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The Brightest Sun
Cover of The Brightest Sun
The Brightest Sun
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An illuminating debut following three women in sub-Saharan Africa as they search for home and family
Leona, an isolated American anthropologist, gives birth to a baby girl in a remote Maasai village and must decide how she can be a mother, in spite of her own grim childhood. Jane, a lonely expat wife, follows her husband to the tropics and learns just how fragile life is. Simi, a barren Maasai woman, must confront her infertility in a society in which females are valued by their reproductive roles. In this affecting debut novel, these three very different women grapple with motherhood, recalibrate their identities and confront unforeseen tragedies and triumphs.
In beautiful, evocative prose, Adrienne Benson brings to life the striking Kenyan terrain as these women's lives intertwine in unexpected ways. As they face their own challenges and heartbreaks, they find strength traversing the arid landscapes of tenuous human connection. With gripping poignancy, The Brightest Sun explores the heartbreak of loss, the struggle to find a sense of belonging and the surprising ways we find our family and home.
An illuminating debut following three women in sub-Saharan Africa as they search for home and family
Leona, an isolated American anthropologist, gives birth to a baby girl in a remote Maasai village and must decide how she can be a mother, in spite of her own grim childhood. Jane, a lonely expat wife, follows her husband to the tropics and learns just how fragile life is. Simi, a barren Maasai woman, must confront her infertility in a society in which females are valued by their reproductive roles. In this affecting debut novel, these three very different women grapple with motherhood, recalibrate their identities and confront unforeseen tragedies and triumphs.
In beautiful, evocative prose, Adrienne Benson brings to life the striking Kenyan terrain as these women's lives intertwine in unexpected ways. As they face their own challenges and heartbreaks, they find strength traversing the arid landscapes of tenuous human connection. With gripping poignancy, The Brightest Sun explores the heartbreak of loss, the struggle to find a sense of belonging and the surprising ways we find our family and home.
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About the Author-
  • Adrienne Benson grew up traversing sub-Saharan Africa, finding homes in Zambia, Liberia, Kenya, and Cote d'Ivoire. She is now happily ensconced in Washington, D.C. with her three kids. Her writing has appeared in Buzzfeed, The Foreign Service Journal, Brain, Child, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, ADDitude Magazine, and several anthologies. The Brightest Sun is her first novel.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2017

    Harlequin's new literary imprint is feeling radiant about this 1990s Africa-set debut, which explores three women on the continent: two white American expats and an indigenous Massai. With a 30,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 15, 2018
    Set in 1990s Kenya, this expansive debut from Benson follows the lives of five women over two generations that interconnect in extraordinary circumstances. Leona is an anthropological researcher living among the rural Maasai near Narok. After becoming pregnant during a capricious fling, Leona has her child in the isolated Maasai village and feels eerily disconnected from the baby. In her confusion, she turns to her Maasai friend, Simi, who provides her stability. Unable to have children, Simi adopts baby Adia to fulfill her dream of being a mother and to restore her identity and prestige in the strongly maternal Maasai society. In Liberia, Jane, a diplomat’s wife who used to live in Narok, grapples with fear: a violent coup during her pregnancy has deeply affected her psyche, and she is consumed by the worry that her brother’s mental illness will appear in her unborn daughter, Grace. Years later, teenaged Adia and Grace become friends after meeting in class and decide to track down Adia’s father, which opens up many old wounds for all five women. Though the characters are intriguing, strong women, much of their personalities are delivered in chunks of exposition that slow the plot. Benson’s depiction of motherhood across circumstances will please readers interested in stories about forging homes in other cultures.

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    Park Row Books
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The Brightest Sun
The Brightest Sun
Adrienne Benson
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