Author: Laura Lippman
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Obtained: Bound Galley from Publisher
Publisher: William Morrow
Synopsis (from book): “One is playing a long game. But which one? They meet at a local tavern in the small town of Belleville, Delaware. Polly is set on heading west. Adam says he’s also passing through. Yet she stays and he stays – drawn to this mysterious redhead whose quiet stillness both unnerves and excites him. Over the course of a punishing summer, Polly and Adam abandon themselves to a steamy, inexorable affair. Still, each holds something back from the other – dangerous, even lethal, secrets. Then someone dies. Was it an accident, or part of a plan? By now, Adam and Polly are so ensured in each other’s lives and lies that neither one knows how to get away – or even if they want to. Is their love strong enough to withstand the truth, or will it ultimately destroy them? Something – or someone – has to give. Which one will it be?”
Thank you to William Morrow and Laura Lippman for sending me an advanced reader copy of Sunburn in exchange for an honest review! All opinions that follow are my own.
If you’re familiar with me and my blog by now, you know I try my hardest to write my own book synopses. When it came time to write one for Sunburn, nothing I wrote could come close to the original. There’s a lot of this story that isn’t included in the synopsis, which isn’t bad, but I knew I didn’t want to give ANYTHING away! Before you get all crazy, this isn’t exactly a love story. It features a little love, but there is so much more to Sunburn than a passionate love affair.
My favorite part about Sunburn was the writing style. You are given only small tidbits of information in each chapter pertaining to specific characters. Lippman writes these facts almost as if you already knew them, giving me a more inside look into the characters’ lives. I found this style very intriguing, almost like it was a narration script for a crime documentary. Lippman definitely has her own unique voice in Sunburn!
Note: Sunburn does contain graphic images of domestic violence, so read with caution.
Adam and Polly
I found Adam and Polly very endearing and pretty right for each other, regardless of their secrets and their flaws. Sunburn is written in the third person, but each chapter focuses on a different character and what that character is feeling. I could tell through the writing that Polly and Adam really did love each other despite what they were keeping from one another. So many outside characters tried to bring them down, but they are inexplicably drawn to each other. It’s a bit unrealistic, but I really enjoyed this aspect.
Right away, Adam’s character is an open book. We know and understand his secrets pretty well, but he doesn’t let Polly in on them right away. When it comes to Polly, we really don’t understand her secrets and motives until the very last chapter. I kept guessing her end game but could never figure out which direction she inevitably would end up going. I loved that Sunburn kept me guessing every step of the way!
This will probably be my shortest review, but there is SO MUCH that I want to discuss that I’m afraid of giving anything away! Sunburn really had me reading late most nights, especially since I’ve been so busy moving that I haven’t had time to read as much as usual. I read my first Laura Lippman novel last year (After I’m Gone) and, so far, I have yet to be disappointed in her work. She has a great understanding for women in dire situations, and always tries to bring out the best in them despite their own flaws. I loved this book, and if you’re interested in slower-paced domestic thrillers, then this is a go-to book for you!
Memorable Quote: “It’s a dangerous game, trying to convince someone you love him. Sometimes, the person you end up convincing is yourself.”