Cover Image: The Sun Sets in Singapore

The Sun Sets in Singapore

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Member Reviews

Kehinde Fadipe’s debut novel The Sun Sets in Singapore follows three Nigerian expats in Singapore as they navigate career, romance, family, and identity. The arrival of an enigmatic British Nigerian Man, Lani, serves as a catalyst in each of the women’s stories, but Lani himself is decidedly a secondary character. In fact, I think the description does this book a disservice in pitching it as a story of women whose lives are “upended by a handsome and mysterious new arrival” — Lani is less of a leading man and more of a mirror and a plot device. I fear the overemphasis on a ‘handsome and mysterious man’ might deter readers who would otherwise really enjoy this novel, and attract readers who might be disappointed in the lack of romance. 

Nevertheless, as an expat living in Singapore myself, I resonated with the vibrant and accurate depiction of Singapore and its expat communities. Novels following Singapore-based expats abound in the post-Crazy Rich Asians era, but this is the first I’ve encountered that follows Black expat women, which I really enjoyed.

The three women’s stories and the ways in which they intersect are riveting. My one gripe is that, in depicting three such varied and detailed stories, some depth is sacrificed in the characterization of these women. We know the family histories and present-day pursuits of the three protagonists, but their personalities are reduced to their most basic traits: Dara is a socially awkward workaholic, Amaka a shopaholic, etc. This made it hard to root for (or against!) the women and instead meant I kept reading purely to know where the plot went. This isn’t wholly a bad thing — it’s one hell of a plot — but having both character and story would have made the reading experience even more satisfying. 4*. 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for providing this e-arc.
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Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for a digital copy of this debut novel for my honest opinion.

I enjoyed the ex-pat storyline of three Nigerian women living and working in Singapore. I really love traveling through books and the Singapore storyline did not disappoint. This book contains themes of women's friendship, diverse characters, and the vibe of a soap opera. 

This is the November selection for the Read With Jenna book club.
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I loved The Nigerian Wife, and The Sun Sets in Singapore had a similar feel with its ex-pat society. It's a light, fun read, a book that has a beach read vibe. I like books about female friendships, and this one, with the sexy stranger in the middle, was entertaining if a bit predictable. A good read if you want an escape.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for providing this e-arc.
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Pub date: 10/31/23
Genre: contemporary fiction
Quick summary: Singapore is a playground for the wealthy, including Black expats Dara, Amaka, and Lillian. But the arrival of the mysterious Lani will turn all their lives upside down.

I love books about friends (especially friends with secrets), so this description sounded right up my alley. Out of the storylines, I most enjoyed Dara's. As a lawyer working for a promotion, she found herself in direct conflict with Lani, and wow did both of them fight dirty! Amaka and Lilian's obsessions with Lani also put them in dramatic situations. This was a fun read, but I was hoping for a few more fireworks at the end - it seemed like the issues were resolved a bit too neatly. But I enjoyed this look at a society different from my own, and I'd try another book by Fadipe. 3.5 stars.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Sadly I decided to mark this book a DNF at 24%.  I didn't find myself invested enough in the stories of the women to want to continue.  It might have been bad timing and I may try again at another point.
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I liked the premise of this novel and enjoyed both the Nigerian perspective as well as learning about Singapore. But, the multiple perspectives slowed the narrative down and the plot was not as propelling as I would have liked.
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THE SUN SETS IN SINGAPORE follows three Black women in Singapore: ambitious Dara, who wants nothing more than to make partner in her law firm; shopaholic Amaka, a banker who is spending her inheritance on designer clothes and struggling with relationship commitment issues; and lost Lillian, whose marriage is on the rocks and who suffers from the traumatic aftereffects of losing her parents during childhood. When a charismatic, sexy Lani (a Nigerian man hired by Dara’s law firm) appears on the scene, he sets off an explosion of reactions and consequences among the three women. Ultimately, the three women must come to terms with their emotional wounds–and with the racism and patriarchy in their worlds–to decide what they truly value.

The strength of this novel is definitely its social world. The social details of Black (and mostly Nigerian or Nigerian American) expats in Singapore are skillfully rendered, so that my interest in the novel stayed alive even when the plot was slow or the characterization clunky. That’s not to say there aren’t interesting complications or events, and the characters do have complex back stories and emotions, but the writing isn’t quite up to conveying those in a way that let me feel them deeply. The histories and emotional worlds of the characters tend to be summarized–as if the mere presence of these histories and emotions would be enough to do the work of getting the reader involved in the story. This is unfortunate since the social world and plot developments (which eventually weave the characters together in an interesting way) themselves have a lot of dramatic potential. Even given these shortcomings, the novel is still a pleasant read–and worth reading for its fascinating portrayal of a not-often-depicted world.
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The Sun Sets in Singapore is a vibrant novel about three expat women of Nigerian descent in their mid-30s navigating their intense professional and personal lives. Dara is a hardworking lawyer aiming to become partner, Amaka is in finance trying to navigate complicated personal and family relationships, and Lillian is a former professional musician going through marital strife. I really liked how the characters are in each other's lives. They are not the most likable, but they are relatable. There is a lot on the characters' professional lives, which I found a little less interesting. Overall, it's a fascinating look into the lives of expatriate women in Singapore navigating relationships and a different country. I'd recommend this to fans of Kevin Kwan and Lauren Ho. The action and sense of place are cinematic.  

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC. All thoughts are my own.
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"The Sun Sets in Singapore by Kehinde Fadipe is a compelling exploration of love, resilience, and cultural identity. Fadipe's vivid storytelling transports readers to the exotic landscapes of Singapore, painting a rich backdrop for the characters' journeys. The narrative unfolds with a delicate balance of suspense and introspection, keeping readers engaged throughout. While the pacing is generally strong, there are moments where a slightly tighter focus could enhance the overall impact. Nevertheless, Fadipe's unique voice and the story's cross-cultural nuances make it a worthwhile read, earning it a solid four stars."
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I didn’t love it as much as I hoped. I wasn’t rooting for any of the characters, but the setting, drama, and the surprise towards the end kept me invested. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book!
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Kehinde Fadipe's debut novel 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚂𝚞𝚗 𝚂𝚎𝚝𝚜 𝚒𝚗 𝚂𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚊𝚙𝚘𝚛𝚎 follows the lives of Dara, Amaka, and Lillian, three expat women doing their best to survive and thrive as Black women in the hustle and bustle of Singapore. They are brought together by a book club and forced to stay connected when handsome and successful newcomer, Lani, throws things off course.

I was initially intrigued by the premise of this book because I love stories where the characters lives are intertwined, especially if a handsome male character is the one shaking things up. It started out good, a little slow-moving, but I had high hopes. The Singaporean imagery was beautiful and I liked reading about the Nigerian ex-pat experience from three different perspectives. However, I got to a point in the book where I kept asking "where exactly is this going??"

Multi-perspective novels are difficult to pull off and since these characters didn't feel very fleshed out, many of the important topics that came up didn't land as well as they could have. Wanting to follow the drama is really what got me through it, otherwise I would have DNF'ed. The ending saved the story overall, but even that felt rushed and lacking.

What I did appreciate about this novel is that it accurately portrayed how difficult it can be to navigate complicated family dynamics, grief/loss, and identity.

Rating: ☀️☀️☀️/5

Pub Day: October 31, 2023 

Thank you to Kehinde Fadipe and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with this e-ARC via NetGalley!

*All opinions in this review are 100% my own*
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This was such an interesting story. It follows three women living in Singapore and their lives for a period of about a year. It tells their stories and how they weave together in their friendship group. What brought them together was a book club. Turns out everyone has their own problems they’re dealing with. Dara is angling for a promotion at work and a man Lani comes in to work the case she’s been prepping for. Amaka is dealing with fallout from her father’s death and her siblings she doesn’t know. Lillian is dealing with infertility and marriage issues.

I liked this novel, but I also found myself having to re-read parts. It got confusing with the amount of side characters in this book. The latter half of the book is truly where it hits its stride and gets interesting. The end was both expected and yet, surprising. I’d recommend giving it a read!

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This story is set in Singapore with the main characters all having a Nigerian heritage. This plays an important part in each of their stories. The arrival of Lani, a Nigerian/British lawyer upends their lives and that is when the drama begins. I enjoyed reading of the three characters, but at times felt it hard to really connect with them. There was a lot of drama and at times seemed to be a little like a soap opera. I would have enjoyed a more descriptive setting as that was part of the reason I chose this book. I loved the themes of empowerment and sisterhood. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you #netgalley and #grandcentralpublishing 

The three main characters: Dara, Amaka, and Lillian are living the glamorous life (or so it seems) in Singapore—until Lani, appears and turns their worlds upside down.

This was decent read. There was a bit of legal jargon I found a little hard to follow at times. Additionally, I struggled a little to understand and follow the geographical and racial cultural biases woven within their stories. 

However, as the story continues we are introduced to Amaka, Lillian and Dara’s upbringings and how the events of the past shape the perception and actions later in life.

The story really shapes how a person’s History is important and it shapes who we are. 
And we always have to remember, people aren’t always going to leave up to our expectations.
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The Sun Sets in Singapore follows a group of three expat women of Nigerian descent currently living in Singapore (and the city is basically a character in the book, which is fun). The book alternates between all three points of view.  It's a relatively quick-paced book, and a strong debut novel.  Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC.
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“The Sun Sets in Singapore” is the story of three expats, Dara, Amaka, and Lillian, who live in Singapore. For Dara, a workaholic lawyer from the UK, Singapore is full of opportunity, and every day she is closer to achieving her goal of making partner. For Amaka, a banker from Nigeria, Singapore is full of extravagance, and she loves nothing more than shopping at all the luxurious stores Singapore has to offer. For Lillian, a former pianist turned “trailing spouse” from the U.S., Singapore is where she hopes to reinvent herself as she comes to terms with the end of her marriage. When a mysterious and handsome stranger appears in all three of the women’s lives, his arrival infiltrates their tight-knit community and exposes cracks in Singapore’s captivating façade.

I don’t read a lot of general fiction books, but because I am a sucker for Read with Jenna Book Club picks, I just had to read this book, and I am glad I did. The three women’s narratives are woven together to create a captivating and unique story set in glamourous and exotic Singapore. The characters are fascinating and well-developed, and I was truly invested in each of their storylines. I enjoyed their interactions with one another, especially their book club meetings. With the arrival of Lani, the enigmatic stranger who threatens their group’s dynamics, there was an added element of mystery that kept me intrigued. This was a very thought-provoking story about female ambition and the power of friendship.

Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I was really excited about this book after seeing Jenna recommending it, but unfortunately it was not for me. Very slow and really kind of boring. I just couldn't get into it. It was DNF for me. 

Thank you NetGalley, Grand Central Publishing and the author for a free ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I found this book interesting. I enjoyed the specifics and dynamics of Singapore and its business world. I also felt like the book gave perspective to a category of people not often shown in media and books in Singapore.
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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This story follows three friends, Dara, Amaka, and Lillian. Each of the characters were well developed and had their own storyline and conflict. They each have a POV and while it may seem like a lot to many I was able to follow it well and not be lost. While each of our main characters are Nigerian they all came from different backgrounds and led different lifestyles. 

Amaka is a banker who struggles to get her spending under control. Dara was a lawyer, who was trying to make partner at her firm. When Lani comes along she fells like her chances at partner are being threatened. Then last there’s Lilian a former pianist who moved to follow her husband but her marriage ultimately ended in divorce. She struggles to find her footing after her marriage failed and she ended her musical career. 

Overall this was a pretty decent read. The cover is absolutely beautiful and I can see myself reading more from the author in the future. 

Thank you Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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This was an okay book literally kept reading for the drama. The novel follows the friendship between three women struggling to redefine themselves and make decisions that could alter their livelihoods. I expected a little more from the mysterious stranger that caused an uproar within the friendship of Dara, Amaka, and Lillian. But Lani wasn’t really the main focus of their conversations. His role in everything was rather small in my opinion. 

Dara was a lawyer and Lani was a new partner at the firm. With his arrival Dara immediately hates him and feels as though he’s a threat to her future position at the company. 

Amaka was a banker with a shopping addiction and on the verge of going broke. Her addiction arose from the fact she grew up without a present father. According to her mother, “Chuckwu’s money must have been like his love: too slippery to be held down or counted on.” She was also secretly having sex with Lani behind Dara’s back knowing how she felt about him. Amaka tends to chase after unavailable men that remind her of her father. Could be why she went after Lani.

Lillian was a former pianist turned “trailing spouse” from the U.S. who moved to Singapore with her spouse hoping to start over fresh. Instead her marriage is in shambles and ends in divorce. Her husband moved on to another woman faster than P-Diddy did with Making the Band. Then she had this weird obsession with thinking Lani was her father reincarnated. I slick thought she was crazy but it all made sense in the end. 
Overall, it was meh a little to drama-filled and never got to the core of the novel. We get a lot of backstory on the main characters and while they all had distinct personalities they still lacked depth. I’m not really sure where the author intended to go with the novel but I was entertained for the most part. Special thanks to @grandcentralpub for my finished copy & @librofm for my ALC!!!
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