Sunnyside Up

Fiction - Visionary
386 Pages
Reviewed on 03/21/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Rea Nolan Martin is the award-winning author of four novels and a collection of inspirational essays:

THE SUBLIME TRANSFORMATION OF VERA WRIGHT (2009), MYSTIC TEA (2014), THE ANESTHESIA GAME (2015), WALKING ON WATER: A Path to Empowerment (2016) and her latest novel SUNNYSIDE UP (2022).

MYSTIC TEA is the recipient of the 2014 IPPY Gold Medallion and US BEST BOOK Award for Visionary Fiction; the 2014 PINNACLE Gold Medallion in the category of Literary Fiction; and Finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards.

THE ANESTHESIA GAME is the recipient of the 5 Star Readers’ Favorite insignia; 5 Star Clarion Review insignia; 2016 IPPY Gold Medallion for Visionary Fiction; Pinnacle Gold in the category of Best Novel; and most recently, Book Viral’s first Crimson Quill Award.

A collection of her most inspirational essays, WALKING ON WATER, is a 2016 recipient of the coveted Nautilus Book Award in the category of gift and specialty books.

SUNNYSIDE UP is the recipient of the 5 Star Readers' Favorite insignia, the 2022 IPPY Gold Medallion for Visionary Fiction, and the 2022 Readers' Favorite Gold Medallion for Visionary Fiction.

Rea is the author of numerous short stories and poetry, most of which can be found in national literary magazines and anthologies. She has been a blogger for Huffpo, Sivana and Charter for Compassion; former literary magazine editor; and MAW adjunct professor.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Sunnyside Up by Rea Nolan Martin is highly original storytelling that you don’t read every day. It centers on the lives of two sisters, Adelaide and Felicity Somers, as they try to make sense of their lives after a terrible accident. The book’s title is the name of their funeral home business and chicken farm in Kentucky that Adelaide manages. Neither of them is married. Adelaide was once in a relationship with Julian Buck, but he passed away. Half the time Adelaide can’t even remember that Julian is dead. Felicity is similarly struggling to remember certain events from the past. There are those who blame Julian for his role in a tragic accident at the Red River Gorge, in which Adelaide sustained brain damage that she never overcame. Will the sisters ever remember?

It’s a highly unusual story that explores the mystery of existence and the chemistry between two sisters in which their personality quirks add to the story’s fascinating anomaly. Rea Nolan Martin makes a witty study of character. In this novel, Martin presents a blend of the fundamental nature of reality and the phenomena of life after death. This creates a larger-than-life story in which Sunnyside Up strikes a high note and has a major emotional and even spiritual impact. Reading the obituaries offers a sense of release from fear as if reminding you that we will all get there at some point. Whatever spiritual insights it dramatizes, the novel manages to present itself via earnestness in its character-driven plot. Hats off to Martin for writing Sunnyside Up with brilliant characters and exposition. It can lag at certain moments, but on the whole, remains engaging. Highly recommended.


I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The character development and nuances are masterful. Martin presents us with a very unique story that will make you pause and reflect.