Here Comes the Sun (Jamaica)
Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
I have to admit my time in Jamaica was incredibly brief. I enjoyed a sunny, warm day on its shores during a day trip on a Caribbean cruise. We decided we needed more time to relax (because a cruise is stressful?) so we bought a day pass at a resort and lounged around while being served by friendly Jamaican employees.
For all it wasn’t from a #traveldeeper perspective, it was actually an interesting reference point for Here Comes the Sun.
Dennis-Benn, who was born and raised in Kingston, takes readers into the lives of a family of four women, led by the oldest daughter Margot. You quickly learn the past Margot is trying to overcome and throughout the book emotions of sadness, pity, anger, and disbelief all attach themselves to her story. As an employee of a resort, Margot takes readers through the ups and downs of what the locals witness and put up with from the tourists who visit and the owners who manipulate.
Margot and her mother focus on the youngest daughter, Thandi, putting all their eggs in her academic basket. Hoping that she’ll become something more and rescue them all from their daily grind, struggle, and heartache.
Thandi has her own issues kept hidden and her secret wants and desires eventually explode into the community in ways she could never imagine.
This is a powerful story of community, doubt, longing, love and redemption. It’s not perfect - there are some parts that don’t always add up - but the emotional angst of its characters was enough for me.
This story will stay with me and definitely impact the way I travel and engage with locals.