Laura Dave is a rare breed of human. Upon first meeting her, she feels familiar, like an old friend you just haven’t seen in a while. The more you get to know her, the more you find out just how authentically kind, thoughtful, and inquisitive she is.
She is naturally curious about those around her and has a knack for remembering personal details like your coffee order, the area of town you’re apartment hunting in, the name of your friend you mentioned one time or the kind of bread you prefer on your sandwich.
In fact, if remembering your food preferences and tiny details was a love language — arguably, for me it is — Laura is fluent in it, never missing an opportunity to make someone feel special, whether she realizes it or not.
I met Laura without knowing she was a best-selling author (her humility rivals only that of her kindness). Now having read her latest book, Hello, Sunshine, I have subsequently rushed to purchase her previous novels, including Eight Hundred Grapes and The First Husband.
Why? Because her writing is every bit as brilliant as she is. So let’s talk Hello, Sunshine.
“Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream — she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.
And then she gets hacked.”
Hello, Sunshine is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age.
It tells the story of Sunshine Mackenzie, a culinary Youtube star, who seems to have a perfect life: a loving, devoted husband, enviable Tribeca apartment, flourishing career, and legions of fans. The only problem is she’s built it all on a house of cards.
One that comes crashing down the morning of her thirty-fifth birthday.
After a hard fall from grace, Sunshine is left to pick up the pieces of her shattered existence. Broke, exposed, and shunned by friends and colleagues alike, she must now learn to decipher what actually matters, and she may be surprised to find out it’s not what she thinks it is.
Can she once again earn the trust of those who used to believe in her? What happens when you create a life you no longer fit into? Where do you go when you can’t go home? When you’ve spent years lying to everyone, including yourself, how do you find your way back to what’s real?
“Because no one becomes terrible all at once. It happens in very small increments.”
This book revolves around a few of my favorite things; New York, good food, the bond of family, and adventures in authenticity. If you’re anything like me, and you happen to enjoy wry humor, vivid imagery, and witty conversations, you’ll find it impossible to put down.
Though it’s a light, quick read, Hello, Sunshine raises important questions about our society as it is today. With everyone, famous or not, carefully constructing their public perception, sometimes the line between reality and fiction gets inadvertently blurred. Even in our own minds.
Who are we without all the follows and likes? Who would we be if we weren’t busy worrying about what other people think? What does it matter if you gain the whole world but lose yourself in the process?
Some could argue that Sunshine is a character that doesn’t deserve redemption, after all, she reaps what she sows. Personally, I don’t think there’s anyone you can’t love when you know their story, and she is no exception. I found myself rooting for her the whole way.
PS: you’ll soon be able to fall in love with Hello, Sunshine on the big screen. Laura’s book is being made into a feature film.
It’s an honor for me to have Laura kicking off the lately section of love lulu by giving us a peek into her life, as of late. See below for our Q&A, lately with Laura Dave.
Would you like to win an autographed copy of Laura’s book Hello, Sunshine? Sign up for the love lulu email list here and you’ll be automatically entered to win. Contest ends 8/25 and is limited to U.S. residents.
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