Saluting the Sun
by Mary Hutchings Reed

"'Your address?' librarian Judith Scott asked, friendly enough at first.... 'Tree house, Third Oak Up from the Second Downstream Bend in Farmer Jones' Creek, Prairie du Chien,' she said proudly."

The book is set on a collision course for two cousins, Nevaeh Thera, a college graduate, petty thief, and street performer who plays a glass harmonica and wine glasses, to meet up with Dawn Ann McKnight, a TV meteorologist, and her slacker photographer husband, Derek. Life intercedes prior to their contact—Nevaeh (Heaven spelled backwards)—moves around the country, first living with her boyfriend Tray and her pet rat Tara. When Tray decides to leave and join the establishment, Nevaeh moves to New Orleans and hooks up with Phil, another street artist. Meanwhile, Dawn Ann is suffering from the pangs of beauty in a field where she must shine—literally and figuratively—as a meteorologist, while dealing with her lazy, narcissist husband. But wait, she is also a narcissist and the child of two psychiatrists which is enough to make even the strong crazy.

A whimsical story with a message, Saluting the Sun is a fun read with the uniqueness of the flawed characters, who are charming in their quirks. Somewhat of a throw-back to the 1960's flower children with Nevaeh's character, life is one of fun, few responsibilities, and pleasure, until she is traumatized and seeks out her cousin. However, Dawn Ann's life is full of responsibilities and bringing her cousin into her home adds another stressor to her life. Ongoing trauma is also in the picture for the cousins and this is compassionately revealed by the author. The book is well-written, and the story line easy to follow. A light read yet it offers readers' insights into the human condition, love and hate, addictions and codependency, and abuse. How do the women cope in their various relationships with men and the relationship with each other and female friends? In the end, both Nevaeh and Dawn Ann find ongoing ways to salute the sun and life, healing through trauma and recognizing the importance of female friendships.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home