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Here Comes the Sun

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  5,542 ratings  ·  839 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.

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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,542 ratings  ·  839 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
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
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
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 throughout 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, Delor
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
Taryn Pierson
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
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
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
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,
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
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.
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" captures Jamaica and Jamaicans in a truly authentic way. After reading "A Brief History of Seven Killings" I felt no one would be able to capture Jamaica like that but Dennis-Benn proved me wrong!

Being a Jamaican whose lived in a tourism capital and worked in Tourism, this book is truly on point. Working in Tourism was one of the harde
Tori (InToriLex)
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, lgbqt, own-arc
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
Nov 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z2016, ebook, 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
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
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
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
Leslie Reese
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rough and dramatic; yet, enthralling, and often poetic.
Latanya (CraftyScribbles)
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
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
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 w ...more
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
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
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh, man. I met Nicole at BEA this year and pretty definitely fell in love with her. HERE COMES THE SUN is gorgeous and lyrical, as difficult as it was to read. I cried A LOT at the end, but it was totally worth it. Nicole is one to watch out for.
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
It reminded me of "Bastard out of Carolina," in other words really intense but good. The cover (of the ARC) made me think it would be more of a vacation book--lighter. But it was Jamaica from the perspective of a dysfunctional family who rarely get to enjoy the beaches. It doesn't leave this point of view: the dirt yards with a goat on a rope, the walk through town with grown men catcalling adolescences, and the mother saying the most hideous thing to her children. It is a narrative of the behin ...more
(3.5) Don’t think Beatles pop; think of the sun as coming to expose secrets, crimes and prejudice. The focus is on a trio of black women: mother Delores and her two daughters by different fathers, 30-year-old Margot and 15-year-old Thandi. There is a strong sense throughout of reality not matching up with the characters’ goals. You might think of this as a cautionary tale: be careful what you wish for, as going after what you can’t have – or going after the right things in the wrong ways – may w ...more
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
3.5 with a bump up for setting. Anyone who goes to a tourist resort in the Caribbean should know where they really are, and what their resort costs in human terms, and this book can help with that. And this book dramatically illustrates a deep Jamaican cultural homophobia that I have heard about professionally from asylum candidates but not seen developed from the "inside" in a novel setting.

That said, the pacing and timeline is very uneven, and the character development is bumpy as well. The t
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Secrets have a way of making themselves felt, even before you know there’s a secret.”
– Jean Ferris

So many hidden agendas…

Here Comes The Sun by by Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn, is the story of the true (gritty) life behind the postcard perfect images you often see of resort destinations in Jamaica. The novel centers around Margot, her younger sister Thandi, and their mother, Delores. It’s the story of their day to day struggles and desperations, the turmoil within their family, and the threatening effe
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very wonderful and satisfying story of three generations of Jamaican women but a very heartbreaking one for sure. Nicole Dennis-Benn has penned a wonderful tale here with some rather disturbing sections dealing with colorism, prostitution, homophobia among others. There are secrets in abundance within these pages. In fact, everyone seems to harbor secrets they're holding inside. This book is not perfect but it's well written with some beautiful passages, (some of it in heavy patois so you've b ...more
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The ending (SPOILER!) 3 61 Jan 22, 2017 04:57AM  
  • Yabo
  • Jam on the Vine
  • The Star Side of Bird Hill
  • The Underground Railroad
  • M Archive: After the End of the World
  • Augustown
  • Myal
  • How to Love a Jamaican
  • Mr Loverman
  • Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture
  • Grace
  • No Language Is Neutral
  • The Perfect Find
  • Third Girl from the Left
  • How to Escape from a Leper Colony
  • Notes of a Crocodile
  • Demonic Grounds: Black Women And The Cartographies Of Struggle
  • 'Til the Well Runs Dry
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
“Nobody love a black girl. Not even herself” 2 likes
“How could she have gone from the most exhilarating thing that has ever happened in her life to a moment filled with pure humiliation? She tries to conjure up the light that skipped in her veins earlier when Charles held her. But it only fades in the familiar darkness.” 1 likes
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