shine, Shine

by Lydia Netzer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5406934,821 (3.69)38
When fabricated aspects of their picture-perfect world are embarrassingly exposed by a car accident, Sunny Mann, a woman longing for an ideal life, and Maxon, her savant astronaut husband, struggle through blame and fear before confronting realities about their deep bond.
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» See also 38 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
This book is about a bald woman, who has been dearly loved her whole life.
This book is about being an unusual child, and about being a parent of an unusual child.
This book is about living in normal house in a normal suburb with normal neighbors, who are not normal.
This book is about love.
This book is about numbers, and formulas, and robots.
This book is about stretching out blissfully naked in the sun on a large, comfortable rock.
This book is about loss, and about heartbreak, and about resilience. This book is about a rocket ship to the moon. ( )
  FinallyJones | Nov 17, 2021 |
humoan comedy/love story. autistic savant/astronaut engineer falls in love with bald girl/childhood friend. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
I couldn't get through it, as I found it too depressing. Moving on... ( )
  heatherdw20 | Jul 23, 2020 |
Fantastic. I rarely read books slowly, but this one I did, over several months. Compelling and beautiful, and actually made me cry. ( )
  liz.mabry | May 13, 2019 |
This unusual novel, Shine, Shine, Shine, features a Nobel-winning scientist, his wife who is torn between her exquisite eccentricity and her desire for normalcy, their brilliant, autistic son, and a baby on the way. The husband Maxon is clearly but cheerfully on the spectrum himself, and is the key to colonizing the moon. Somewhere around 29 years old, he is an artist when it comes to robots, making them able to cry, laugh and dream - and make more robots.

"There are three things robots cannot do: . . . Show preference without reason (LOVE) . . . Doubt rational decisions (REGRET) . . . Trust data from a previously unreliable source (FORGIVE)".

Maxon has preference without reason for childhood friend Sunny, and she reciprocates. There are some concise mathematical analyses of human behavior in the book (created by the author's coder husband and a mathematician friend), as Sunny and her brave mother Emma educate neglected Maxon on how to interface with the world. Maxon is tall, geeky and (to Sunny at least), sexy, and her congenital baldness (reminiscent of movie robots) is part of his overwhelming attraction to her.

Maxon is heading to the moon, with his robots who will build other robots and the foundation for an Earth colony. But something goes awry, and his genius will be needed if he and the crew are even to survive. Meanwhile, Sunny's mother is dying and Sunny is pregnant. Circumstances drive Sunny to rethink the life of normalcy she has created in the hope their son (and impending baby) won't experience the difficulties growing up that she and Maxon did.

In an afterword interview, the author explains, "{A}s a weirdo who is married to a weirdo and parenting two weirdos, I am saddened by our modern need to make sure everyone fits in, and functions smoothly, and checks all the necessary boxes. Some amazing and brilliant people do not, and never will, fit in."

The novel celebrates the beauty and challenges of not fitting in, and reflects on the desire to be normal, and the bravery needed to be just who you are. I loved it. Not quite 5 stars - the structure was a little jumpy for me in places - but close. ( )
4 vote jnwelch | Jul 31, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
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When fabricated aspects of their picture-perfect world are embarrassingly exposed by a car accident, Sunny Mann, a woman longing for an ideal life, and Maxon, her savant astronaut husband, struggle through blame and fear before confronting realities about their deep bond.

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Average: (3.69)
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