Book Summary: Here Comes the Sun

Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn tells the story of a mother and her 2 daughters and the sacrifices they make to survive in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Many of the residents live in rural communities while tourists stay in 5-star resorts on the coast. The mother Delores tries her best to provide for her family by selling trinkets and souvenirs to tourists but the first time a man offers her $600 for her first-born daughter, instead of her entire booth, she sells away her daughter’s innocence. From that experience, her oldest daughter, Margot then learns to uses her sexuality to advance her career.

Meanwhile the youngest daughter, Thandi doesn’t realize the sacrifices made by her mother and sister so she can go to a good school and to their hopes become a doctor. The older women use what little money they have to send Thandi to a private school. However, most of Thandi’s schoolmates are of a fairer skin and Thandi, pines over being a lighter shade instead of seeing the beauty in her own brown skin, so much so that she begins to use skin lightening creams.

The novel goes on to further develop themes relating to sexual trauma, colorism, sexuality, and greed. Very well written, the novel takes readers through the landscape of Montego Bay, the sun bearing down, the breeze in the air. With the dialogue written in patois, the reader becomes one of the residents, fearful of what resort expansion means for their livelihood, eager to do what it takes to make a better life.

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