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Here Comes the Sun: A Novel

Here Comes the Sun: A Novel

Scritto da Nicole Dennis-Benn

Narrato da Bahni Turpin


Here Comes the Sun: A Novel

Scritto da Nicole Dennis-Benn

Narrato da Bahni Turpin

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (23 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
11 ore
Pubblicato:
Jul 19, 2016
ISBN:
9781681682716
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

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.

A HighBridge Audio production.

Pubblicato:
Jul 19, 2016
ISBN:
9781681682716
Formato:
Audiolibro


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    I read this one for my lesbian book group. At first I wasn't sure I liked the book, I think because I was expecting a Lesbian Novel, instead of what this is, which is a novel with lesbians in it (really a better thing).It's the story of a family of three women. The mother Delores and the older sister Margot, are working and sacrificing to send the younger sister to school so she can become a doctor and rescue the family from poverty. The younger sister, Thandi, really wants to be an artist, which of course is not understood.All three women have unpleasant sides, and make some pretty questionable decisions in their quest to escape poverty. It was hard to like Margot, but also hard not to admire her tenacity.The book gives a detailed picture of life in Jamaica, and the issues surrounding tourism and it's effects on the community.
  • (4/5)
    This title & cover art may be misleading to some. It's hard not to look at the cover of this book & hear those musical lyrics in your head, picturing beautiful Jamaican beaches & vacation resorts. But that's not what this book is about. This is about the darker side of Jamaica, where real people live and survive, manipulate and sacrifice in order to make a living. The story evolves around a mother (Delores) and her two daughters (Margot & Thandi). Delores is a bitter, older (middle aged) woman who works the tourist stalls. Margot is an almost-surrogate mother to Thandi (15 years her junior), working in order to one day send Thandi to medical school & a better life. Thandi, a teenager, is beginning to discover herself but struggles to fit in with either the people of her hometown or the more uppity peers at her private school. This story is multi-layered. It examines underlying racial tension, political gain, prostitution, homosexuality & perhaps an alternate but realistic view of family dynamics in a poor country. However, these themes are woven effectively & the novel does indeed pack a punch. Though some of the content may be somewhat disturbing, it is well written. I found the Jamaican dialect effective, although I do think that reading it on audio, as I did, would make for a somewhat easier read. The reader, Bahni Turpin, captured this dialect flawlessly and did an excellent job. The ending of the story snuck up on me, and while it left me a little unsettled, I would certainly recommend this book.
  • (4/5)
    There's a great deal of trouble in paradise. Jamaica is portrayed by the author as two disturbed sides of a coin: the oppression by wealthy whites and the misery inflicted on poor residents by their own self-appointed arbiters of "family values". Mother Delores sold daughter Margot for cash, and she has continued inflicting the cruelty by becoming a pimp. Younger daughter Thandi is the "good girl", studious and quiet, but her own high expectations include bleaching her skin to a false lightness because "God nuh like ugly". This is a cruel environment and, with very few redeeming characters, a Caribbean version of hell, including venal real estate developers, as if poverty wasn't enough.
  • (4/5)
    [Here Comes the Sun] is a powerful novel. I will never think of tourism in the same way again. I've never been to Jamaica, but it sounds like paradise -- and perhaps it is to tourists and to the rich. Dennis-Benn tells the story of the lives of people who sell trinkets -- and themselves -- to the tourists. Margot, the protagonist, works in a hotel and prostitutes herself so she can pay her sister's school fees. Her hopes for a better life lie with her sister Thandi. The people who work in the hotels go home at night "to their shabby neighborhoods, away from the fantasy they help create about a country where they are as important as washed-up seaweed."But this complex novel is not just about class; Dennis-Benn also takes on gender and sexuality and race. Thandi spends her money on products to lighten her skin so that she will be accepted by others in the private school she attends. And if the poor are treated like dirt, women are the ones who really suffer. Husbands and fathers leave, forcing the women to support the families. There is no solidarity among the women, however. Verdene, a lesbian, is brutalized by her neighbors, scapegoated because they can't do anything to fight the hotel owners who deny them access to running water, electricity, or the country's beautiful beaches. The owners gobble up land for hotels and evict the people living there. This isn't a polemic though. Dennis-Benn breathes life into Margot, Thandi and Dolores, and makes us want to see them triumph.One challenge reading this was the patois. Most of the characters speak in it; I'd like to listen to this. Sometimes just seeing the words on the page made it hard to read.Overall, though, a very accomplished first novel.
  • (4/5)
    Brutal, but gripping.
  • (4/5)
    A debut novel by Jamaican author Nicole Dennis-Benn (currently lives in New York) about a family of women living in Jamaica, trying to survive. The main narrator is Margot but there is also her mother Delores'story as well as the younger sister, Thandi. The book not only looks at what it is like to be poor and woman but also 'colorism' and 'classism'. This book will make you see the people who are existing behind the tourism. The book also takes on issues of exploitation, sexuality and gender. This book shows how generational abuses continue in families. The difficulty in reading the book is not the topic but the use of patois (dialect of the island people). It might be better to listen to this one that read it.The made up words of colorism and classism come from comments on the back by Chinelo Okparanta, author of Under the Udala Trees.
  • (4/5)
    In Jamaica, you either have or have not. Margot comes from a family of have-nots but has big plans for her and her sister to have. To have a fancy job, a good education, a big house. Some of that happens, but not in the way you'd expect. Brings up interesting implications for class, race, etc.
  • (5/5)
    The language in this novel was so vivid and poetic. It's not a cliche novel that ends in a happy ending. It's an ending that is practical and mirrors real life. The loose ends were tied up perfectly in the last chapter...Wonderfully written!
  • (4/5)
    While not exactly uplifting, I really enjoyed the sense of geography that Dennis-Benn conveyed via phonetical dialect and long, descriptive passages. All of the protagonists are women, the men mostly tangential (or consequential), and there was a long-running theme of examining race and how it's internalized.
  • (5/5)
    “Like the old mattress, Thandi is that source in which they plant their dreams and expectations. “It’s you who’ll get us outta dis place,” they say to her. She hears Delores telling her friends this too when they come over to play dominoes. No one knows how crushing the weight of Thandi’s guilt is when they excuse her from cooking, cleaning, and even church because of the importance they place on her studies.” (58)River Bank, Jamaica, is a small town worlds away – despite its close proximity – from the five star hotels and pristine beaches frequented by international tourists. It is also home to a family of indomitable women, all volleying for a future that might include some degree of contentment and independence. Delores, mother of Margot and Thandi, is a cunning trinkets peddlar who has managed to feed her family on her wiles and wits for years. But in spite of her best efforts, the family still lives in a shack. She is determined that her youngest daughter, Thandi, will have a better life – and will go to any length to secure this future for Thandi. Margo, Thandi’s oldest sister by more than ten years, is also desperate to protect her sibling. Margot works at a resort where she is a desk clerk by day and – having learned from her mother at an early age to trade sexuality for survival – prostitute to wealthy male tourists by night. Thandi, not surprisingly, is impossibly burdened by the weight of her family’s expectations. She, too, wishes to be her own person, whether by abandoning her academic studies to pursue art, by dating a local boy, or by bleaching her skin that she might better fit the local standard of “beauty.”The women’s lives, burdened as they are by betrayal, lust, and ambition – are further aggravated by external forces threatening to destroy their community: a severe drought and a developer’s plans for a new hotel which would force many locals from their homes. The enormous social inequality and despicable imbalance of power between Jamaicans and hoteliers is driven home by Dennis-Benn: "In the past, developers would wait for landslides and other natural disasters to do their dirty work. But when tourism became the bread and butter for the island's economy, the developers on the government alike became ravenous, indifferent. In retaliation, the people stole concrete blocks and cement and zinc from the new developments to rebuild homes in other places, but their pilfering brought soldiers with rifles and tear gas. Developers won the fight, and the people scattered like roaches ... It was as though their own land had turned on them -- swallowed up their homes and livestock and produce and spat out the remains." (120)Here Comes the Sun is a stunning debut novel – one of those that makes me wonder how on earth such a work is a debut! Other of the novel’s themes include race and sexuality – specifically, the local taboo of homosexual relationships. A must read for those who enjoy literary fiction and strong female characters – and are interested in reading about the impenetrable socioeconomic divide which exists in such countries as Jamaica where locals struggle to survive while visitors flock to their turquoise beaches for a piece of “paradise.” Highly, highly recommended.