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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 resentment, greed, and betrayal.

It’s a family tragedy Shakespeare could have written. Delores has two daughters, Margot and Thandi, born over ten years apart. Delores and Margot have major baggage between them, but one thing they can agree on is that they want better for Thandi, and they throw all their energy into providing for her. Margot works the front desk in a fancy Montego Bay hotel, a job which positions her perfectly for her other job as a prostitute. Margot is pragmatic; she tells herself it’s all worth it so that Thandi can go to a good school and become a doctor. But Thandi might have other ideas about her future—and trust me, that brewing conflict is just the tip of the iceberg with these women.

Early on, this book felt like another deep character study—which it is—but it also turned out to be absolutely pitch-perfect, plot-wise. This summer I have been craving good plot development like chocolate. If something isn’t happening to advance the story, I’m tapping my foot and sighing loudly. Once the scene-setting and character-introducing is over and the shocking revelations start rolling in one after another, you’ll be hooked until the bitter end. (And I use the word “bitter” VERY deliberately. I have a feeling those last couple chapters will haunt me for some time.)

My one regret is that I went with the ebook version instead of the audio. I would love to hear what a talented voice actor could do with the musical patois the dialogue is written in. Nicole Dennis-Benn is at the top of her form, even as a debut novelist. Highest possible recommendation.

With regards to Liveright and NetGalley for the review copy. On sale now!