Format Read: ARC Edition (358 pages)
Genre: Adult/ Contemporary/ LGBQT
Source: Purchased at Library Book Sale
Rating: THREE POINT FIVE STARS
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.
REVIEW:This was an emotionally wrenching read, that explores the lives of very poor and marginalized women. I was immediately drawn to the cover of this book at a local library book sale, because of its brightly colored cover. But this book describes some dark topics. I wasn't expecting. Margot is a broken women who works to give her sister Thandi a better future, but loses herself in the process. Thandi is a very talented young women who wants to fit in and to decide her own future, but feels the weight of her family's hope. Delores is Margot and Thandie's mom, who made hard choices to survive, but who walks under the weight of her sins. All three of them have to navigate survival as tourism wrecks the community around them. The accounts of sexual abuse, betrayal, violence and sadness were portrayed in a genuine way peppered with dialogue written in the Jamaican dialect patois.
"Her imagination began to produce walls behind which she crouched in silence, closed off from the pain of the memory. She didn't have to leave this hiding place, for her imagination also produced its own food, water supply and oxygen."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicole Dennis-Benn's highly anticipated debut novel, HERE COMES THE SUN, will be published by W. W. Norton/Liveright (JULY 2016). Her writing has been awarded a Richard and Julie Logsdon Fiction Prize; and two of her stories have been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in Fiction. She has received fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Sewanee Writers' Conference, the Hurston/Wright Foundation, Lambda Foundation, and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women Writers. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, Red Rock Review, Kweli Literary Journal, Mosaic, Ebony.com, and the Feminist Wire.
Nicole Dennis-Benn was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. She is a graduate of Cornell University and has an MPH from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the Founder and Director of Stuyvesant Writing Workshop and currently teaches Writing for the City University of New York. She lives with her wife in Brooklyn, NY.
To learn more about Nicole, visit her website at www.nicoledennisbenn.com. You can also follow her on twitter @ndennis_benn.