Review: The Sun Shone Anyway by Rose Ashby

☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

Ten year-old Lucy is perpetually worried– about homework, piano lessons, and surviving the fourth grade. One seemingly normal September day, school lets out early, and everything Lucy knows is changed forever. Her parents and teachers are unable to answer her questions, the things she sees on the news frighten her, and she’s confused about why. 

Written in verse, The Sun Shone Anyway examines the events of September 11, 2001, through the eyes of our nation’s youngest. This debut novel is a coming-of-age story, set against the backdrop of one of the darkest moments in American history.



My Thoughts:

Rose Ashby’s story of 9/11 is told from the perspective of a ten-year-old New York school girl. The story is laid out in verse form. Don’t confuse that with poetry per se, as I did.

“A novel in poetry. A hybrid form, the verse novel filters the devices of fiction through the medium of poetry.”

Lucy’s story of starting the day as usual and having life take a dramatic turn brought back all the emotions of that infamous day. While reading, I remembered how I felt and what I feared. I remembered images that were shown on a continuous loop on news reports. It all came back.

Ms. Ashby’s story also made me think of my own children, and her story made me wonder how much of the day and images my children were exposed to, and at five and six years old, how much of the situation they understood.

The Sun Shone Anyway is beautifully and sensitively written. The topic is highly emotional, and Ms. Ashby gracefully balanced the fear and trepidation we all felt with a sense of future and hope. Lucy’s story is honest; the author’s writing is haunting and emotional. It is not just a remembrance of that horrible day and the aftermath, but a reminder that we survivors need to “keep on keeping on” whether for our children or just because we know the sun will shine anyway. Ms. Ashby’s story is simple and direct, but it is mighty in its message.

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