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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A beautifully layered portrait of motherhood, immigration, and the sacrifices we make in the name of love from award-winning novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn.

When Patsy gets her long-coveted visa to America, it comes after years of yearning to leave Pennyfield, the beautiful but impoverished Jamaican town where she was raised. More than anything, Patsy wishes to be reunited wit
Hardcover, 419 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Liveright
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  • Patsy by Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn
    Release date: Jun 04, 2019
    “Nicole Dennis-Benn is an exquisite writer who paints scenes with words so vivid you might as well be walking through it as a character, not a reader. ...more

    Format: Kindle book

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    Availability: 100 copies available, 1046 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jun 07 - Jun 19, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    4.24  · 
    Rating details
     ·  107 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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    May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Nicole Dennis-Benn's debut novel Here Comes The Sun so much so Patsy was one of my most sought after ARC for 2019.

    We meet Patsy, a twenty something Jamaican living in Pennyfield- what one would call a ghetto. Patsy is a government worker, but gets paid so little, she ends up doing some on the side work that is she not too proud about. Patsy is the sole breadwinner, but she is hardly able to provide for her daughter Tru and her mother who stopped working after fin
    Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Ahhh wow Nicole Dennis-Benn's characters and stories are like no other. This book was stunning. I loved her first novel and I think I loved this one even more. I will never forget the characters of Patsy and her child Tru. Dennis-Benn examines how the world has set them up to fail - poor, queer, immigrant, women, Black, and dark-skinned - and the impact this has on their personal relationships, and how they continue to seek freedom on their own terms.
    Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: edelweiss
    Patsy is a sensual, thoughtful perusal through the layers of womanhood, of race, of class, of gender, and of nostalgia for a home and for people that no longer exist as time passes.

    Dennis-Benn’s writing is mesmerizing and colorful. As the reader is transported back and forth from Brooklyn to Jamaica, the different emotions and moods the places evoke are palpable.

    Patsy’s hometown in Jamaica is poor - if she stays there, she knows the exact path her life will take. Motivated by love and the desire
    Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I am not quite sure how to articulate what I feel after reading Patsy. In Dennis-Benn's second novel we are once again asked to explore diverse subject matter: immigration, LGBTQ+, religion, colorism, politics . . . motherhood. Although I left motherhood for last this is the part of the book that I struggled with the most. When Patsy decided that she is going to chase after the American dream and leave her daughter behind I was judgemental. As a mother I was pissed and unsympathetic. I could not ...more
    Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Wow, the words ‘epic saga’ certainly fit this book- it is so rich in detail, both imagery-wise and plot-wise, that I almost feel like I have a hangover from it. Like Dennis-Benn’s previous novel, there are a huge array of characters here, all of whom are flawed but sympathetic, which is no easy feat. And despite the number of characters, I didn’t feel lost as to who was who- also not easy to pull off.

    The mother-daughter duo at the center of the story are so well realized and so beautifully gende
    Cindy H.
    May 19, 2019 rated it liked it
    Many thanks to NetGalley and W.W. Norton Publishing for gifting me with an ARC of Nicole Dennis-Benn’s new novel, Patsy. Below is my unbiased review in exchange for the ARC.

    Patsy is an immersive story of heartache, longing, doubt and acceptance. A story about motherhood and immigration, expectations and reality. Patsy leaves behind her young daughter, Tru when she is able to secure a tourist visa to America. But unbeknownst to Tru, Patsy has no plans to return. Patsy believes all her dreams and
    Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Heartwrenching and wise. A young mother leaves behind her country and child to pursue a life she can only imagine in her dreams. Patsy follows her childhood friend to NY but things are much harder than she anticipated. Meanwhile, her daughter Tru is struggling with her own feelings of abandonment and place in small town. This is a powerful story about immigrant life, self-identity, sexual freedom, family and hope.

    Thanks to the publisher for access to the advance copy.
    Lorri Steinbacher
    May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
    This is a book about searching for and being true to your authentic self, even in the face of deprivation, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, even in the absence of privilege. It is also a book about how motherhood--both as a mother and the mothered--can and does change everything. Dennis-Benn's Patsy is honest and the story feels heartbreakingly true. It is a must read for anyone who wants to better understand the life of an immigrant, the life of a complex woman, the life ...more
    Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: first-reads
    Patsy abandons her daughter and mother to come to the United States to seek a long lost love. Things in the states are so much harder and different then she imagines. In return, she finds struggle and loneliness as she tries to survive as an undocumented worker. Meanwhile, her daughter is lost and confused and tries to find her place in her new family. She also struggles with identity that parallels Patsy. This story of these two unforgettable characters is just beautifully told and heartbreakin ...more
    May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
    This is a good one. The story is engaging, the writing is clean, and it’s definitely fresh. Moving and memorable.
    Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: netgalley
    Via my book blog at

    Patsy and Tru, are the mother and daughter in alternate chapters of this heartbreaking story of chasing a dream of love and freedom from Jamaica to Brooklyn. Patsy's childhood was rough, and she decided at a young age that she would get a visa to go to New York to be with her best friend, Cicely. After several attempts, Patsy wins her coveted prize and plans for her trip. Patsy's determination overrides her guilt of leaving her daughter, T
    Alice, as in Wonderland
    May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I feel that Dennis-Benn is unparalleled in writing the insidious unforgivables. The mother who can't find love for her daughter, the more-than-friend who takes everything you give them and never gives back, the daughter told to be a "good girl" who finds difficulty doing either of those things for the woman who ends up raising her. Like her debut, this novel is filled with characters tormented by the compromises they made but whose character Dennis-Benn refuses to compromise. The painfully recog ...more
    May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    A mother- recently immigrated to America, and a daughter- left behind in Jamaica, both embark on a journey to find peace within themselves and strive to find a way to come to terms with their right to confidently claim space in the universe.
    The lyrical narrative touches upon issues of race, wealth, societal expectations, sexual norms, and more. It is a heartbreaking tale of the undocumented immigrant experience told in bold, unrelenting strokes, and it is truly not to be missed.

    This ARC was pr
    Sage Cristal
    Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    A story of sacrifice, mistakes, and redemption- Patsy is one of those books that will stay with you for a long time. Following a mother (Patsy) leaving her daughter (Tru) in Jamaica to pursue a better life in America, Patsy is a book that is full of bright dreams and harsh realities. Watching Patsy and Tru try to thrive in their separate worlds is both heart-wrenching and uplifting. Patsy is a modern tale of immigration and family that is strikingly lovely. ⭐ ...more
    May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    There’s nothing left to say other than Nicole Dennis-Benn has done it again with her new novel Patsy. Beautiful and disturbing brilliance is how I’d describe the new novel that came out on June 4th, from Liveright.

    I must say thank you to Liveright and Nicole Dennis-Benn for providing me with an ARC of this book for my honest opinion, and here it is...

    Set on the backdrop of Jamaica and New York City, Patsy is an unforgivable tale of trials, tribulations and the American dream versus the immigran
    Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Patsy is a powerful novel about a Jamaican woman who leaves everything behind to go to America, at times heartbreaking and happy, and a moving look at identity and belonging. Patsy manages to get a visa to America, where she hopes to follow her childhood best friend and secret love Cicely who she hasn't seen in years. To do so, she has to leave behind her young daughter Tru, who she cannot connect with like she feels she should. But America isn't what she expected and Cicely's life is different ...more
    Smileitsjoy (JoyMelody)
    I had not read Nicole Dennis-Benn's first book; however, Patsy kept circling the bloggers I followed on Instagram and I requested an ARC. I received one in exchange for an open and honest review.

    Writing a glowing review about this novel is not hard because this book TRULY is impeccable.

    We first meet Patsy when she is trying to procure a visa to get to the United States. She has no intentions of taking her daughter nor returning when she is granted a visa. She leaves in hopes to rekindle a stro
    May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: literary-fiction
    Nicole Dennis-Benn writes with such color and vividness that makes her characters and dialogue sparkle. Immersion into Patsy's world is lining the streets with patois, teenage sex and pregnancies, lesbianism, and the need to forge ahead and elevate themselves. Patsy has a job as government worker with little opportunities for advancement. Engaging in sexual activity early, she becomes pregnant with Tru, while still a child herself. Feeling boxed in, she applies to go visit her dear friend Cicely ...more
    Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: read-in-2019
    What a book! Patsy is a young mother in Jamaica who wants to leave for america for better opportunities and reconnect with her friend (and former romantic partner) Cecily. Patsy leaves her daughter Tru with her father and his wife and leaves for America. She learns that her friend’s “marriage of convenience” is not how she described, and coming to America and building a life for oneself as an undocumented immigrant is incredibly challenging. Patsy finds herself doing work that would have been be ...more
    Kathleen Gray
    Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    A stunner of a novel which transcends so much. Patsy is a Jamaican immigrant to the US who has left her daughter Tru behind with the thought that she would be better cared for by her father as Patsy finds her feet in her new environment. That turns out, as you might imagine, not to be the case, especially in Tru's mind. Patsy believes that she will be able to reconnect with her long time love Cecily and that turns out to be more optimistic than Patsy thought as well. The themes of the immigrant ...more
    May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Many thanks to NetGalley and W.W. Norton Publishing for gifting me with an ARC of Nicole Dennis-Benn’s new novel, Patsy. Below is my unbiased review in exchange for the ARC.

    Reading Patsy stirred a slew of emotions in me, as a woman and a mother. I must admit that I struggled with the decisions Patsy made in the beginning of the story. I called her selfish and unfit because as a mother myself, I could not fathom making the same decisions she made. This is not the typical story of motherhood and a
    Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: lgbtq, giveaways, new-york
    I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway!

    This book was definitely different than I was expecting--I was expecting way more romance, so the first half of the book was a little difficult for me to get through until I re-calibrated my expectations from the book. (This is probably my fault for not reading the summary closely enough.)

    Once I got into the story, I found myself caring deeply about the characters and feeling totally invested in their story. Patsy brought me into a world that I real
    Given the premise, Patsy should have been more emotionally resonant. Nicole Dennis-Benn wrote about a Jamaican immigrant's experience in America after she leaves her young daughter behind in Jamaica. The relationship between the two isn't established strongly, so I didn't feel the sadness Dennis-Benn wanted me to feel. The main character's struggle to understand and accept her sexual identity feels similarly distant. What redeems Patsy is Dennis-Benn's writing, which is literary and contemplativ ...more
    May 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
    Poor Patsy, why would any mother leave her only child to go to America as an undocumented immigrant? Her entire experience was sad at best. Her daughter, Tru, faired much better though she is tramatized by her absent mother. Roy and Marva at least gave Tru some semblance of family life. Patsy was so selfish and self-centered with her lifestyle and her lack of being a decent parent. Sorry this book made me very upset, what was the author's intent? Patsy would have been better off in Jamaica.
    Crystal Forte'
    Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Patsy is the beautiful and realistic story of a woman escaping to her destiny no matter what is in her way. The characters are beautifully illustrated and the plot deepens as secrets are revealed that pull you in and make you want to read more after each page. I enjoyed the descriptive imagery of events, characters, and the situations presented in this novel and I do recommend it if you are love language that is picturesque and a steady plot that will grasp you from the beginning.
    Juliana Rose

    This reminded me a lot of An American Marriage. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writing was beautiful and profound but retained a flow that kept it light and interesting throughout. The characters are deeply flawed, so much so that some of them were extremely hard to like, but that just made them all the more human.
    Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Hopes, dreams, wishes are not always what Patsy thought they would turn out to be. Tough decisions have life long consequences that are impossible to predict or even dream of when we are young. Family, homeland, traditions, are they worth everything or nothing?
    Reagan Elly
    Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Woah this was amazing I cried and didn't want it to end now I'm so sad and don't know how to even start anything else cuz why bother I'll just reread it in an infinite loop I guess
    Rachel Lichtman Castaño
    Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This book was hard to read in the sense that it discussed very heavy topics and experiences, but it was so worth the journey
    Becky Spratford
    Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Full review here:

    Three Words That Describe This Book: immigrant experience, female driven narrative, brutally honest
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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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