The opening chapter of M.O. Walsh’s debut novel, My Sunshine Away, deftly sets the scene of what’s to follow, a narrative that centers on a piercing event in the life a 15-year-old girl. It gets to the heart of matter quickly, opening with this stark phrase: “There were four suspects in the rape of Lindy Simpson…” Walsh re-creates 1989-era Baton Rouge, La., with rich detail, at once nostalgic and of-the-moment intimate. My Sunshine Away comes on like a Southern Gothic version of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides, which, for those not familiar with the latter, is an impressive achievement. Walsh discusses My Sunshine Away this week at Joseph-Beth.
7 p.m. Thursday. Free. Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 2692 Madison Road, Norwood, josephbeth.com.