Don’t let the bright and cheery cover fool you. There is nothing happy or joyful about Here Comes the Sun. Nope, this book is dark and quite depressing at time. Yet it’s still a damn good read. Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn is about a poor struggling Jamaican family trying to make ends meet in what most would considered an Island Paradise but to the natives is anything but.
Margot a strong-willed and smart woman who at an early age learns to trade in her dreams and use her sexuality in the form of survival for herself and her family. Working at an island resort, Margot sells her body for favors and cash so that her smart sister Thandi can attend the best private school to become something better and not have to make the same mistakes and sacrifices that she had to do at such a young age.
Thandi the young naive sister whose life is pretty much planned out for her doesn’t really care for becoming her family meal ticket. Instead this aspiring artist focus on making her skin lighter and occupying her time with a neighborhood boy while dealing with a traumatic event in her past.
Last but not least, is Delores, the mother without any redeeming qualities. There is nothing to say about this evil vindictive sad woman. Reading from her point of view always pissed with off. Without giving anything away this woman is a piece of work for some of the crazy and hurtful things that she done to Margot. All in the name of survival.
Thoughtfully written, Here Comes the Sun is a dark tale, which touches on family, sacrifice and the way tourism can make a beautiful Island Paradise into something ugly and desolate for the natives that just want to be happy and survive. Instead they are pushed to the fringe by corporate greed. You also get to see how little value women have beyond the need for male satisfaction. Whether by paying for the services or forcing themselves without consent.
This will be one of those book that you will once and have it sitting on your shelf for years before picking it back up. That’s how intense and troubling Here Comes the Sun is. But I think that the point. I’m not Jamaican so I can’t speak on that experience but it does seem like the author was making the point of “Hey we have to do better as a people” but that could just be me. Either way, Here Comes the Sun touches on a lot issues from rape to colorism, to classism and homophobia, to the cycle of parental abuse.
If you’re think you can handle this dark and disturbing, yet beautifully written story, I highly recommend you give this book a try. Immerse yourself as the author switches from English to patois to give the reader that island feel. While tackling the effects of colonialism and the many social ills that plague the gorgeous island known as Jamaica.