Here Comes the Sun

Here Comes the Sun

A Novel

Book - 2016
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Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis- Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman--fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves--must confront long-hidden scars. From a much-heralded new writer, Here Comes the Sun offers a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world most outsiders see simply as paradise.
Publisher: New York : Liveright Pubublishing Corporation, a division of W. W. Norton & Company, ©2016.
ISBN: 9781631491764
Characteristics: 349 pages ;,25 cm.

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EljayJohnson
Jul 08, 2019

Don't get me wrong - I don't expect sunshine and everything healed with a kiss when I'm reading serious fiction. Actually, I tend to prefer darker literature. But ---- this novel was so unrelentingly bleak and hopeless that it was difficult to appreciate.

The bleakness wasn't unrealistic. I entirely believed in the truth of these characters and their lives. The three female main characters are Jamaican women in different stages of life, and they and every other character in their lives and community are suffering from extreme trauma - trauma from poverty, oppression, racism, homophobia, sexism, color prejudice, and horrific sexual abuse and exploitation. The women make choices that increase the misery that has been thrust upon them. There is not a shred of hope for them.

It's a powerful book that I won't shake easily. I'm aware that I had the opportunity to quit the characters' lives with a shudder as I closed the book after the last page; these characters can't do the same. So while I admire the obvious craft of this author, I remain sorry that I read something that made me feel so battered and bruised by the time I was done. Maybe I get too much of that in my work?? In any event, the unremitting bleakness was too much for me.

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eappelbaum
Feb 03, 2019

You will not feel the same about vacations in the Caribbean after reading this book. Beautiful and heartbreaking.

Set in Jamaica, this novel features several strong female characters including Thandi, a smart, beautiful, young girl whose older sister and mother have pinned their hopes on for getting them out of the slums that they live in. Thandi is set to go to college and become a high-paying doctor, but she is obsessed with becoming lighter skinned and longs to be an artist. Her older sister Margot has been paying for Thandi’s education, by working at the local hotel and by selling her body to men. Margot juggles her family obligations with her own yearnings to be in a relationship with the village outcast, an out lesbian woman who isn’t accepted by the people she grew up with. Margot and Thandi’s mother, Dolores, only wants what is best for her two daughters and will do anything to escape the life they are stuck in. Here Comes the Sun was an excellent page turner about dreams, ambitions, and the lengths that people will go to in order to achieve them. The dialogue is written in Jamaican dialect (Patois) which I had to get used to, but ultimately the story is what kept me going. (Submitted by Alan)

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hvance2000
Oct 29, 2017

Fantastic story, though heartbreaking. I absolutely loved the characters.

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HPL06105
Jan 23, 2017

What a fun and juicy read set in the Caribbean.

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LauraSteinert
Sep 19, 2016

I can't rate this because I didn't finish it. I cannot read the patois, even though read out loud it sound just like the patois of the islands. Patois just feels too much like reading about "darkies" and "injuns" in 19th Century books and novels. While I applaud the effort at regionalism and reality, I cringe at every line. I hope you enjoy the book.

LPL_KateG Jun 02, 2016

What an emotional novel! This is one of the more anticipated debuts of summer 2016. Vivid descriptions, fascinating characters with so many hopes and fears ebbing and flowing. Don't be fooled by the sunny title, this one is full of hard-hitting truths.

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