In her debut novel, Lydia Netzer gives us the improbable and wildly eccentric love story of a couple lodged in their own orbit.
Maxon Mann, a brilliant if socially inept astronaut, is off in space to colonize the moon with self-replicating robots, leaving Sunny, his beautiful pregnant wife, and his son, Bubber, back on earth. In the cozy suburbs of Norfolk, Virginia, Sunny has constrained herself to fit into the rigid model of the ideal wife (think Stepford without the sinister overtones). She leads the perfect existence — that is, until a routine drive to drop off her son at school ends in a sudden collision. The accident is the start of an unexpected series of events: We learn that Sunny, with her flawless sun-kissed locks, is actually bald; Bubber’s behaviour begins to cause alarm, and a wayward meteor hits Maxon’s rocket. From the ensuing wreckage, stores within stories unfold, of dark secrets and even murders, kicking off our journey into Sunny’s self-discovery and the mystery that is Maxon.
Netzer uses this odd couple to explore the limits of love, family and what it is that makes us human and to create a tale that is utterly compelling and original.
Shine Shine Shine, $13