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The Sunlit Night: a love story at the top of the world, a review

The Blurb
Back in Manhattan after college graduation, Frances is finding home claustrophobic.  Her family’s compact apartment feels ever more airless, and when her parents announce a divorce and her sister an engagement, Frances decides to flee.  She seeks refuge in an apprenticeship at a Norwegian artists’ colony in Lofoten, a string of islands ninety-five miles north of the Arctic Circle, to find only one artist: Alf, an enigmatic middle-aged descendant of the Sami reindeer hunters, who paints only in the colour yellow.

Yasha an eighteen year old Russian immigrant raised in a bakery in Brighton beach, is kneading dough when he sees his mother for the first time in a decade.  As he gains a selfish parent, he loses his beloved father. He must carry out his father’s last wish to be buried ‘at the top of the world’ and reconcile with the woman who abandoned them both.

So Frances’s and Yasha’s paths collide, millions of miles from their turbulent homes.  Each has come to learn how to be along.  And yet they find one another under the midnight sun, learning that it is ultimately love that gives us our place in the world.

My thoughts
This is a delightful read, not at all what I thought it would be from reading the blurb, the characters are sensitively written and very believable, real people that I felt I could recognise.   I found it a gentle and calming read, not my usual action and adventure type of novel but the plot still carried me along always curious to see what was going to happen next, what would happen to the characters and how they would respond to each new situation.

The Verdict

I would thoroughly recommend this book. This slim volume contains real insight into human nature and the story flows over you with ease, the sign of really excellent writing.

The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein
Published by Bloomsbury Circus 4th June 2015


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