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Jul 12

Review: Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer

Posted on July 12, 2017 at 4:08 PM by Elizabeth Land

The most difficult books to review are those that don't fit into an easily-defineable category. But very often, these stories are the ones that turn out to be the most worthwhile to read. Part love story, part science fiction epic, part domestic drama, Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer is one of those novels.


ShineShineShine by Lydia NetzerSunny and Maxon, two outcasts looking for connection, meet as children and fall in love. Twenty years later, after marrying and having an autistic son, Sunny fights for the normalcy she believes her son needs by building a picture-perfect life in Norfolk, VA. Sunny has made herself into the perfect mother and housewife, but Maxon, despite being a genius, still struggles to interact with other people. But now Maxon has agreed to go to space to help program the robots who will build man's first colony on the moon. Feeling abandoned by Maxon, Sunny struggles to successfully deal with a second pregnancy, her son's autism and her mother's worsening health.

When a car accident reveals the holes in their picture-perfect world and Maxon's rocket suffers potentially catastrophic damage, Sunny must embrace the messiness of life if she is going to put her family back together. Skillfully weaving present-day drama with flashbacks of how Sunny and Maxon entered each others' lives, Netzer has built a unique love story, a space adventure with robots, and a shining novel of love, death, and what it means to be human.

Shine, Shine, Shine is about many things, including self-acceptance, love, end-of-life choices, humanity, robots, and space colonization, that it is difficult to name them all. Anyone can pick it up and find something that will fascinate them. That is one of the reasons it was chosen as this year's Tidewater Reads selection.

Tidewater Reads

Tidewater Reads is a literary collaboration between the public libraries of Chesapeake, Gloucester, Hampton, Yorktown, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach, and the Suffolk Art League. The goal of Tidewater Reads is to promote the value of reading and to build a sense of community by engaging the residents of Hampton Roads in talking about the same book at the same time. Participating organizations have selected the novel, "Shine, Shine, Shine" by Norfolk author, Lydia Netzer. During the month of September, there will be a variety of programs offered by each organization related to the novel book discussions, movies, art exhibits, panel discussions and more.

The program will kick off with the Tidewater Reads Launch Party at the Virginia Air & Space Center on Aug. 26! The first 200 attendees will receive a FREE copy of Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer. Enjoy Virginia Air & Space Center exhibits and meet author Lydia Netzer. Entry into the event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Get your free ticket by registering on the Tidewater Reads Launch Party Eventbrite page.

Events at Tabb Library

All events will be held in the Meeting Room at Tabb Library, 100 Long Green Blvd., Yorktown, VA. For more information, call 890-5120 or visit our online event calendar.

  • 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016: Tabb Library will host an Adults Just Wanna Have Fun coloring and LEGO event. Let your inner child out and connect with others at this adults-only program. Color space-themed pages, or build LEGO creations inspired by "Shine, Shine, Shine" to enter in a regionwide contest.
  • 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016: Skywatchers Club will present “Exploring the Night Sky.” Marilyn Ogburn and other members will help you start to explore the night sky, to have fun and perhaps to make contributions as a “citizen scientist,” with special emphasis on Earth’s Moon.
  • 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016: Dr. Mike Cooney, an electrical engineer in the Engineering Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center, will discuss what it will take for humanity to move into space and why NASA has chosen to focus on Mars in its space colonization goals.
  • 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016: Lydia Netzer, the author of “Shine, Shine, Shine,” will discuss how she uses science in her writing and the role of science fiction in storytelling today. Don’t forget to bring your copy of the book to get signed!
  • 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016: Richmond-based storytelling duo Two Tellers Telling will present the “Stories in our Skies,” which takes you on a tour of the heavens as seen and told through the stories created by people across time and space.
  • 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016: will screen “The Martian,” the sci-fi hit that saw astronaut Mark Watney fight to survive after being stranded on Mars during a NASA mission. Popcorn and drinks will be provided.

The York County Public Library has copies of Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer in regular print, large print and audiobook formats. To reserve your copy today, visit our online catalog or call the reference desk at 890-5120.