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4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  784 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
'A very 21st Century blockbuster, this has all the classic elements - nailbiting narrative, absorbing relationships, glamorous locations - with an extra shot of intelligence' COSMOPOLITAN
Unknown Binding, 672 pages
Published October 7th 2004 by Not Avail (first published 2003)
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Scribble Orca
Nov 29, 2010 Scribble Orca rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of chick-lit
This book is a sort-of thinking person's Judith Krantz (in the sense that there is quite some well-researched history included in the plot, and my only experience of Krantz to date has been Lily). It has a semi-autobiograhpical feel to it (check out the author's website) and a remarkable sense of what it's like to live in both London, Johannesburg, Singapore, New York (it certainly described much of my impressions in those places). It is, I would argue, firmly within the chick-lit genre, and yes ...more
Melissa Kayanda
Sep 14, 2014 Melissa Kayanda rated it really liked it
First of all, someone needs to make a film adaptation of this book, NOW.

I concede. I thought this book would be some shallow, light, summer read but clearly, I thought wrong.
I loved the characters. I loved watching them develop from girls to women, I loved watching them eventually come to terms with themselves.

The climatic parts gave me the thrills, THE THRILLS!
I am such a girl for loving this book the way I did but you know what? I am a girl. So fuck it.
Cora Tea Party Princess
Jan 15, 2013 Cora Tea Party Princess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love this book, I could read it again and again (and I have!)

My mind wanders back to this book a lot. I think about it more than I thought I would. It really sucked me in to the world of the characters - and made me want to design underwear.
Danka Jai
May 28, 2008 Danka Jai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not just your ordinary, superficial life story of a female character. Following the lifespan of many characters, Sundowners leans on an edgy and emotional side involving twisted subplots of politics, drug abuse, relationship woes and imperialism.
The emotional draw into the novel is strong, with a different view brought by each character. There is no lack of drama, no lack of action, and the subtle, more serious subplot involving racism and imperialism in South Africa is not overbearing on the no
Jan 19, 2012 Valentina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dopo aver letto questo libro ho continuato per giorni a chiedermi cosa stessero facendo i personaggi in quel momento, pentendomi amaramente di essere una vorace lettrice ed aver già finito quel fantastico romanzo. E' coinvolgente a tal punto da immedesimarsi nei protagonisti e da capire le loro azioni ma anche da saperle criticare in modo onesto. la suddivisione nelle parti delle varie ragazze, quando le loro vite prenderanno strade diverse, è perfetta perchè ad ogni interruzione c'è un minimo i ...more
Oct 11, 2012 Feistytiger rated it really liked it
Like her previous books this is a good 'chick lit' to read. Its less of a snapshot of one moment in a characters life, and more of a timeline of four friends and how their paths intertwine from beginning to end. Its gives a snapshot of each of the girls and how they grow and adapt to life. I really loved hearing about the characters and how theirs lives had changed and how she sent them all down different paths (but still intertwining) it was like reading four different books in one.

The only dow
Mar 03, 2015 Elena rated it it was amazing
This is the story (SPOILER ALLEART!) :
The novel is set during 1980/1990,when is South Africa there was apartheid.
Rianne is a white South African girl. She’s beautiful, wealthy and thoroughly spoilt, she has the world at her feet but one day her aunt decided to send her to a college in Englad. Here the girl has to face an all new social condition for her : people are treated equally, regardless of skin color. She became friend with three girls : Gabrielle, intelligent, loyal and always worrying
Dec 18, 2015 EmyAttorney rated it it was ok
This book. Ah!
I didn't like it. But why? I mean, the premise is great, the writing style flows smoothly,... and yet it sucks. Let's start with the main reason: the goddamn characters. They were positively terrible. They were flat, nasty and unsympathetic. Let's take a close look:
Rianne; I wanted to punch her several times throughout the books. What an absolute piece of shit. Both awful AND boring. And her "character development" was really bad. She just suddenly became a completely different pe
Roma Del
Jan 03, 2013 Roma Del rated it it was amazing
Excellent. The characters are well developed. Lots of twists and turns. I found myself anxious to see what happens to each of the four women.
Jul 26, 2011 Anna rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read - wonderfully told story! I could not put it down!
Lyn Ford
Dec 02, 2010 Lyn Ford rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, it is one of my all time favourites
Feb 05, 2011 Yaa rated it it was amazing
The Cats Mother
I read Bitter Chocolate several years ago, and really enjoyed it, so when I needed something that wasn't a crime thriller for a change, picked this off the shelf. It's a fairly chunky old-fashioned bonkbuster rather like Lace but with a bit less sex and a bit more history and politics. It was OK but I was still disappointed. The story is about 4 girls who meet in a posh english boarding school and despite having nothing in common, remain close friends. (I guess I have nothing in common with my s ...more
Mar 22, 2013 Scrittevolmente rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rianne De Zoete è bella, giovane, ricca, desiderata e viziata. Non esiste nulla che non possa comprare o ottenere.
Ecco gli ingredienti giusti per un harmony di successo, da leggere la sera al calduccio, sotto la propria coperta di pile mentre si è sdraiati sul divano a bere una camomilla.
E’ un romanzo abbastanza leggero, rilassante e assolutamente piacevole.
Ho trovato l’ambientazione non banale e neppure il tema di fondo, siamo negli anni 80 in un Sudafrica che fa da teatro all’apartheid, alla l
Sibat Sheikh
May 18, 2016 Sibat Sheikh rated it it was amazing
Bought this book in literally 5 minutes so I wouldn't miss my train! I was HOOKED! Loved it from cover to cover. Enjoyed how the author was able to capture her readers by flipping back and forth between four different lives of 4 different people and how everyone finally met. However, Lesley Lokko's books are all quite similar: different lives that interconnect in some way. Sundowners will definitely be my favourite novel for sometime.
Aug 06, 2010 FALLEN rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2014 Hannah rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've ever read. The characters are likeable and as there's 4 girls I found I could relate a little bit to each one. I found I cared about what happened to each of them, and they were close friends in a way that was believable and not cheesy.
I bought this for a summer holiday and it was perfect for picking up and putting down - not like books where you have to re-read the last few pages to remember what's happening.
Fab book!
Jan 09, 2016 Kelly rated it it was amazing
this is my favourite book ever to date. I have read it at least 4 times already and no doubt I will read it a thousand more times.
There is a vast depth to every character and the plot is full of twists and turns whilst paralleling the social, political and economical mutterings of each decade visited.
Mar 14, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It's not my usual style or theme but I read it in a short amount of time. I will just say that it was a comfort read and was a nice change from the norm.
Ursula Kibido
Sep 25, 2013 Ursula Kibido rated it it was ok
I loved Lokko's Bitter Chocolate sometime ago and when I came across this at the library, I thought great, let me take this one. I was sooo bored with this book. Too much going on and very predictable. I didn't want to finish it as within the first chapter I could actually predict what was going to happen with each of the 4 characters. Ok maybe I didn't forsee one of them dying. The only reason I finished the book was so I could see if I had predicted correctly, and... hey what do you know, I wa ...more
Aug 14, 2010 Syksy marked it as to-read
Ystävyyden aurinko seuraa neljän tytön elämänmenoa kahdenkymmenen vuoden ajan neljällä mantereella niin huumorintajuisesti ja huolella henkilönsä rakentaen, että lukija voi kokea itsensä seurueen viidenneksi jäseneksi. Lesley Lokko syntyi Skotlannissa (1964) ghanalais-skotlantilaiseen perheeseen, varttui Ghanassa ja suoritti opintonsa kolmella mantereella. Hän on työskennellyt rotukysymysten parissa paitsi esikoisromaanissaan, myös alallaan arkkitehtina.
Mike Murphy
As the saying goes, 'know your enemy' and so I picked this up and rattled through it. As far as I can tell, the author handles the norms of the genre pretty well and also attempts to deal with much bigger themes with varying degrees of success. The story rolls through at a fair pace, and I was happy to stick with it til the end. I guess it would work as a poolside read, though maybe I'd have to read it inside my copy of the LRB.
Jodie Vass
Aug 08, 2007 Jodie Vass rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: girls after a girly read
This book was recommended to me by the woman in the book shop. She said everyone she knew who had read it loved it. I'm not experiencing that at all. It is merely ok so far and really lacking any meaningful content. I am currently approx 170 pages in and I am hoping it all pulls together into something great at the end!!!
Jan 03, 2010 Kristen rated it liked it
Shelves: lent-out
a little on the long side [well it IS supposed to encompass 20 years..:] - but if you can get through it... you'll enjoy it. it's a little deeper than your typical 'beach read' and definitely not a super thick, heavy drama. it's got everything [i:] could want in a book - politics, drama, taboo romance, and bitchy girls.
Oct 24, 2010 Megansarah rated it it was amazing
My favourite book of all time! Reread it recently and loved it even more the second time round. A wonderfully written story about love and lasting friendships. Reading the book, you can't help but care for the girls and young women as they try to work out their place in the world and forget their pasts.
Jun 25, 2013 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Weaving the tale of three friends meeting in their teens, set against the backdrop of emerging African nationalism and the associating backlash against old school colonialism, this was the first of Lokko's books that I read and I got hooked. This I would have to say is probably one of the best.
Nov 21, 2012 Gosia rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I think this was a really good book about friendship, love, lost; etc. The characters where interesting and all different from eachother. You could relate to all the characters and the book had an interesting storyline with a plot that took you from South Africa to London and New York.
Dec 12, 2014 Diane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I am so disappointed that I can't finish this as I loved One Secret Summer. I tried, I'm nearly half way through but nothing much has happened and now it's started to get political and touch on stuff in South Africa which hold zero interest for me.
Jun 15, 2012 Jacqueline rated it really liked it
A brilliant book,it does need to be persevered with at first because its quite slow to start but once it does it's a very good plot,with likeable characters, and its not that chick-litty either,it can be very gritty and dark at times!
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LESLEY spent seven years training as an architect but always dreamed of writing a novel. Eight novels (and counting) later, and aside from building her own home in Ghana, she hasn’t looked back. She splits her time between Johannesburg, Accra and London, (although now she’s dreaming of a flat in Edinburgh) and counts the BA lounges at Heathrow amongst her favourite places in the world.
More about Lesley Lokko...

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“How could you teach someone to survive? You pointed them in the right direction and hoped they'd swim, not sink. Waving, not drowning. There are more important things in life than individual happiness. It was an easy trap to fall into, mistaking a lack of self-direction for an expression of love.” 7 likes
“He wasn't there to save her. She must know how to save herself.” 5 likes
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