The All-Night Sun is a captivating debut novel by a talented author. Zinna’s writing is profound and beautiful. The novel is atmospheric and there is a mystique to it that not only drew me in but also filled me with a sense of uncertainty, unease, and chilled me to my core.
Ten years have passed since Lauren lost both of her parents in a car accident, leaving her completely alone to deal with the aftermath. Without any other family members, and friends who were going off to college and moving on with their lives, Lauren did what she had to in order to get through this unbearable loss.
Lauren was consumed by loneliness. Her loneliness and desperation for a connection seeped through the pages of this novel. She craved a feeling of belonging and love. I genuinely wanted her to be able to move on from her grief, to believe in herself, and to forge ahead in life. The only bright spot in her life was teaching a writing class at a small college. She was good at her job, likable, and passionate about engaging her students with thought-provoking assignments.
When Siri began her class, Lauren was captivated by her charisma, their shared grief, and they became fast friends. Lauren’s need for a human connection and a real friend mixed with Siri’s loneliness from being far away from home made their friendship invaluable to them both. An invitation back to Siri’s home in Sweden forced them to see different sides of their personalities, their friendship, and pushed their boundaries.
This novel was a kaleidoscope of emotions. I was never sure what I could believe. Were the events that were taking place truly happening or were they Lauren’s mind’s way of helping her cope and protecting her from her unrelenting grief? I definitely felt invested in Lauren’s life. She was enveloped in a heavy cloak of sadness. She was obsessed with her new student/friend, however, even though their friendship felt slightly odd at times, I felt for Lauren, as she was simply looking for companionship and camaraderie.
The All-Night Sun is a thought-provoking read. The author’s descriptions transport the reader to the various locations in the book. I could visualize everything as if I were right there along with the characters. With evocative prose, intriguing characters, complete with a twist, this book was an entertaining way to spend my time.
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