Nominated by:

National Library Service of Barbados, Bridgetown

Publisher of nominated edition:

Liveright Publishing, USA

Here Comes the Sun

Nicole Dennis-Benn      

2018 Longlist

In this radiant, highly anticipated debut, a cast of unforgettable women battle for independence while a maelstrom of change threatens their Jamaican village.

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.

About the author

Nicole Dennis-Benn has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, MacDowell, Lambda, and the Sewanee Writers Conference. Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, she lives with her wife in Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches writing.

(from publisher)

Librarian’s comments

This is a story about women and the choices they make as they struggle to survive. It is mainly about Margot, but interwoven in the story are the lives of Margot’s mother Delores, her sister Thandi and her lover Verdene. Delores is a ruthless woman whose warped view of life deeply influences the lives of  her daughters. Margot manages a tourist resort but moonlights as a prostitute and “madam”, a path she is set on by her mother who allowed a customer to rape her 14 year old daughter in exchange for 600 dollars. “Nobody love a black girl, not even herself” declares Delores, and Thandi, who has the brains to become anything she wants, sets about secretly bleaching herself because she is sick of being black. This is a thought provoking debut novel which takes the reader behind the scenes of the luxurious beach resort town of Montego Bay, into the harsh realities of life in Jamaica.

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