A Little Ray of Sunshine [Book Review] @BerkleyPub #NetGalley #Adoption #WomensFiction

A Little Ray of Sunshine is a complicated family drama with a theme of adoption and a side of slow-burn romance.

A Little Ray of Sunshine by Kristan Higgins

A Little Ray of Sunshine by Kristan Higgins (cover) Image: a woman and a dog lie in a pink hammock next to the ocean

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Adoption, Family Life, Cape Cod

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My Summary of A Little Ray of Sunshine:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkelyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary e ARC of #ALittleRayOfSunshine upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Eighteen-year-old Matthew arranges a trip to Cape Cod to meet his birth mother for the first time. This is a surprise to his birth mother, who has had no contact with him, and his adoptive mother and his family. Both mothers (and families) are shocked by his actions and a great deal of drama ensues as new relationships and understandings are formed.

My Thoughts:


An adoption story begins with loss and sacrifice. It’s sobering to consider that the child placed for adoption might carry this sense of loss (in varying degrees) throughout life. I appreciate the complexities of an adoption story. And this one is well told from various perspectives: the child placed for adoption, first mother, adopting mother and father, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and friends. The author is thorough in her attention to each perspective and helps us understand emotions from all sides. It feels realistic.

Personal Connections

Stories are always better when we can make personal connections: my husband is adopted and met his birth mother and biological sister as an older adult; my sister has an adopted child, and my friend placed a baby for adoption and later adopted a daughter; an aunt placed a baby for adoption and I recently met my biological cousin for the first time. Probably adoption has touched your family as well. Exploring adoption is emotional and complicated. Although each person’s experience with adoption is different, I feel the author did a great job addressing conflicting emotions, expectations, secrecy, fear, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

Life is short. Choose love. Set a longer table!

A Side of Romance

It can be fun to have a side of slow-burn, friends-to-lovers romance in a story. In fact, I prefer substantial content with a side of romance more than a typical romance where the relationship is the only focus.

Recommending A Little Ray of Sunshine

I’m wholeheartedly recommending A Little Ray of Sunshine for fans of substantial women’s fiction with complicated family drama and hopeful endings, for readers who appreciate reading about adoption, and for book clubs (keeping content warnings in mind).

Content Consideration: unplanned pregnancy, adoption

Related: Another adoption story I enjoyed is Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

My Rating:  4  Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Meet the Author of A Little Ray of Sunshine, Kristan Higgins

Author of A Little Ray of Sunshine, Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than twenty novels. Her books have been translated into more than 20 languages and have sold millions of copies around the world. Kristan has been praised for her mix of “laugh-out-loud humor and tear-jerking pathos,” which the author attributes to a diet high in desserts and sugar-based mood swings.

Kristan’s books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Good Morning America, Kirkus, the New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, National Public Radio and Booklist. She personally responds to every reader letter she receives, even the mean ones.

Kristan is the mother of two ridiculously good-looking children and the grandmother of the world’s cutest baby. She lives in Connecticut and Cape Cod with her heroic firefighter husband, a rescue mutt and an indifferent cat. In her spare time, Kristan enjoys gardening, easy yoga classes, mixology and pasta.

To sign up for Kristan’s always entertaining newsletter, visit http://www.kristanhiggins.com.


Do you love adoption stories?
Do you have this new release on your TBR?

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  1. Wonderful review, Carol. I also enjoy a good women’s fiction story with a side of romance and adoption is a topic that always interests me. I have this on my TBR and am waiting for my library to get a copy. I do enjoy Kristan Higgin’s writing.

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