STARRED REVIEW
June 28, 2016

Reviving a life-changing friendship

By Deborah Shapiro
Vivian Feld lived 18 years before she felt alive at all.
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Vivian Feld lived 18 years before she felt alive at all.

Viv’s first year of college was as nondescript as her reflection in the mirror. She attended classes, completed assignments and was asked multiple times to join cults. What is it that makes me look like the kind of person who would be suckered into joining a cult? she wonders.

Though she may not have recognized it, Viv was waiting to be swept into the orbit of something bigger than herself. That’s exactly what she finds upon moving to an off-campus apartment with Andy and Lee.

Andy is an audiophile, an average guy, but Lee is a tempest, seemingly the typical bad girl waiting to corrupt Viv’s by-the-book lifestyle. She’s the daughter of the late rock star Jesse Parrish and model-then-fashion-designer Linda West. Lee doesn’t recall much of her father; she was 4 when he drove into a ravine with his mistress in the passenger seat. Jesse left behind a limited music catalog, his wife’s angst and, eventually, his daughter’s curiosity. 

In college Lee pulls both Viv and Andy toward her, feeding off their attention. But a decade later, Viv and Andy are a unit and Lee is a memory. Viv hasn’t heard from her best friend in years—until Lee resurfaces, asking for Viv’s help. Lee is determined to find the album her father was recording when he died, and she wants Viv to come along for the ride.

Chicago journalist Deborah Shapiro’s sharp, funny and engrossing debut novel, The Sun in Your Eyes, appears at a glance to be an examination of female friendship. It’s that, sure; through the juxtaposition of the women’s college days and their present-day road trip, Shapiro delves into her characters’ psyche and reveals how they shaped one another. But the novel goes deeper still, as Lee and Viv are forced to examine their relationships with everyone close to them. As they uncover the truth about the past, the friends are left to decide whom they trust and how to move forward.

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The Sun in Your Eyes

The Sun in Your Eyes

By Deborah Shapiro
Morrow
ISBN 9780062435583

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