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The Woman in the Sun Hat

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Peggy Bubone is the envy of the Cold River, Long Island social scene: wife to a respected dermatologist, mother to two handsome children, and newly hired Literature teacher at a prestigious local high school,...before a knock on her classroom door turns her world upside down with the shocking news of her husband's arrest. With her and her children soon ostracized and homeless, she embarks on a humorous yet harrowing journey, which ultimately leads her back to her undesirable roots and, eventually, a deep dive into her own psyche.

"Daniel Damiano has written an extraordinary novel. 'The Woman in the Sun Hat' takes us on a journey from start to finish that not only invites us into the world of the protagonist Peggy Bubone, but helps us to inhabit that world with her in all its sometimes uncomfortable, emotionally challenging, earthy and ultimately invigorating glory." - Notes from the City

"5 STARS - An excellent read touching on many of life's rough realities. - A wonderful and realistic novel that keeps you wanting more. The author has done a miraculous job of telling Peggy's story and her far from perfect road to rediscovery. The chances are you won't want to put this one down until you get to the end." - The Authors Spot

"Daniel Damiano's stirring first novel not only creates a gripping tale of family disaster and deception, but he also takes on many myths of our modern life. - 'The Woman in the Sun Hat' is a novel imprinted by a distinguished voice and led by a heroine memorable for both the ordinariness and super strength of her resolve." - Sunday's Mail

"While Daniel Damiano could have turned Peggy’s tale into one of misery and desperation, he has instead crafted a humorous and uplifting story of perseverance and struggle against the odds."
- Seattle Book Review (2021 Beach Read Recommendation)

"'The Woman in the Sun Hat' is a wonderful novel. It starts out one way, and then takes a sensationally gripping turn - and we ride with it all the way. It's gripping, disturbing, wrenching and sometimes very darkly funny and completely original."
- Austin Pendleton (Tony Nominated Director, Actor and Author)

"A great read. Full of unexpected moments. I never knew what to expect from one page to the next. A beautifully written journey into a new beginning." - The Soulmate Call Podcast Review

415 pages, Paperback

First published September 6, 2021

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About the author

Daniel Damiano

8 books12 followers
Daniel Damiano is an Award-winning Playwright, Screenwriter, Poet, Novelist and Actor based in Brooklyn, NY. His plays have been performed throughout many areas of the U.S., as well as London, England and Sydney & Melbourne, Australia. His acclaimed play DAY OF THE DOG premiered with St. Louis Actors' Studio in 2013 and subsequently transferred to 59E59 in NYC in 2014. It was a 2013 St. Louis Critics Choice Best Play Nominee, and was published by Broadway Play Publishing in 2018. Other more recent productions of his work include HARMONY PARK ("4 Stars" - Detroit Free Press, with Detroit Repertory Theatre), THE LEPERS (Ensemble Studio Theatre, NYC) and his acclaimed solo play AMERICAN TRANQUILITY (which has been lauded in both NYC and Washington DC). His new play THE WILD BOAR was a 2019 Finalist for both the Woodward/Newman Award and the Janet & Bruce Bunch Award. He has been the recipient of the Christopher Brian Wolk Award for Playwriting, in addition to being a 2013 Nominee for the Pushcart Poetry Prize and a Finalist for the 2012 Arts & Letters Prize for Drama. His debut novel, THE WOMAN IN THE SUN HAT was published in March 2021 through fandango 4 Art House. His short story, "The Gift of What For" is included in Palm Circle Press' Short Story Anthology 2021. His poetry book, 104 DAYS OF THE PANDEMIC, was released in September 2021, by fandango 4 Art House. His poetry has been published in Quagmire Magazine, Curlew Quarterly, Crooked Teeth Literary Magazine, Newtown Literary Journal, New Voices Anthology, Cloudbank and HotMetal Press. His second novel is GRAPHIC NATURE, released in December 2022. In the Summer of 2022, fandango 4 Art House released PLAYS BY DANIEL DAMIANO - Volume 1, the first collection of Mr. Damiano's full-length plays ("Harmony Park", "The Golden Year" & "The Dishonorable Discharge of Private Pitts").

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5 stars
41 (73%)
4 stars
8 (14%)
3 stars
4 (7%)
2 stars
2 (3%)
1 star
1 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 35 reviews
May 12, 2021
Damiano sensitively and insightfully follows the struggles and triumphs of a woman and mother who loses everything only to wake up to her true self. The world of Peggy's journey is strewn with wit, truth, humor, and above all- love. A must read. Every reader will find moments that crystallize with their own search for meaning, validity and passion. 5 STARS! ENJOY!!
1 review
June 14, 2021
Daniel Damiano has a knack. As evidenced by others of his works, such as the plays “John Frederick Parker leaves at Intermission” (re: Lincoln’s assassination) and The Dishonorable Discharge of Private Pitts” (c.f., Abu Ghraib prison, Iraq), he can find in an otherwise secondary character within some newsworthy event the singularity for the Big Bang of an entire separate cosmos of human drama.

So it is with his first novel, “The Woman in the Sun Hat”. In Damiano’s fictional alternate universe, the otherwise very comfortable life of one Peggy Bubone, teacher and wife of a fabulously successful Long Island, NY dermatologist, is suddenly demolished at a single knock on her classroom door. And like sequentially collapsing roofing, walls, floors, trusses, beams and joists, the entire structure of her family and her own identity is torn away. In slow motion, it crashes to the ground – right down to the raw bedrock of her being.

Damiano’s tale could be an unfolding tragedy by Sophocles and end there. Instead, his Peggy arrives at an unexpected inflection point upon which she can struggle to rebuild, resolving deeply buried mysteries of her past. It is a gut rehab to behold.

Showing his literary knack, Damiano unerringly creates a deep and believable female protagonist – wife, mother, daughter – while he subtly and progressively shifts who the very author of this incredible saga is. A thoroughly enjoyable read, hard to put down.
1 review1 follower
April 5, 2021
I honestly wish there were more than 5 stars to rate this book. It is simply magnificent. Mr. Damiano has created truly multi-dimensional characters and a story that is tremendously moving and compelling. There are so many profound insights in this book and the realistic nature of the characters and their relationships makes this truly one of the best novels I have read in years and years. I hope a lot of people read this wonderful novel. So much of what the main character experiences is incredibly timely and I think the themes in the story are certain to resonate with many readers. The story is powerful and as one reviewer stated - this book is what true literature is all about (or should be). I flew through the book in two days. Congratulations to Mr. Damiano on this sensational and important work.
2 reviews1 follower
April 13, 2021
Life is wonderful for Peggy Bubone. She has everything: A successful husband, smart children, and the comfortable life money can ensure. But fate throws her a curve and she finds her life capsized. It's a fun read following Peggy's journey as she confronts old demons, new disappointments, and remakes herself. It is a multilayered narrative as Damiano cleverly intertwines literary themes of Sylvia Plath with his story of Peggy Bubone. A terrific read!
Profile Image for Judy Alvarez.
6 reviews
February 8, 2021
I was fortunate to read an advance copy of this beautiful work that captures, with invigorating nuance the character of Peggy Bubone, soon to become an iconic character. Her journey is the thrust of this rich, funny and tremendously moving character work, which is adorned with compelling characters, great dialogue and excellent storytelling. It's quite a memorable journey.
9 reviews
July 30, 2023
I received a complimentary copy of this book from voracious readers, where it sat for too long in my tbr list.
The book is well written and an easy read for a story with such a deep topic. I loved the story of Peggy’s resilience to what life threw at her through no fault of her own.
I will be putting Daniel Damian’s on my list of authors to watch out for.
Profile Image for C.J. Wills.
74 reviews9 followers
April 24, 2022
An excellent read touching on many of life's rough realities. We are initially introduced to the main character, Peggy; as she moves back to where she grew up with her family. A good job, a husband with a better job, and beautiful children. It seems all is well, yet there is a looming darkness from the beginning that comes through a conversation over a local woman who ended her life.

As the main characters life seems as it couldn't get any better everything changes in the blink of an eye. The author takes us on plot twist after plot twist as Peggy and her children go through many hard times. After ending up a homeless, single parent judged by society; then it becomes evident the story has just began.

One of my favorite things about this book is the dark humor. There are so many struggles intertwined into the main character. Mysteries of her past and a journey into her mind, the reader is taken on a ride that shows the deterioration and rebuilding of her life.

A wonderful and realistic novel that keeps you wanting more. The author has done a miraculous job of telling Peggy's story and her far from perfect road to rediscovery. The chances are you won't want to put this one down until you get to the end.

Profile Image for Tobi Elkin.
1 review2 followers
September 17, 2021
Author Daniel Damiano's novel The Woman in the Sun Hat is a captivating tour de force that will thoroughly capture your imagination. The novel examines the cracks beneath the surface of a seemingly "great" marriage and family through a series of unexpected twists and turns that readers will not expect. The surprises make this novel a rollercoaster that could easily be turned into a screenplay.

Damiano explores his protagonist's rich inner life in such a way that readers may identify with her and experience visceral reactions. Damiano has a keen understanding of female narratives and gives his main character a familiar and fully expressed voice. Within the story, he peels back layers of the onion that are relatable and also disturbing. The interplay between the protagonist and another female character is beautifully written and convincing.

Within the story, the author peels back layers of the onion that are relatable and also disturbing. I highly recommend this novel.
63 reviews2 followers
May 19, 2021
The Woman in the Sun Hat by Daniel Damiano
The best novel I’ve read in 2021 so far! Daniel’s words created a vivid picture of what it’s like to be on the verge of having it all, then realizing it could all be taken from you without any warning. The descriptive words and emotional roller coaster have you traveling right there with this family and the struggles they encounter, forcing them to do things they might not have considered, if not for the feelings of despair, shamefulness, pennilessness and of being an outcast. This story was certainly not about the Pandemic of 2021, however, I can clearly see correlations of the many people that struggled loosing their jobs, their homes and people they loved.
Definitely a must read!! I look forward to reading more from this talented Author. I received a copy of this book from the Author via Voracious Readers in exchange for an honest review. JKSlovestoread/JudyKU/LuvsKU/JudySamson
2 reviews
August 10, 2021
In this hero's journey, or heroine's journey novel, Daniel weaves a tale of a woman who has everything until she doesn't. I read in wonder as the main character navigates a new world that she is not prepared for. She worked hard to live in this wonderful, successful world which becomes a shallow place when the truth is revealed. She has lived in a dream and the bubble is suddenly burst and she must confront harsh realities. Daniel has created full, rich characters who are so real and could be a person you actually might know. The scenarios and pictures he creates in this moving work of ultimate triumph are brought to life by the deep characters each of whom has his/her own life objective. Daniel writes clearly and with honesty. I'm a bedtime reader, and I could hardly wait to go to bed to read this book. I highly recommend it!
48 reviews
May 18, 2021
The woman in the sun hat by Daniel Damiano
I was sent a free copy of this book by the author through 'voracious readers readers only' and this is my honest review. I am always drawn to a book by its title, "The woman in the sunhat" seemed to call out to me and after reading the synopsis I felt justified in reading this and I was not disappointed at all. I found it hard to tear myself away from the pages, taking the book to bed and reading into the early hours. This is a great first book for the author, I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is totally worth the 5 stars I am awarding it.  I would happily read more work by this author.
52 reviews
January 20, 2022
This was a great read that leads one through our heroines rise and fall from her dreary beginnings, to her fight for her college education, to her marriage and ultimate fall from grace because of her husband. While she is struggling to keep herself and her children afloat, she makes some very hard choices that no one else understands, learns some hard truths, and ultimately faces all her old nightmares to rise once again. She finds a dream picture to keep in front of her as she works hard and at the end of the book, she has attained that picture to start her life over in a great new way. Wonderful story.
Profile Image for Lee Anderson.
Author 4 books37 followers
March 23, 2021
This book is what literary fiction is all about. The story of Peggy is profound and relatable to anyone who has ever had their stable world turned upside-down, then struggle against all hope to reassemble it. Nothing goes according to plan for her, of course. Brutal, humorous, surprising, but never melodramatic, I have rarely read an author depict such a dire situation as poignantly as this. I finished "The Woman in the Sun Hat" a few weeks ago and I still miss its characters. Damiano is a writer to watch…
May 5, 2021
Kudos to Daniel Damiano for writing a wonderful novel. Peggy Bubone seems to have it all, until she doesn't. After getting pelted with life's curveballs, she is forced to hold her family and herself together, under extreme circumstances. This is a beautifully written story that will have you rooting for her, while she navigates the storm, confronts her toxic past, and discovers that she is much stronger than she ever gave herself credit for. Fantastic!
May 10, 2021
I loved reading this book and reading about the incredible and harrowing journey of the protagonist Peggy Bubone. The author, Daniel Damiano, has written a page turner with vivid descriptions of the settings, detailing how the main character pieces her life back together after hearing news that disrupts her life. If you're interested in reading about vivid characters with a compelling story, pick up this book.
Profile Image for Valerie Terranova.
4 reviews4 followers
May 20, 2021
A great debut novel from Daniel Damiano, who has a way of keeping us at the edge of our seat to find out what Peggy will do next to find her bearings as her life and identity as she knows it unravels. Damiano has a real gift for characterization and prose--bringing a delightful sense of dark humor to moments of great gravity, which made them for even more nuanced and real. Looking forward to whatever he has coming up next.
September 4, 2021
Characters and Plot make a Novel for All Seasons

This was a swift and engrossing read. Though this is Damian it's first novel he writes like a seasoned pro with strong idiosyncratic yet recognizable characters, swift plotting and contemporary themes. A great book for beach reading, it is equally fine as those autumn winds begin to blow or as we curl up in front of a fireplace on those snowy nights.
Profile Image for Helen Erwin.
Author 3 books28 followers
May 13, 2021
From one moment to the next, everything changes and Peggy has to survive on her own while staying strong for her children.
The Woman in the Sun Hat gives you real insight in what happens to the family of a perpetrator and how a crime can set off a chain of events that has lasting impact on everyone.
Profile Image for BigBlueSea.
454 reviews11 followers
June 12, 2021
This novel has a great balance between the telling of tragic events and the resilience and humor of the human spirit. The path each one of us take as individuals matters more in how we respond to circumstances than in what happens to us. I recommend this book for those wanting a good story, a good laugh and a good beach read.
2 reviews
August 5, 2021
Daniel Damiano’s debut novel, The Woman in the Sun Hat, unrelentingly captures the world-turned-upside-down anxiety of its protagonist. It puts the reader in the backseat of her harrowing journey and, with humor and exquisite detail, transports the reader into Peggy’s world completely. What a ride!
Profile Image for Pam.
458 reviews6 followers
August 10, 2021
A complex plot examines the effect of a doctor's financial crimes on his wife and children and leave them suddenly abandoned and without financial support. As time passes, the changes reveal much of the past and give opportunity to make positive changes and growth, not without emotional pain. Thanks to the Goodreads Giveaways for the opportunity to read.
1 review1 follower
April 11, 2021
Wow, what a great read! Such wonderful development of the story and characters. If you want something to make you appreciate your life while enjoying the wonderful artistic abilities, this is a must read. Can’t wait for Mr. Damiano’s next book, play or movie. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Dawn Froese.
130 reviews1 follower
May 17, 2021
I enjoyed the book. What do you do when your world is turned upside down and how do you reclaim what is you in the process of trying to live.....these are the things I thought about as I read this story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Cally Lewis.
21 reviews1 follower
September 8, 2021
An easy read I devoured this in two sittings, it kept me hooked throughout. Never take anything for granted, it can disappear in the blink of an eye leaving you stripped bare and wondering just what is truth and what you didn’t see along the way.
Profile Image for Tiffany Ann.
Author 24 books69 followers
April 19, 2021

Full of unexpected moments, I never knew what to expect from one page to the next. A beautifully written journey into a new beginning.
8 reviews
April 19, 2021
A rich, textured, beautiful book written by an author who should be on his way to becoming a household name. Bravo. Big fan.
441 reviews14 followers
May 30, 2021
well constructed and engaging novel. Received as a complimentary review novel sent by the author via Voracious Readers Only in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Mark Galenti.
16 reviews
April 23, 2021
What an awesome book! Rarely have I read such a nuanced journey of a complex heroine in modern literature. Just when you expect the book is going in a certain direction, it surprises you - but in a very believable way. Peggy Bubone has such a great character arc, but all the characters (even the dog) are remarkably fleshed out. This is not just a good read - this will stay with you.
60 reviews1 follower
June 5, 2021
Peggy was a literature teacher at Cold River High Schooling's Long Island and is married to Mike a Dermatologist, they have two children Luna, 11 and Nicky 13. Out of the blue Mike is arrested for Insurance Fraud and convicted and sentenced to Jail. Their friends all believe that Peggy must have known about it, she and the children lose their home and their respectability and become outcast. Mike's Lawyer offers them the cottage in the garden but makes a pass at Peggy so she leaves and then stays with other people but it does not work out and she has to send her children to her In-Laws where she, herself is not welcome. She hits rock bottom and leaves her no choice but to contact her Mother whom she has not seen or heard of for 17 years.

This book explores the relationship between Peggy and her husband, Peggy and the children and the family's relationship with other people and finally between herself and her Mother, why their relationship was never good and enabling Peggy to face her own demons and helps her to understand her past, to address her own failed ambitions and forcing her to move on, to get work in order to fund her own house tenable her to reclaim her children and made the decision as to whether or not to divorce her husband and put distance between herself with the children and her husband's disgrace.

An easy to read book with some thought provoking sections and leaves the reader to imagine how they would cope in that situation and if they would be able to move on.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 35 reviews

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