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The Sunlit Night

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,935 ratings  ·  315 reviews
In the beautiful, barren landscape of the Far North, under the ever-present midnight sun, Frances and Yasha are surprised to find refuge in each other. Their lives have been upended--Frances has fled heartbreak and claustrophobic Manhattan for an isolated artist colony; Yasha arrives from Brooklyn to fulfill his beloved father's last wish: to be buried “at the top of the w ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Bloomsbury USA
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Katie There is kissing and mild sexual scenes- this is not a book for kids.

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Mar 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is a very unhappy, very long review, full of my eye-twitching adventures through the pages of Sunlit Night. Oh, and just a warning for those of you that frown upon gif-filled reviews? Run. Run while you still can.

I don’t derive any sort of pleasure from reading a book I hate. I don’t like hating books in general, but alas, it does happen. My 11-year-old asked me just last night, “Do you ever read a book and really don’t like it?” I laughed and told him, “Of course, you can’t expect to like
Angela M
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I knew from reading the description that this was going to be a quirky story , yet I was drawn to it . It was definitely the quirky story I expected but what I wasn't expecting was that I'd like these characters as much as I did. There's something immediately endearing about Yasha and Frances , especially Yasha .

Yasha and Frances , two lost and vulnerable souls , both live in New York City , but it's at the top of the world where their paths cross . Yasha has traveled there to fulfill his father
Jun 18, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

I dove into my Overdrive e-book copy of The Sunlit Night totally blind, buoyed (despite its 3.28 cume and some particularly eviscerating reviews from some) by my three trusted GR friends who read and enjoyed it (and all using the word "quirky" in their reviews). I loves me some quirk, and love rallying behind an underdog, so why not give it a try?

Let's just say I never quite "got" the quirk descriptor for this. Maybe my quirk threshold is much too high (The Last Bad Man? That's some am
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-bookbag
A first novel as charming as it is quirky. Two young adults from Brooklyn meet in the far north of Norway, where one is an artist’s apprentice and the other is burying a beloved father. I loved the contrast between the emptiness of Arctic Scandinavia and cramped New York City. Still, I think the setting I warmed to most was Vassily’s bakery. Dinerstein, who herself travelled to Norway and got a bilingual poetry collection and this novel out of the experience, has great things ahead of her. I hig ...more
Larry H
I'd rate this 3.5 stars.

Rebecca Dinerstein's The Sunlit Night is a quirky, charming, and moving book about the power love—both familial and romantic—has on our lives, even at times of great uncertainty.

Upon graduating from college, Frances' life is completely turned upside down. Her relationship with her boyfriend has ended while her sister has just gotten engaged to a guy of whom their parents don't approve, and to top it off, much to her utter surprise, her parents are getting divorced. With
Description: In the beautiful, barren landscape of the Far North, under the ever-present midnight sun, Frances and Yasha are surprised to find refuge in each other. Their lives have been upended--Frances has fled heartbreak and claustrophobic Manhattan for an isolated artist colony; Yasha arrives from Brooklyn to fulfill his beloved father's last wish: to be buried “at the top of the world." They have come to learn how to be alone.

But in Lofoten, an archipelago of six tiny islands in the Norwegi
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
How far would a person go to get in touch with himself or herself again? This is the core theme of The Sunlit Night, in which two broken and unmoored individuals – 21-year-old Frances and 17-year-old Yasha – find comfort in each other at the “top of the world” above the Arctic Circle in Norway.

Rebecca Dinerstein spent significant time in Norway and it shows. The barren and isolated Arctic landscape mirrors the starkness of Frances and Yasha’s internal selves and provides a backdrop for them to i
Diane S ☔
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review to follow.
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

The Sunlit Night is the story of Frances and Yasha whose paths cross far from home 'at the top of the world'. Frances is completing an art internship while Yasha is in Lofoten to fulfill his father's dying wish. It is a story of family, grief, growing up and belonging.

I found Yasha to be a more likeable character than Frances, perhaps because his woes were less superficial than hers. His story was more interesting and developed than hers, and I didn't feel I learnt much about Frances at all. Unf

This book is destined to be a favorite of mine, it hits all my literary love buttons -- quirky characters and situations, a setting that is real yet somehow out of time, visual and precise writing, emotional warmth and faith in the healing power of love. I can't wait until more people get to read the tale of Frances and Yasha, their families and their companions for one summer in perpetual arctic light. If you love Bill Forsyth's great movie Local Hero or
Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws
The Sunlit Night tells the story of two youngsters, Yasha and Frances, who come from different backgrounds and fate have their paths cross at Norway. Frances is there to intern with an artist after a recent break up with her family and also another break up within her family. Yasha on the other hand is there to fulfill his father’s last wishes. Both have certain baggage that they carry and when they meet, they feel a certain connection. As friendship blossoms, they find comfort in each other.

Lolly K Dandeneau
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this novel. While the characters were interesting, I had a hard time warming to them, and yet I was still pulled in by the story. It certainly is an interesting setting. The constant daylight in the Arctic, the isolation, the drastic change for Frances going from Manhatten to Lofoten is the heart of the novel. It is a story about family and love, about grief and finding one's place. Yasha, there to bury his father, will enter into a relationship with Frances, but are ...more
Paula Sealey
Somewhere in this book, there was a sweet love story waiting to burst out. Unfortunately, it was lost among so much superfluous text, I became quite bored at having to sift through it to find anything vaguely relevant to the main plot. It's a shame really, as I liked the two troubled main characters, Frances and Yasha, and some of the descriptions of the Norwegian island. Dinerstein's writing style just didn't flow for me or manage to keep my interest and having to skip over large chunks of text ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I cannot resist a book set in the land of the midnight sun. This story takes place in Borg, Norway, where two lost souls - a 22 year old graduate art student from Manhattan, and the 17 year old son of a Russian baker living in Brighton Beach - come to find the light and figure out their next moves. They find themselves in an old asylum and a Viking museum, respectively, for what proves to be a long, eventful summer at the almost top of the world. There is the magic of the arctic, wonderfully qui ...more
Dov Zeller
I was very excited going in because I'd read some compelling reviews. I tried twice but couldn't find anything in it to invest in. Wish I had it in me to try a third time, but I don't. (I didn't even get to the place where the sun doesn't set.)

Ah well. Not going to rate this one starswise. Just looking forward to reading another book to wash away the discomfort of exhausted, disorganized prose.
Lori O
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
A debut novel about a young russian/jewish immigrant and a young girl who is an art student from New York. The two meet and form an unlikely romance. So...will the two lost souls drift into the sunset and live happily ever after? Well, when you travel far enough north and reach a latitude where the sun no longer sets during the summer months then well...there isn’t a sunset. The two love birds are on an island in the Norwegian Sea where it is daylight for weeks! Easy, light summer reading.
Lovely and evocative writing. Many parts are definitely worth more than one reading. Also may have inadvertently led to my decision to take a trip to Norway this summer.

4 stars.
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

My Rating:


This was the sort of book what made me go:


And then:

So yes, I do admit it was a very different and strange book but it was, in a good way. Every once in a while, you'll encounter this weird, cool book which kind of blows your mind and twists it at the same time. It was definitely this one.

This book was very brief in developing the love story between Frances and Yasha but very detailed in their backgrounds and previous lives. There was a good whole half of the book where they s
May 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
I was carefully thinking how could I say that I really hated this book without being rude or offensive... And I've become to the conclusion that is better not to say a word since I can't find anything positive to say.

I won this book through GoodReads and I thank to the publisher for providing me this copy but this fact didn't influence the review.
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
When I got to page 175 and there was still no sign of romance, I didn't think that was a good sign for a book billing itself as "about love". I am a bit bewildered by the multi-starred professional reviews that led me to this novel. I certainly did not hate it, but I found myself a bit bored and had to resort to speed reading in several places.
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed this book. Two storylines that end up intersecting -- each with a compelling main character, surrounded by interesting scenery and other wacky characters. Also really made me want to go to northern Norway. A fun book that I read in one day.
Roberta Perez
Apr 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Romance jovial daqueles que a gente lê em um tiro. Dois jovens, por motivos distintos se encontram no topo do mundo: As Ilhas Lofoten no norte da Noruega. Para quem já visitou o arquipélago, e é apaixonada por ele o romance apresenta descrições precisas da sensação de se chegar ao paraíso...
Acho que no final a autora se perdeu um pouco na historia. Mas valeu! Adoro ler livros escritos em locais que eu ja visitei. Tenho a sensação de retorno.

A parte mais engraçada foi a sensação de estar em um lo
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lost souls find their way in The Sunlit Night, which exhibits the awkwardness of life itself and how hesitance can so easily throw precious moments away.

This is a peculiar yet compulsive old story. Despite being relatively uneventful, it explores the characters’ respective journeys, but not necessarily their final destinations. A small flock of assorted folk appear on and off the stage at various intervals, including those seeking love, the ones where it has slipped through their fingers, or t
May 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Have you bitten into a hamburger, and as the savory flavor hits your taste buds you think, "Wow! This is really good!"? You take another bite and say to yourself, "This is fantastic! It's perfectly grilled with just the right amount of seasoning." You take your third bite, and spit it back out on the plate because you realize the inside of the burger is raw. That's a pretty good summation of "The Sunlit Night"

The book follows the story of two characters from NYC -- Frances and Yasha -- who for d
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Que dire de ce roman qui m'a laissé une impression en demie teinte... D'abord attirée par la couverture, j'ai ensuite été assez emballée par le résumé. Les thématiques abordées (l'amour, la solitude) et, surtout, le cadre fabuleux des îles Lofoten en Norvège qui me font rêver depuis plusieurs années, promettaient une lecture agréable.

Le premier tiers du roman était plutôt à la hauteur. Quoiqu'un peu lent à démarrer, je m'y suis tout de même plongée avec plaisir et avec une certaine excitation de
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiftyfifty-2016
I loved everything, EVERYTHING about this book.

"[My father] liked to stand at his desk with all of his drawings out, smiling, talking about how miserable they made him.

How miserable they made him. How many cups of coffee he drank a day...'How am I supposed to keep making these third when nobody cares if they exist?... What does it matter if you do what you love, if what you love doesn't matter?'"

"He wanted something larger for himself, and why shouldn't he? He wanted to make his own work...He'd
Amanda Shipp
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished The Sunlit Night a few weeks ago and the characters/storyline still sits with me. Its a love story but a deliciously quirky one with characters that are very real. Its set in a little place in Norway where the sun doesn't set during a few months in the summer (hence the title) and this is the background of a beautifully written love story. Rebecca leads us into this unusual setting via two very different characters, both with very different motivations. We see this unusual world throu ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
How do you know this is a great book? The writing was so gorgeous that not only did I tune out my new husband on our honeymoon for an entire afternoon, but I have a clear white stripe across my sunburnt stomach from where I apparently held my arm perfectly still, devouring chapter after chapter. To be honest, I wasn't as hooked into the storyline or character development so much as the sheer beauty of the sentences Dinerstein crafted, one after another. I found myself underlining sentences, some ...more
Kathy Shuker
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's not hard to see that the author of this book is also a poet. The language is not florid or overblown but each word seems carefully chosen to produce exactly the right mental image. It's a wonderful evocation of the land of the midnight sun and the chance intertwining of the destinies of the two main characters, Frances and Yasha. These two young people, both at major turning points in their lives, are sympathetically drawn and keep you turning the pages. It's a fascinating and unusual story ...more
Kate Ashley
Dec 06, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Sparse, painterly. Made me want to go to Norway and the top of the world.
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“Some people have never been made good love to, or don’t remember, or haven’t been taught how, and cheat their lives out of the pleasure we each can make in one another.” 2 likes
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