The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein, review by Sarah Bagby
In lucid and lyrical prose, The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein tells the story of two disparate souls who meet in Lofoten, a group of tiny islands above the Arctic Circle in Norway.
Seventeen-year-old Yasha and his father run a bakery in Brighton Beach. Dinerstein evokes the sounds and smells of the bakery: we see and breathe the flour dust, and are seduced by the smell of fresh bread from the oven. One summer, father and son shut down the bakery to travel, and Yasha’s father dies a sudden death.
Yasha has to fulfill the promise he made to his father to bury him at the top of the world. Frances is an artist who escapes New York City to work with an elusive Norwegian artist after a devastating break-up. Her family is imploding while she is adjusting to unending daylight and painting bright yellow murals. We feel the incessant light and smell the paint as it is applied to the canvas. In the small and remote community, Frances and Yasha-- the only visitors-- explore the landscape as they discover much about themselves, the people they love, and how it is to feel secure.
Dinerstein’s writing is as illuminating as the sun is bright in this charming novel of family, fathers and where we have to go to find what we need.
Sarah Bagby's review first appeared on 89.1 KMUW. You can listen to the review HERE.