Cover Image: The Sunshine Girls

The Sunshine Girls

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Member Reviews

4 stars! The Sunshine Girls-a lifelong friendship set in the 60’s and 2019. The daughters of Betts, one of the three, learn of secrets at their mothers funeral. To find out the truth Clara and Abby take a ride down memory lane through their mothers journals. They learn to become family in more than one way.

Thank you to NetGalley,
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Three young women in the 1960"s in nursing school. Their experiences during this time stays with them for the rest of their lives. 
This book is for the readers that love how women grow through time.
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC and to the publisher Graydon House.
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This was an enjoyable read. If you like books about sisters, mother/daughter relationships, and the tough choices women often have to make, this book is for you. This is the story of two adult sisters who recently lost their mom, only to find out that she is lifelong best friends with a famous Hollywood movie star. The book is told in dual timelines. The mom's story (Betsy), who came of age in the late 60s/70s, was what drove the plot and the action throughout the book. I loved reading about her time in nursing school and visiting Kitty in Hollywood. The modern day plot was a little less exciting. For fans of historical fiction, what goes on behind the scenes in Hollywood, the strong bond between female friends.
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This book just wasn’t for me. I felt like the pacing was a little too slow and I never found myself eager to pick the book back up. It wasn’t the writing that I didn’t care for but the development of the story.
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This novel sucked me in from the beginning. I felt like I was a nursing student in 1967, as I was reading BettyKay’s sections. No one does complicated quite like Molly Fader and this is no exception. A must read.
4.5 stars
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I liked this book - fast moving plot, good characters, and fun to read.  The author did a great job with the story, plot, and setting.  Overall, I would definitely recommend!
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A refreshing novel on the Historical Novel genre list.  Not only is it the Vietnam era, the author took and spread that sense of Americana across the country. I feel this wasn't all that long ago but when you think of the innovations of the last half century--then it becomes Historical (vintage) fiction. We have played WWII out , now it is time to move on to the middle of Americana. Growing families in the suburbs. Houses full of squabbling children who grow up and move out.  A story of building friendships away from home for the first time. And true to not only lifelong friendships to family drama in any era, a funeral brings family back together.  
Highly recommended for the GenXers out there, especially if you are from the Midwest where we progressed a little slower in this Era compared to the Larger cities in the U.S.
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I switched between reading an ARC and then listening to the audiobook once The Sunshine Girls was published. This is an engaging dual-timeline novel that ticks so many boxes: secrets revealed, estranged sisters, strong female protagonists who face tremendous obstacles, and unlikely friendships that form in the midst of the Vietnam war era.
At first, I wasn't quite sure how the author was going to weave all the plot threads together, but I'm glad I kept reading and listening because the transitions between the historical timeline and the present day are seamless. The narrator is fantastic as well.
I have tremendous respect for healthcare workers, especially nurses, so I'm drawn to books that feature nurses who served in combat zones. Even if that isn't your jam, I highly recommend reading The Sunshine Girls. It's beautifully written and the characters will feel so real. I can't wait to read more by Molly Fader.
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Two sisters return home for the funeral of their beloved mother -- town stalwart and career nurse Betty Kay, who has led an exemplary life and is a pilar of the community. They are shocked when globally famous movie star Kitty Devereaux shows up to pay her respects, and appears to be a dear friend of their late mother. They want answers, and this wonderful book delivers them in the form of alternating points of view, going back to their mother's youth in the 1960s, all the way to the present. Multigenerational, historical fiction that is truly engaging. I couldn't put it down, and can't wait to recommend it.
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I was drawn to this book by the description and hoped to learn more about nursing school in the 1960's, a period I lived through. Though I am impressed that the author wrote this based on some true stories, in the end I found it disappointing in both depth and description. I simply wanted more and a lot of the story simply seemed too improbable to me. Your milage may differ.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.
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I enjoyed this book, but the ending was abrupt.  I enjoyed the past and present flood in viewpoint. I will read something else by this author.
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I really enjoyed the Sunshine Girls. It had me captivated from the beginning. It was a easy and enjoyable read. You really got to know the characters and kinda form a relationship with them. I thought it was really well done and you couldn’t predict what was going to happen next. I look forward to reading more of Mollys books.
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I really didn't know what to expect going into this novel about friendship, but it will definitely be in my top 3 books of 2022. Ms. Fader does great job of pulling you along by using a dual timeline and different POVs.  The historical fiction focuses on the period during Vietnam and the affect it has on the country. She also highlights the struggles that women faced when wanting to be more independent.

Mainly, the book is about friendships that are like family and that secrets can tear a family apart .and bring them together.
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Oh how I loved this book. Heartwarming book about love and friendship through good times and bad.

Thank you NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review
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The Sunshine Girls is a story about an unlikely friendship and the lengths one would go for a friend. It mixes Hollywood glamour, family secrets, suspense and romance in a way that keeps you turning the pages. Literally by the end I could not put it down!! Told in a dual timeline and alternating perspectives format, Fader did a great job at weaving the past (1970s) and the present as well capturing the ups and downs of life during the Vietnam war. I listened to the audiobook and LOVED it. Andi Arndt is one of my favorite narrators and while I typically listen to her narrate more steamy romances, she did such an amazing job with this genre! All the characters had very distinct voices and personalities that set them apart, and I truly felt all emotions.  

Read if you like:
-Vietnam era
-Family secrets
-Estranged sisters 
-Mother/daughter stories 
-Diane Chamberlain books 


Thank you HTP for the advanced copy. Out now!
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Synopsis: Nursing school roommates BettyKay and Kitty are nothing alike, except in their desire to prove themselves as women during a time in which women are undervalued. In an unlikely turn of events, the farmer's daughter (BettyKay) and the cosmopolitan beauty (Kitty) forge a sister-like friendship, supporting each other through love, marriage, failure, and death. Fifty years later, estranged sisters Clara and Abbie are grieving their mother's death, and a famous movie star shows up at the funeral. Over the course of one emotional weekend, the women learn the shocking truth about their family that will change their lives forever. 

Thoughts: I binged this book in one day! It was completely enthralling, and I needed to know how it all ended. This story blends a variety of genres (historical fiction, women's fiction, contemporary), which will make it attractive to a wide audience of readers. While I was not necessarily "shocked" by the big reveal, Fader wrote it beautifully. I particularly enjoyed the historical fiction elements and how the female. bonds were incorporated throughout. A fantastic read to end out this year.
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the setup…
It’s 2019 and the setting is the funeral for BettyKay Beecher, a former nurse and mother of two daughters, Clara and Abbie. The sisters are grief stricken and are struggling with their own relationship with each other, growing further apart now that Clara is living in Chicago. The sudden arrival of a guest startles both of them as they don’t understand why stage and screen legend Kitty Devereaux is here in Greensboro, Iowa. When she tells them BettyKay was her oldest and dearest friend from nursing school, Clara and Abbie realize there was so much more they didn’t know about their mother. It’s especially daunting for Clara as she and her mother were at odds at the time of her death after BettyKay had shared some shocking news with her two weeks prior.

the heart of the story…
This is the story of three friends who met in 1967 when they began nursing school in Greensboro, Iowa, back when they were BettyKay Allen, Katherine (Kitty) Simon and Jenny Hopkins. The three couldn’t be more different but the bonds they created as “Sunshine Girls” transcended all else and survived over fifty years. BettyKay and Kitty were roommates and, after a rough start, each found themselves in situations that ended up forming a trust and long lasting relationship that neither knew at the time would be lifelong. Through Kitty’s visit that weekend, Clara and Abbie learn who their mother really was and are astonished at her rich and colorful history. I was enthralled by it all, taking me back to the era of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s during the Vietnam war and the turmoil of that time. But it was the improbable relationship between BettyKay and Kitty that was the magic of this story, transitioning between past and present in its telling.

the narration…
Andi Arndt is one of my favorite narrators but my experience with her is mostly in the romance genre. She delivered a wonderful performance, giving voice to BettyKay and Kitty with distinctions and personalities that fit them perfectly.

the bottom line…
There’s a richness to the story with its well developed characters against the backdrop of vivid settings and history. BettyKay and Jenny beat the odds, finished nursing school and went on to have successful careers of merit. Kitty rose from the wreckage of her own upbringing and found that success in Hollywood that she dreamed for herself. But it’s the friendship of these three women that I found magical, sustaining them for over fifty years. There’s a shocking secret that Kitty has to share with Clara and Abbie who are teetering on the edge now that the ballast that was their mother is gone. It’s life changing for them both as Kitty shares the mother they didn’t know but should embrace with their own memories. It's a wonderful story that far exceeded my expectations.
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A heartwarming story of friends and sisters and how you often can't tell the difference between the two. This story is told in two timelines with multiple points of views. In one timeline you find out about BettyKay, Kitty, and Jenny as they enter nursing school in the 1960s. In the other timeline, you meet Clara and Abbie, daughters of BettyKay, who are mourning her death and discovering there was a lot more to their mother than they ever knew. As the story unfolds, secrets are uncovered and relationships are rebuilt. This is a beautiful book to get lost in and enjoy. I couldn't put it down. I especially loved the parts focusing on nursing training, some of which I believe came directly from the author's mother. And, those buttons, what a tradition!

Trigger warnings of domestic abuse, drug abuse, abortion, and PTSD.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
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Carla and Abbie are burying their mother today. Carla can't wait to leave and get back to her corporate life because Annie will take care of everything like she always has. Then Kitty walks into the funeral and neither sister understands why this hot movie star is up at the casket crying. Lots of secrets are being kept and neither sister knows their mother like they thought they did. 
I .absolutely loved this novel of friendship, family and secrets. The author really hooks the reader with the past flashbacks and journal entries. It's no secret that I'm A huge fan of historical fiction but reading mostly world war two history can sometimes be daunting. This was definitely a nice escape from that.
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Molly Fader’s newest book gives us all those themes we really love: family drama, family secrets, female friendships, and sisterly bonds. No wonder I couldn’t put the book down.

Told in dual timelines, this is the story of a remarkable friendship between three women set in the Vietnam War era, and in present-day 2019 the strength of sisters Abbie and Clara.

Kitty, BettyKay, and Jenny met in nursing school in Iowa. Kitty was destined for Hollywood while Jenny fought the racial prejudices that kept her from becoming the doctor she dreamed of being. These three women would form a friendship that could not be broken even as they went their separate ways. They were all strong women, in their own ways.

Sisters Abbie and Clara were remarkably close when they were growing up. But as they got older, they drifted apart and let animosity settle between them. They are brought together at their mother’s funeral and are forced to deal with their past.

But at BettyKay’s funeral, a stranger walks in and changes their lives forever. Kitty, Jenny, Clara, and Abbie are brought together. Secrets are revealed, anger and hurt are aired, and all seem on the precipice of falling apart or coming together. Which will it be? Abbie and Clara will learn things they never knew about their mother and each other.

This is a character-driven story that will linger in your thoughts.
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