Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Little Ray of Sunshine-Lani Diane Rich

A Little Ray of Sunshine
Lani Diane Rich
NAL, $14.00
ISBN 9780451222961

Emmy “EJ” James works the early night shift at the Quik ’n’ Go as a temporary means of making some money until she feels it is time to move on as she has for the past six years living in her Airstream motor home. However, with seventeen minutes left in her shift, two customers arrive. “Springfield tells EJ that “Ponytails” needs help as her car seems to have broken down. Ponytails informs EJ her name is Jess Szyzynski and she is an angel here to help her; EJ assumes another lunatic escaped from the asylum as she is no George Bailey in need of A Wonderful Life.

Digs Greene arrives to inform EJ that his dad Danny and her mother Lilly are getting married. Emmy thinks back to when she left in the middle of the night six years ago instead of marrying Dig’s older brother Luke. Although her mother is a nasty selfish piece of work while his father is a kind widower, EJ wants nothing to do with either family. Ponytails the angel thinks otherwise. To her bewilderment EJ drives home to confront Lilly.

The two romances especially between EJ and Luke is well done, but takes a back seat to the tale of Lilly trying to persuade her daughter she has changed due to the love and caring of a kind gentle man as her daughter’s distrust of her is bone marrow deep. The whimsical story line is driven by the complex interrelationships between the cast who seem real flaws and all. Whether Jess is an angel and where the Airstream ends up parked require reading this rich family drama filled with much more than just A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE.

Harriet Klausner

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