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The All-Night Sun

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  401 ratings  ·  131 reviews
A lonely young woman gets too close to her charismatic female student in a propulsive debut culminating in a dangerously debauched Midsommar's Eve--for readers of Julie Buntin's Marlena and Emily Fridlund's History of Wolves .

Lauren Cress teaches writing at a small college outside of Washington, DC. In the classroom, she is poised, smart, and
Kindle Edition, 317 pages
Published August 4th 2020 by Random House (first published July 14th 2020)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
Oh my...*wipes tears from eyes*

Imagine being an 18 year old young woman when tragically both of your parents, your only family, are killed in a car accident? You are now alone in the world trying to navigate a life for yourself with no one to help and no one to answer questions.

That happened to Lauren Cress who now teaches writing at a small college. She grapples with depression and loneliness since the loss of her parents when in walks Siri. She is a student from Sweden and she brings such li
Natalie Jenner
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was extremely lucky to receive an advance reader’s copy of this debut novel, because this is the book I have been waiting for since reading Charlotte Bronte’s VILLETTE thirty years ago. A mesmerizing, disturbing, and heart-wrenching read about loneliness and grief, THE ALL-NIGHT SUN follows a troubled young adjunct professor as she embarks on an intense friendship with a Swedish international student, both of them having been orphaned young, and ends up also entangled with the student’s distru ...more
Benjamin Ludwig
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The All-Night Sun is a testament to the power of storytelling. In much the same way that she pursues her emptiness across an ocean, the rawness of Lauren’s pain will have readers chasing her through the pages. The lies she tells herself—and others—about her past become the ghosts which simultaneously accuse and exonerate her. As she unravels and cuts through the tangles of her experience, we can’t help but cheer.
Julia Phillips
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Explores the space between dreams and nightmares, life and death, the brilliance of the midnight sun and the darkness when you shut your eyes. A tender, aching, and unforgettable story.
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Diane Zinna's The All-Night Sun is one of the most haunting and beautifully written books I have ever read. And let me just put this out there: I will be buying this book because I need to have that cover in my book collection.

Lauren Cress teaches an international class at a small Catholic college outside Washington, DC. She is charismatic and well-liked by her students. But she is also deeply lonely and still grieving her parents' deaths from ten years before. Everything changes when Siri, a ch
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fascinated by this debut novel. Yes, it's about grief and loneliness, but it's also an exploration of the limits of memory, and the stories we tell ourselves to get through the night. As the main character becomes involved in her friend's world and unhinged in their shared sorrows, she must revisit the formative episodes in her early life and revise her own story in order to heal. I loved the dreamlike and spiraling narrative structure and I'm still thinking about Lauren and Siri.
Molly Madonia
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I read this book with my soul, instead of my eyes. The writing style of this book is dark, sure, but its also visceral and real and importantly heavy - like reading someone's train of emotions as they go through a series of emotionally-taxing events, both happy and sad. The best way I can describe the setting is "normal life, without emotional reservations or floodgates." I remember thinking that I was actually grieving with our narrator, as she walked us through several of the most ...more
Susan Lockhart
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one will stick with me.
When I first opened this book I meant to read a few pages of the first chapter just to whet my appetite for later. I had lots to do today and reading a novel could wait. But once I sat down for the first chapter I couldn’t stop.
Written in first person, the author drew me into the character’s life with her lyrical and insightful prose.
This isn't a book to rush through or to read a little at a time here and there, Instead it’s one that grows like a relationship. I wi
Natasha Ngan
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel felt like breathing honeyed pain. Beautiful hurt on every page.
Rachel Parrott
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Zina offers readers a beautiful written and haunting look at life overwhelmed by loneliness and grief.

My copy was a gift through Goodreads First Reads.
Bonnie Brody
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The All-Night Sun is a beautifully written novel of love, grief and the pain of intimacy.

Lauren, an adjunct professor of English for international students at Stella Maris College in Massachusetts makes most of her money via technical writing contracts. Even with these two jobs she makes barely enough to support herself. She loves teaching but with only a master's degree she doubts she can ever get a permanent tenured position at the college. She is very personable with the students, gives her a
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book! Had me captivated where I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens. A great story of friendship, grief and how one woman finally learns how to be free from her past.
Aga Durka
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-2020
Written in a beautiful, descriptive, and almost poetic style, this book explores the world of love, loss, grief, and possible implications of one’s inability to properly cope with the loss of a loved one(s). This slow moving tale of an adjunct teacher, who builds an unconventional and quite disturbing relationship with one of her students, while trying to cope with the loss of her parents, left me emotional and conflicted at times. The main characters are imperfect and unlikable at times, and ye ...more
The Nerd Daily
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Kaylie Seed

The All-Night Sun is an ode to grief from beginning to end that Zinna has written both brilliantly and breathtakingly. The author’s powerful prose paints picture after picture for the reader as they make their way through this phenomenal piece of literary fiction. It is clear to the reader the time has been taken to not only do the research about Sweden and Midsommar, but that Zinna has also effortlessly written a story that ebbs and
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
This sounds sexy and intense and I NEED it.

Daniel Confalone
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The promotional materials pegged this as a story about female friendship and Midsommar but more than that it was a wonderful and moving story of grief. The narrator is erratic and at times unreliable as she lives with the grief of the drowning death of her parents and her friendship with a young Swedish student.
Jun 20, 2020 marked it as need-this-like-air  ·  review of another edition
i just saw that gorgeous cover and said “here. this is where i belong to.”
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review // The All-Night Sun by Diane Zinna
The Facts: Literary Fiction, Debut Novel
The Feel: Haunting, Compelling, Descriptive, Complex, Brilliant
The Focus: Lauren is grieving the sudden death of her parents, who were her only real family. Working as an adjunct professor in DC, she meets a student named Siri, who is also dealing with the death of her mother. Lauren clings to Siri for hope and support, eventually accompanying her home to Sweden for a debauched Midsommar
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 STARS!!!!

I won this as a Goodreads giveaway in return for my honest review.

This story was not at all what I expected. Throughout there was an underlying eeriness. Something that made me continue with caution.

Lauren Cress teaches english to international students at a small college in Washington D.C. She's not a professor, she's an adjunct. She's 28 years old with no family or friends. She has been isolated, lonely and depressed ever since the deaths of her parents 10 years before...until Siri
I wanted to love it, but the pacing was much too slow for me. It didn’t hold my attention enough for me to develop any kind of emotional connection with Lauren. I’m no longer a reader who’s willing to slog through 100-200 pages before getting to “the good part”.
Martie Nees Record
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pub. Date: July 14, 2020


The book’s title comes from the Swedish holiday, Midsummer Eve, which takes place during Sweden’s summer solstice and is celebrated all day and all night under the light of Sweden’s midnight sun. The story revolves around a troubled 28-year-old female adjunct professor and her unlikely friendship with an 18-year-old female Swedish student who invites her teacher home for the summer. The story is actually abou
Meg Eden
Jan 22, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So excited to read this!!!!
Amy Gottlieb
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This elegant debut novel is lyrical, haunting, and beautifully constructed. A wonderful read (and the cover is gorgeous)!
Jun 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, trauma
"The All-Night Sun" is a well written novel but wasn't very memorable. I can't even recall basic plot points. I think the reason is because of the protagonist, Lauren. I found Lauren to be so insufferable. There's a lot of backstory about her parent's demise a decade before, which is fine, but Lauren dwells on it to the point where it was making me uncomfortable (especially during these uncertain times). Her inappropriate friendship with a female student was intriguing but once it got to the Mid ...more
Sea Stachura
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm still thinking about these characters.
I was so taken by the evolving relationship between Siri and Lauren. Their friendship and slowly revealed histories sustain the whole book and Zinna writes them both with tenderness but not blindness. I loved the use of the first-person narrator. The author really took full advantage of the perspective to advance the plot and tease out the romantic developments. Th sexual tension is alive on the page, no doubt.
The novel starts a little plaintively, but t
Somewhat predictable but deliciously creepy!
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The All-Night Sun by Diane Zinna is a great novel that gives a slow, descriptive, and visionary story regarding love, loss, and the repercussions and outcomes of the decisions that we make in life.

This book takes the reader through an intricate and literary journey as we witness arresting landscapes, visionary gems, and characters that are imperfect, flaws and all, and it was fascinating to take a front-row seat to take it all in.

It was at times hard to see events unfolding involving Lauren, S
James Beggarly
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A teacher, who is still in the throes of depression ten year after the death of her parents, decides to spend part of her summer break in Sweden during Midsommar with one of her students, even though this is against school policy. The teacher feels that the student is everything she wants to be, but finds that the student, and her family, have their own grief that they need to deal with.
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such authentic storytelling, straight from the heart. Diane Zinna's The All-Night Sun is a history of grief and loss but it is also an ode to the necessity of deep, essential friendship. Moving and important, this story never shies away from intense emotions. The narrator lets us all the way in to the heart of the main character, the way a true friend does. This is one to be savored page by turning page.
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
via my blog:
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐦𝐲 𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐟𝐚𝐫 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲. 𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐨 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠, 𝐈’𝐝 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧 𝐦𝐲𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟, 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫- 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐥𝐝, 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐬. 𝐈 𝐝𝐢𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐝, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐈 𝐚𝐝𝐦𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦.

Lauren Cress is a twenty-eight year old, lonely woman teaching English Composition in an international program at a small Catholic College outside Washing D.C. An adjunct popular with the foreign students and disliked by the profe
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