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The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein
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The Sunlit Night

by Rebecca Dinerstein

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1251096,356 (3.11)5

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I heard the author speak and loved listening to her story of how she happened to spend time in Norway. I also loved her descriptions of the natural beauty, so was keen to read this book. However, the characters and the story just didn't engage me and it was a struggle to keep reading. Dinerstein is a talented young woman, for sure. I bet her next book will be better. ( )
  toniclark | Dec 22, 2016 |
The first printed book with words I've read in weeks. It's a winner. ( )
  olevia | Dec 18, 2016 |
From Amazon:

In the beautiful, barren landscape of the Far North, under the ever-present midnight sun, Frances and Yasha are surprised to find refuge in each other. Their lives have been upended--Frances has fled heartbreak and claustrophobic Manhattan for an isolated artist colony; Yasha arrives from Brooklyn to fulfill his beloved father's last wish: to be buried "at the top of the world." They have come to learn how to be alone. But in Lofoten, an archipelago of six tiny islands in the Norwegian Sea, ninety-five miles north of the Arctic Circle, they form a bond that fortifies them against the turmoil of their distant homes, offering solace amidst great uncertainty. With nimble and sure-footed prose, Dinerstein reveals that no matter how far we travel to claim our own territory, it is ultimately love that gives us our place in the world.

My Thoughts:

I really liked this book although it was very different from my usual fare. It has a light, breezy quality with characters that are so very human. It's a first book for this author and it's a well written book with a culture clash that gives the reader much to think about. I found myself effortlessly turning the pages as I learned more and more about the new-found world of Francis and Yasha. I won't give blow-by-blow details of the plot, but suffice it to say that the blurb..."a man and a woman meeting in the far north of Scandinavia"...aptly describes the basic premise. I read the book for a challenge and found that this would be a great book to read at the airport, at the beach, or on vacation for those who like the milder side of literary fiction. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |

3.5 rather than 3 star
Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein 17th June

An intriguing and quirky plotline involving Frances, a 22 year old American artist who escapes her feuding family by taking up an apprenticeship in Norway with an artist who only posts in yellow; and Yasha, a Brooklyn based baker's son who left Russia at the age of 7 with his father. Both find themselves in Norway at the same time (no intention of saying why as that will contain spoilers) and a relationship of sorts results. The question is can it be sustained when both return to their 'normal' lives.

I enjoyed this book, though I preferred it when it dealt with family relationships and tensions - it seemed on safer ground. The central section based in Norway worked fine when it was dealing with Frances and her involvement with the art project. It got a little convoluted and bogged down in Norse mythology once Yasha and his family appeared. Without giving any spoilers, I appreciate the reason for this, but it didn't engage me. It also started to feel at one stage as if it was all taking place in an enormous Viking theme park.

That said the overall story was a good one, concerned with the nature of families, growing up and discovering oneself. It was about learning who you are and what you want from life, rather than doing what others expect or want you to be. It would be interesting to see whether the author has any intention of continuing the story. As it stands, it leaves it at the point that Frances and Yasha are starting to make their own way in life.

I received an ARC via NetGalley in return for an honest review. ( )
  Jilldoyle | Mar 27, 2016 |
Some gorgeous language and turns of phrase, but not enough to fully compensate for the scanty plot.

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2015 | Task 28: A book with antonyms in the title ( )
  Bodagirl | Nov 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Fans of John Safran Foer, who mentored the young writer back in New York, will enjoy its whimsical flavour but the style is all her own.
 
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In the moment after Robert Mason's condom broke, he rolled off me....
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"Frances flees a painful breakup and her claustrophobic childhood home in Manhattan, which has become more airless in the aftermath of two family announcements ... She seeks refuge at a Norwegian artist colony that's offered her a painting apprenticeship ... Yasha, an eighteen-year-old Russian immigrant raised in a bakery in Brighton Beach, is kneading bread in the shop's window when he sees his mother for the first time in a decade. As he gains a selfish and unreliable 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 charismatic woman who abandoned them both. And so Frances' and Yasha's paths intersect in Lofoten, a string of five islands ninety-five miles above the Arctic Circle"--… (more)

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