I got this from Penguin's First to Read program.
My Sunshine Away is the story of an Baton Rouge adolescence, as told by the 30-something protagonist, looking back on his folly. He is obsessed with the girl across the street, and she is raped at the beginning of the novel, changing both her life and his. The novel recounts life before and after for the protagonist, including other things that happen as he grows up and people enter and leave his life. His voice is strong and honest, recounting more mistakes and cringe-inducing moments than heroic ones. The writing is excellent.
I particularly enjoyed the way Walsh filled out the characters in this book. It's a long realization of a teenager that life is complicated, that adults are all dragging behind them what he calls ghosts of their past, some louder than others. He comes to the realization that we are all composed of our experiences and grown-ups, even his mother, are people too, with vulnerabilities and sorrows. The 30-something man he is reflects on how he was shaped by those experiences and by the city itself. I realize some people won't like his ruminating, but I really enjoyed it.