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Here Comes the Sun

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  8,606 ratings  ·  1,240 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Liveright
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Faith pg. 225 Thandi is looking at a newspaper and it's June 1, 1994.…morepg. 225 Thandi is looking at a newspaper and it's June 1, 1994.(less)

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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  8,606 ratings  ·  1,240 reviews

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Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story takes place Across the Universe in Jamaica, and the beautiful, bright, happy cover may lead you to think "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da! This must be a very sunny, dreamy, Strawberry Fields Forever kind of book!" But Let it Be known that there is nothing at all happy about this book, unless your idea of Happiness is a Warm Gun.

The characters are written so well, and all of their stories are so tragic. I couldn't imagine spending A Day in the Life of any of them. Oh! Darling, first you have Marg
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: free-from-work
“Can’t wait to leave dis godforsaken place.”

“Is it dat bad? We live by di sea. How much people can say dat? Give t’anks.”

“Maxi, shut up wid yuh blessings nonsense. This is no paradise. At least, not for us.”

so, i wasn’t over the moon about this one, and i’m not sure why. sure, it is absolutely, unremittingly bleak, but that’s never bothered me in a book. this is thomas hardy in jamaica; characters caught up in vicious cycles - suffering from the aftereffects of bad choices made because of narro
Jenny (Reading Envy)
When Lauren W. came on the Reading Envy Podcast as a guest for Episode 097, she brought this book to talk about. It wasn't long before I had to try it, and I'm so glad I did.

How did this book pass me by? It is a novel about three women, all related, trying to make their way in a small community in Jamaica. Delores is the mother and matriarch, working hard to make what money she can, completely dependent on the waves of tourists coming through. Margot, her older daughter, appears to work in the
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Although a decent story, I wanted to like Here Comes the Sun more than I actually did. I wasn’t expecting a light story, having read the synopsis and other reviews in advance, yet the book still had a level of somber that I wasn’t anticipating.

Here Comes the Sun focuses on two sisters living in Jamaica - Margot, a woman in her early-mid 30s, working at a hotel predominately occupied by tourists, and her sister, Thandi, a teenager finishing up school and her exams. Their mother, Delores, sells v
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was provided with an ARC by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Despite the cover and the title “Here Comes the Sun”, there is nothing sunny, or even happy about this novel. To the Jamaican tourists this seaside village and new resort are almost “paradise” as the beautiful beaches and never ending sun combine with the lure of the azure ocean to create a perfect place for a vacation or retreat. The native Jamaicans however have suffered greatly.

The novel is written in t
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, God! This is bleak and sad! The moral of the story is don't be poor (anywhere) and don't be gay in Jamaica.

Book Riot Community
I’m so grateful that I was one of the judges for the National Book Critic Circle’s Leonard Prize, because it gave me an excuse to read six excellent books. But among them, I couldn’t help but loving this book differently than the rest. Written with an intimate knowledge of and understanding of Jamaica, Dennis-Benn also explores queerness and race and religion and education – it is an intersectional novel if there ever was one. It’s also dramatic, sad, and had me crying in the end. I can’t wait t ...more
What an amazing book! This book captured so many different themes that can be problematic to all people, but especially people of color is desperate and dire situations. The problems of intergenerational damage, the cycle of hurting those around you as a result of you being hurt, the cycle of poverty, environmental racism, modern day colonialism, colorism, homophobia stigmas against women in Jamaica. This book was just everything. Like others have said, do not let the cover of this book make you ...more
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Here Comes the Sun centers on the fraught bond between a Jamaican woman, her elderly mother, and her teenaged sister. Margot is a hotel worker who dreams of greatness for her precocious sister Thandi, and is willing to help her at any cost, as is their sullen mother Delores. Thandi, meanwhile, feels alienated from her wealthier peers at school, longs for social acceptance, and wishes to become an artist. The work’s first third is a quiet, thoughtful character study of the three women; the writer ...more
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I almost abandoned this book in the early going, and now it’s one of my favorites of the year. I can’t believe how close I came to missing out.

For whatever reason, Here Comes the Sun was a really slow starter for me. The characters all clearly have secrets, but they are slow to reveal them—so slow, I wondered if we’d ever find out for sure what happened in each of their pasts. But then all the proverbial other shoes start dropping, and from that point on, it’s an all-consuming storm of resentmen
Updated June 25, 2019
Here Comes the Sun is BookOfCinz June Book club pick and I am happy we decided to give this debut novel a go. I still stand by original review but I have to say, re-reading this novel the second time was equally as enjoyable. I did find some parts to be a bet dramatic but overall, still a solid read!

August 2016
Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn you may have just wrote one of my favorite books for 2016, hands down my favorite debut book for this year (so far).

"Here Comes The Sun" c
Joce (squibblesreads)
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full non-spoiler video review starts at 2:25 at this link!

This book was phenomenal. I learned so much about Jamaica and the tourism industry, and it remarked on homophobia, racism, sexism, and ageism. So many talking points regarding being a woman in this society and around escort services in a respectful and layered manner. 4.25 stars for now, but I have a feeling I'll be bumping it up to 4.5-5 in the future :)
Jessica Woodbury
The cover and title of this book may be going for light and sunny Jamaica, but this is not a light and sunny book, and I mean that as a great compliment. Margot, who lives with her mother Delores and her sister Thandi, is not the happy islander who doesn't worry about making ends meet. Margot cares about only one thing: saving her sister.

Even though Margot has a desirable job in a luxury hotel, her life is anything but beautiful. She carries deep secrets as she puts on a strong face for Thandi,
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Dnf at page 109

I’ve been fighting through this book in little bits and pieces for the last few days and I’m really sad to admit that it just isn’t for me. I’ve wanted to read this book for years and I’m beyond upset that I can’t get into it. This is a bleak story, it covers racism, xenophobia, colorism, homophobia, assault, economic inequality, sex work, and more. I’ve read dark books before, I’ve read books that investigate this exact stuff, but I need some element of hope to soldier through a
Brown Girl Reading
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Loves of Contemporary CaribbeanLit
Nicole Dennis-Benn’s debut novel explores living on the island of Jamaica. Masquerading behind a jovial gay cover in bright orange, yellow, and green, Here Comes the Sun, starts gently and insidiously goes places we aren’t prepared for. The novel revolves around three unlikable main characters – Delores, Margot, and Thandi, who form an unforgettable trio. Delores is a mother preoccupied with money and not enough to the real well-being of her daughters. To continue reading... https://browngirlrea ...more
Tori (InToriLex)
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbqt, adult
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex
Actual rating 3.5

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
Jherane Patmore
This is not a happy book - get over it.

This is a brilliant book that looks at the 'other side' of the sun. Not the happy, Holiday, Madonna sold to white Americans and Europeans to visit (and enable the exploitation of the) Caribbean, but a another kind of sunshine. The kind of sun tourism ministers don't talk about. The sun that brings drought, dead crops, the scent of rotting fruit, burning skin, misery and leaves you with nothing left to hide. This is the kind of sun black girls are told to s
I feel like I've been taking a tour of the excellent books of 2016 extravaganza!! This is yet another surprisingly great book. I listened to the audio version narrated by Bahni Turpin and she did an amazing job.

Yes it's true, the title and the bright colors of the cover of the book make it impossible to not constantly hear the song replaying in my head. It was literally a soundtrack an earworm as I progressed through the story. I couldn't get away from it. I still can't as I write this review.
Leslie Reese
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readcaribbean
Rough and dramatic; yet, enthralling, and often poetic.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, z2016, fiction
3.5 Stars.

This was a very complex book with a lot of interesting themes like sexism, racism, dysfunctional families, resentment, betrayal, homophobia, capitalism, sexual abuse, violence etc. The book also had very good character development, good writing, a very authentic Jamaican feel to it and diverse characters who are not quite what they originally seem to be. With everything I just listed, it's hard to not feel for these characters and story. At times it is absolutely heartwrenching to read
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading a lot of books about 'mothers' of late, a run of them that wasn't intentional but just the way my TBR was rolling. Of all of these, I dare say that Delores takes the cake in the super bitch category. She is mean, cruel to her children and others and opportunistic. These traits have rubbed off onto Margot and whilst I felt much empathy for her, she too is a bitch. This book is dark, its about a bad time in Jamaica circa '94 with property developing into big resorts catering to t ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-harder-2017
I have to admit to struggling with this book and I think some of that is down to me picking it up directly after all the fun I had reading The Nix . Part of my problem might also have been unrealistic expectations of this containing some element of, if not exactly levity, then a brief respite from relentless misery. It doesn't.
This is an unflinching look at marginalised communities in Jamaica and particularly the tough decisions made by woman in order to survive. While not exactly a gratuitous
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn chronicles racism, colorism, sexism, classism, colonialism, elder abuse, and homophobia in this lush tale of one woman struggling to make a life for herself and her sister as problem-free as possible.

Margot hustles to make her sister, Thandi, never experience her struggle. She wants the best for her sister, but working in Jamaica's tourism industry makes her second-guess who she is as she manages to keep her head above water (pun intended). Outside of her professional hustl
I was so excited for this book, but alas, it did not live up to my expectations. Despite the cheery yellow cover and the seemingly-hopeful title, this is absolutely one of the darkest books I've read in quite some time.

The main character is Margot, a young Jamaican woman who works at a tourist resort. She is ferociously ambitious, and dreams of escaping from the shack where she lives with her family. Margot is a sex worker on the side, supplementing her income and trading sex for promotions and
Cindy Burnett
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
4.5 stars

Here Comes the Sun is both beautiful and heartbreaking. While the story was much sadder than I expected it to be, I truly loved the book and will be thinking about the story and the characters for quite some time.

Nicole Dennis-Benn weaves a tale of greed, longing, and betrayal on the island of Jamaica. She deftly portrays the paradox Jamaica has become where extreme poverty exists side-by-side with untold wealth and the trouble that results. Using Jamaican patois and highly descriptive
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Here Comes the Sun follows a Jamaican woman Margot, her teenage sister Thandi, and their mother Delores, living in a small village near the Montego Bay resorts. Margot works long hours at one of the resorts, both as an employee and spending time with the male guests after hours, while secretly being in love with a woman Verdene. Margot desperately tries to spare Thandie from having to make the kinds of sacrifices and choices she’s had to make. Margot puts all of her dreams, money, and effort int ...more
Read By RodKelly
This novel has all of the ingredients that should make for a wonderful read but things ultimately didn’t come together for me. There was a lack of nuance in the characters; something was always 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 and subsequently the author would tell me, rather than show me how the characters were emotionally impacted by their circumstances. So much surface-level storytelling creates an imbalance in which the author's habit of glancing over or speeding through certain scenes makes the characters' reacti ...more
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am very impressed with this debut. I wouldn't hesitate to read her future works. I believe it's worth noting the irony of the lovely, unassuming cover- this is truly a heartwrenching tale, one that will stay with me for a long time. Taking place in Jamaica, HERE COMES THE SUN focuses on the lives of Margot, Thandi, Delores & Vande. With themes of racism, classism, homosexuality, prostitution/trafficking, abuse (both human & animal), etc. this is a very heavy book to take in, but well worth the ...more
4 stars - It was great. I loved it.


A gritty character study about hard lives, consequences, and the cycle of abuse, all told in a powerful story. The story points out that it sucks to be poor, or to live in Jamaica if you are gay.

As the story progresses, each character is revealed in phases like peeling an onion, as you learn more about their past and what made them who they’ve become. Your opinions and thoughts about each one evolve as each new layer is revealed.

The author especially does a wo
The book tells the story of Margot, a Jamaican who lives in a small town that had long since been abandoned by most residents. The town / village is very poor and therefore its people.

Margot works in the only hotel in the village, run by a wealthy white man. In addition to working at the hotel as a "receptionist" she prostitutes herself for the "gringos" and the hotel owner to earn a few more dollars.

Throughout the book, the protagonist tells the why of her prostitution and her desire to provide
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Monroe Public Lib...: Here comes the sun? 1 7 Sep 17, 2019 05:57PM  
The ending (SPOILER!) 4 81 Jul 02, 2019 05:36AM  

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Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of the novels PATSY (June 4, 2019) and HERE COMES THE SUN (Liveright, 2016), which won the Lambda Literary Award, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, and the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and was longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award.

HERE COMES THE SUN was named a New

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