The Sun Sets in Singapore
A Today Show Read With Jenna Book Club Pick
by Kehinde Fadipe
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Pub Date 31 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2023
Basking in Singapore’s nonstop sunshine, low tax rate, and luxury goods market, Dara, Amaka, and Lillian are living the glamorous expat dream—until their carefully constructed lives are upended by a handsome and mysterious new arrival.
Dara, a workaholic lawyer from the UK, is on the brink of partnership at her firm. Estranged from her mother, and perpetually uncomfortable around her hypercompetitive colleagues, her insecurities intensify exponentially when Lani, a new hire from Geneva (and a fellow British Nigerian), is assigned to work on what should have been her career-making case. Pitted against each other by their boss, Dara can’t help but see Lani as a threat: a privileged man poised to take her place.
Amaka, a sharp-tongued banker from Nigeria, is in the midst of a painful family dispute. Thousands of miles away from home, she’s doing her best to distract herself with a flirtatious workplace romance—and hiding a spiraling shopping addiction that’s endangering not only her finances but her very sense of self. An instant attraction to Lani jeopardizes the last shred of stability she has.
Lillian, a pianist turned “trailing spouse” from the US, is desperately trying to stay in Singapore after her marriage comes to a messy end. Rather than sell her beloved piano, the last precious reminder she has of her parents, she takes a low-paying job at a language school. A chance encounter with Lani—a man who is inexplicably, impossibly, the spitting image of her late father—triggers a grief she’s spent a lifetime suppressing, leading to an obsession that imperils everything—and everyone—around her.
Forced to confront the ghosts of their pasts, Dara, Amaka, and Lillian soon learn that unfinished history can follow you anywhere, no matter how far you run from home.
"Unlike anything I’ve ever read. Slick, agile, and utterly engrossing, this spectacular debut features a set of protagonists so rarely portrayed: Black women expats."
–TAIYE SELASI, author of Ghana Must Go
"A compelling story of ambition, identity, and friendship, this dynamic debut novel is a must-read for every book club."
–KIRTHANA RAMISETTI, author of Good Morning America Book Club pick Dava Shastri's Last Day
"A satisfying blend of drama, glamour, and friendship—a stunning and impressive story with bold characters worth loving and rooting for."
–JANE IGHARO, author of Where We End & Begin
"With a vibrant host of characters set against the lush, wanderlust-inducing backdrop of Southeast Asia, Fadipe's energetic, technicolor prose sucks you into the maddening worlds of Dara, Amaka, and Lillian... A rich celebration of the nuanced complexities of Black womanhood and friendship."
–LOLA AKINMADE ÅKERSTRÖM, international bestselling author of In Every Mirror She's Black
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 117 members
"The Sun Sets in Singapore" by Kehinde Fadipe is a gripping novel that explores the lives of three expat women in Singapore whose worlds are turned upside down by the arrival of a mysterious and alluring man. Dara, a workaholic lawyer from the UK, is fighting for a promotion at her law firm and is threatened by the arrival of Lani, a new hire from Geneva. Amaka, a Nigerian banker, is struggling with a family dispute and a shopping addiction that could endanger her financial stability. Lillian, an American pianist turned "trailing spouse," is trying to come to terms with the end of her marriage while also dealing with the grief of losing her parents.
The story is skillfully woven, with each character's narrative interweaving with the others, and the tension building as they each confront their past and present struggles. The setting of Singapore provides a glamorous and exotic backdrop to the story, and Fadipe's writing beautifully captures the sights and sounds of the city.
The characters are all complex and well-drawn, each with their own flaws and insecurities. Their interactions with each other are fraught with tension and intrigue, and the arrival of Lani adds an element of danger and mystery to the story.
Overall, "The Sun Sets in Singapore" is a captivating and engrossing read that explores themes of identity, ambition, and the ghosts of our pasts. Fadipe's writing is lyrical and evocative, and she deftly captures the struggles and triumphs of her characters. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary fiction and anyone looking for a thrilling and thought-provoking read.
The Sun Sets in Singapore tells the story of three Nigerian expat women in their thirties - Dara, Amaka, and Lillian - living in Singapore. Dara is a workaholic lawyer and is laser focused on making partner. Amaka is a credit risk officer with a serious addiction to designer fashion. Lillian is a pianist turned English teacher whose young marriage is on the rocks. When a new lawyer gets hired at Dara's firm, the handsome mystery man somehow ends up bringing chaos into all three of the women's lives.
I really enjoyed this debut novel; I found it to be well-written and captivating all the way through. The end of every chapter created tension that had me dying to read that character's next chapter. I enjoyed seeing all three of the women's stories come to satisfying resolutions and I felt that all three of their characters were well-developed and showed growth by the end of the book. I enjoyed all of the cultural references about Singapore and Nigeria and the author describes settings beautifully and in detail. I also really liked the book club scenes, and I added a few titles to my TBR list!
Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to read this e-ARC.
This fun, novel gives a glimpse into the lives of expats we don’t normally come across in fiction. Black women from across the diaspora live in Singapore, and stumble through the minor and major aggressions their race triggers from others. Both funny, and paced like your favorite soapy drama, this novel is an ideal summer read.
Sunsets in Singapore by Kehinde Fadipe is an extraordinary literary masterpiece that captivated me from the first page to the last. This brilliant novel weaves a tapestry of emotions, culture and relationships, taking readers to the bustling streets of Singapore and immersing them in a world that is both unfamiliar and deeply relatable.
The story follows various characters whose lives intersect against the backdrop of Singapore's rich history and dynamic landscape. Fadipe's prose is a joy to read, conjuring vivid images and craft scenes so compelling you can almost smell the spices of the local cuisine and feel the wet breeze on your skin. The author's extraordinary ability to describe the sights, sounds and smells of the city creates an atmosphere that makes Singapore its own character. The strength of The Sun Sets in Singapore lies in its multi-dimensional cast of characters, each with their own complex backstories and struggles. Fadipe delves into their innermost thoughts and feelings, portraying them as flawed, genuine and deeply human. As a result, readers will undoubtedly find themselves empathizing and rooting for these characters, feeling connected to their triumphs and heartaches.
In addition to being an immersive cultural experience, the novel delves into timeless themes of love, loss and resilience. Fadipe handles these complex emotions with sweetness and sensitivity, creating a story that tugs at the heartstrings leaving a lasting impression on the reader's soul. In addition, an investigation of Singapore's history and the interaction of different cultures is thoughtfully introduced. Fadipe masterfully deals with the complexities of race and social dynamics, making this book an eye-opening and educational journey for readers looking to expand their horizons.
Although fictional, The Sunset in Singapore is a moving reflection of the human experience that transcends geographical boundaries and resonates with readers from all walks of life. The novel's bittersweet ending had me pondering its deeper messages long after I turned the last page.
Finally, The Sunset in Singapore is an extraordinary tour de force by Kehinde Fadipe, which demonstrates the author's exceptional storytelling ability and deep understanding of the human condition. I recommend this book to any avid reader looking for a memorable and emotionally resonant literary journey.
If you love to travel through books, grab this one ASAP!
Welcome to Singapore!
A glamorous place to live as an expat as long as you have personal wealth and connections. Through Kehinde Fadipe's fabulous story we meet three very different Nigerian born women living life in the very cultural different Singapore.
Dara is a lawyer putting in endless hours in hopes to become a partner which is no small feat as a woman and a black woman in an Asian country. Amaka is a highflying banker trying to make peace within her torn and complicated family as it tears her apart and Lillian, a ghost of an American woman trying to conceive and make her way in Singapore as the spouse of an important man. The three connect in a book club but the story really takes off when a man from Nigeria enters the scene and impacts all of their lives
Just loved it - a bit of everything, a thriller, a contemporary story, culturally interesting and commentary on racism and feminism. If you love domestic stories, extravagant wealth and women trying to make their way in our world this is an exciting novel for you!