• Reviews of Following Sunshine

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    ~Literary Titan

    "In Following Sunshine, Niamh McAnally takes readers on an enthralling journey across diverse landscapes, from the lush jungles of Fiji to the serene beaches of Vanuatu. Through her travels—which span Nairobi, Vietnam, Saint Barthélemy, Fiji, Palau, and beyond—McAnally weaves a narrative rich in cultural insights and natural beauty. She vividly describes moments of connection with the world around her, such as participating in turtle conservation in Vanuatu or reflecting on local customs.


    The memoir is more than a mere travelogue; it’s an introspective look at McAnally’s personal growth amid life’s challenges, including dealing with loss, divorce, and financial struggles. Her expressive language enhances the narrative, painting scenes with phrases that capture the transition of seasons and emotions, like “As spring gave way to summer, daffodils and white-blossomed garlic were replaced by the bluebells of May.” McAnally also delves into profound personal topics, such as child abuse and the uncertainty of the future, integrating these themes into her travel experiences. This blend of personal history with adventure provides a compelling backdrop for reflections on broader themes such as love, loss, and the human impact on ecosystems.


    Following Sunshine resonates with those who have a zest for adventure and nature and readers interested in the introspective aspects of travel. McAnally’s narrative invites us to explore a world of vibrant landscapes and rich textures, all while engaging with her contemplations on life and culture. This book is an invitation to experience the world through the eyes of a thoughtful and resilient explorer."

    ~Cathy A.

    "Following Sunshine" not only captures the essence of McAnally's personal journey but also resonates universally, encouraging a journey of self-examination. As you turn the pages, you're invited to revisit your own childhood memories, reconsider their impact, and understand how they’ve influenced the person you’ve become.

    Through its beautiful imagery and introspective narrative, "Following Sunshine" puts you firmly in McAnally’s shoes, making her reflections feel both personal and universally relatable. This memoir is a testament to the power of storytelling in understanding ourselves and our pasts, leaving a lasting impression long after the final page is turned.”

    ~Sandy F.

    Read an advanced copy of this and LOVED it. Unexpectedly moving and heartfelt with page after page of life lessons. A genre bending memoir- travel, self help, philosophy, adventure, romance… Vivid and distinct. Read it!

    ~S.M Stevens

    Following Sunshine is a self-discovery journey and love story wrapped up in travelogue paper. Follow Niamh through her life as she seeks the careers and relationships she thinks will define her and satisfy her. But her wanderlust is strong, and it’s through travel—and ultimately, on the water specifically—that she truly finds herself. The right career and true love follow.

    If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to travel to remote, exotic locations, in particular the South Pacific, you’ll want to read this book. It’s much more fun to learn about these locales through McAnally’s true tales, which drip with flavor and sensation, than to read a dry article.

    Through her travels, McAnally uncovers important insights about what makes her tick, including the startling realization that in some ways she has been sabotaging herself as a defense mechanism against childhood trauma. Her moments of revelation are told simply and honestly and in just the right amount—not overdone or overwrought as some narrators do.

    McAnally’s writing is fluid and beautiful, as well as laugh-out-loud funny at times. 

    ~Amanda Geard

    I loved everything about Niamh McAnally's Following Sunshine, not least of all her wonderful outlook on life. To say I was inspired by this memoir is an understatement; she really has had (and continues to have) an amazing and adventurous life. Few people see all the things Niamh's seen, and even fewer have the ability to put pen to paper and record their experiences with such beautiful vividity.

    I loved so many quotes, but here are three I jotted in my notebook:

    - 'Good work, done consistently over a long period of time, never goes unnoticed.' (An overnight success after 40 years!)
    - 'Things didn’t make me happy, new places did.’ (And eventually it was a person!)
    - And finally, Niamh's reflections on ‘who am I serving?’. I’ve thought about that a lot since, in my work, and also my writing. Who am I serving? It's a nice way to look at the every day.

    A wonderful memoir I'll return to - Niamh’s sense of adventure, and her desire to always give back, has shown me that anything is possible.

    ~Cam Torrens

    This one grabbed me from the first page. Niamh McAnally’s "Following Sunshine" is a one-of-a-kind memoir of one woman’s struggle with the loss of loved ones and self-esteem, her indefatigable methods of combatting her travails with humor, and the love she finds…not just with a soulmate, but ultimately with herself.

    When she shares “I had no one left in this world who would love me unconditionally…” I had tears in my own eyes, pondering the mortality of my parents. I laughed aloud at her cultural faux pax in Hanoi, recalling the time I accidentally dropped my host mother’s underwear in the toilet on a homestay in Beijing. And the love? McAnally subtly reveals it like it so often happens…not at first sight, but through shared trials and experiences.

    A helluva adventure captured in brilliant writing. 5 Stars all around!

    ~Muriel Roos

    I loved this book, the only problem is once I started reading, it was difficult to put down. Niamh takes you on a journey of her less than perfect childhood in Ireland, and all the way through her exciting and rich travels. I felt as though I was with her on the search for new adventures around the globe. Without any spoilers, her journey has an unexpected ending, that will make you smile.

    Having read this book in just a couple of days, I am left wanting more. Hopefully Niamh is planning her next novel soon, and I will be first in line.

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