THE SUNSHINE WHEN SHE’S GONE begins early one frigid, January morning in 2005 when a sleep-deprived new father gives his wife a rare opportunity to sleep-in; he then spontaneously flees lower Manhattan with his infant daughter for a long weekend in the Caribbean. Alternating point of view, from the husband to the wife, the book describes each of their disquieting misadventures, and explores the travails of intimacy, the transfiguring impact of parenthood and the slippery quest for happiness.




“Sharp, intuitive, and empathetic. . . Goodman offers a wickedly incisive take on the pressures of parenthood and the resiliency of marital trust.”
“First-time novelist Goodman is a master of sustained, ‘are-you-KIDDING-me?’ tension as John and Veronica compete for the title of Worst Parents Ever. New parents should find validation that their own sleep-deprived insanity is normal and will pass.”
Library Journal
“I’m writing this blurb on very little sleep, because I stayed up far too late finishing The Sunshine When She’s Gone. Thea Goodman’s novel could deprive you of sleep too. It’s suspenseful, funny, realistic, melancholy. She has captured the secret thoughts of new parents so flawlessly, I wonder if she’s installed a listening device into my brain.”
–A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and Drop Dead Healthy
“Thea Goodman has made something I would’ve thought impossible: an edge-of-your-seat narrative about parenting a small child. Her emotional investment in her characters is complete as they confront each other, themselves, and the heavy weight of new love.”
–Nell Freudenberger, author of The Newlyweds


“Thea Goodman’s astute debut novel poses the question, What if you were to step out of your imbedded life? And her discerning mind answers it with a tale of Manhattanites more inextricably bound together than they might imagine.”
–Susan Minot, author of Evening


“From its first alarming domestic scene to its far-from-inevitable, unbearably true conclusion, The Sunshine When She’s Gone is a faultless portrait of a marriage in crisis and the precarious paths we all must take to keep our lives in balance. Ever been in love? This book will shake you, jolt you, jar you, and wake you up to life.”
–Patrick Somerville, author of The Cradle and This Bright River