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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
If you ever felt protective of your siblings, then Stand a Little Out of My Sun by Angelyn Christy Voss will resonate. It is a novel that will persuasively immerse you in the power of love, redemption, forgiveness, and the immigrant experience. Set in the East Side of Chicago during the 1950s, this third-person narrative tells the story of Sophie Poulos. The story opens in 1981, where Sophie, as a kindergarten teacher, is reminded of a boy who was very close to her, and the story goes back to 1956 as she recalls the past. Sophie’s family is no different from other families that have their share of domestic issues. Because of this, she wants to live with her grandparents. But her younger brother, Niko, looks up to their father and enjoys helping in his dad’s work as a car mechanic. However, their father is a con man engaged in illegal dealings, and he recruits Niko into his shady operations. Such an enterprise has a way of turning the tables, and this will test how far Sophie can protect her little brother.
One of the novel’s attractions is its Greek context. Angelyn Christy Voss has written a compelling drama based on her early upbringing in the same story setting and unfolds the colorful tapestry of her Greek-American family. She uses her Greek heritage as an effective tool to demonstrate the untold side of the Great American Dream. Another fascinating aspect of this story is the impressive female characters that are instrumental in keeping the storyline engaging. Voss puts her heart into truly dramatic and compelling writing concerned with identity and social issues. Her prose combines love and resistance reflected in how her characters handle a family tragedy. Stand a Little Out of My Sun is an absolute must-read for anyone who loves good literary fiction about identity and family.