Watch Us Shine: A Novel (Paperback)
Marisa de los Santos returns to the world of her beloved, bestselling novels Love Walked In and Belong to Me in an enthralling tale of sisterhood, sacrifice, and the enduring power of love.
“Bring me the Northern Lights.”
Cornelia Brown is reeling from a terrifying act of violence when she gets word that her mother has been badly injured in an accident. Cornelia returns to Virginia, to the house she grew up in, and in the weeks that follow, she watches her mother Ellie struggle to recover, fluctuating between her usual crisp, can-do clarity and periods of delirium during which she seems haunted by a devastating loss from her past. In grief-stricken tones, Ellie begs Cornelia to bring her the Northern Lights, and despite her confusion at this mysterious plea, Cornelia vows to do so: “She was my mother and she wanted the Northern Lights; I was her daughter and would have given her anything, anything.”
With the help of her prickly sister, Ollie, Cornelia embarks on a mission to piece together the lost years of their mother’s life: people, places, and events spanning Ellie’s late teens through her mid-twenties. Cornelia and Ollie’s quest takes them to unexpected places and into the worlds of strangers whose lives Ellie touched and irrevocably changed. As the sisters uncover truths about their mother’s life—some beautiful, some ugly, some tragic—Cornelia herself begins to heal, to forgive herself, and to find her way back home.
Alternating between two timelines—Cornelia’s story in the present, and that of the young Eleanor Campbell in the 1960s—Watch Us Shine explores the complicated bonds between sisters, the impossible demands of motherhood, and the power of human love to save us again and again.
About the Author
Marisa de los Santos is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning poet with a PhD in literature and creative writing. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with her family.
"Fans will enjoy revisiting these well-crafted characters, and readers new to Cornelia and her family will find themselves right at home. . . . This heartfelt, character-driven novel will appeal to fans of Jojo Moyes and Katherine Center." — Booklist (starred review) on Watch Us Shine
“De los Santos has a very gentle and generous perspective on Cornelia, as well as her family…the pleasant and readable prose hides a thoughtful and inquisitive soul, and the situations contained in the story bring to the forefront the history of a past era that not too many novels choose to explore…a truly rollicking ride of adventure and discovery.” — Bookreporter.com on Watch Us Shine
"A luminous exploration of wanderlust, friendship, and fire." — Entertainment Weekly on I’d Give Anything
“An engaging story about regrets and second chances.” — People on I’d Give Anything
“De los Santos’s heartfelt latest illustrates how tragedy can be overcome by love, honesty, and forgiveness. . . . Thoughtful musings, engaging dialogue, and ironic wit . . . add to the drama.” — Publishers Weekly on I'd Give Anything
“Written in gorgeous prose, I'd Give Anything is a novel about the mistakes we make, and how we can confront them and move forward.” — Popsugar
"Smart prose and sharply drawn characters set this domestic drama apart." — Library Journal on I’d Give Anything
"Marisa de los Santos has given us a true mystery, with fascinating twists, and a wonderful story of people who could be us. People who love, make mistakes, and grow.: — The Gloss