The Brightest Sun

By Adrienne Benson

‘Heartbreaking and hopeful.’ Joanna Luloff

A powerful and moving debut surrounding three women’s quest for home.

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.

Three very different women grapple with motherhood, recalibrate their identities and confront unforeseen tragedies and triumphs in this brilliant debut novel.

Readers love Adrienne Benson:

“this book is a compelling read for all sons, daughters, siblings, and parents”

“The story was captivating!

“Highly recommend!”

“I floated away to Africa”

“The story is engrossing. I loved this book!”


Amazing. Brilliant. Unforgetteable.”

beautifully written with inventive imagery”

Format: ebook
Release Date: 20 Mar 2018
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-1-4740-8363-8
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.

”'Benson illuminates human emotion and psychology with such accuracy…this is a beautiful novel.” - TIM JOHNSTON, New York Times bestselling author of DESCENT

”'Benson's depiction of motherhood across circumstances will please readers interested in stories about forging homes in other cultures.” - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

”'This engrossing narrative offers the experience of engaging and empathizing with cultural differences deeper than unfamiliar customs. It can transport you to Kenya and present the doors of kinship.” - MARY CATHERINE BATESON, author of COMPOSING A LIFE

”'The African backdrop gives an interesting spin to Benson's exploration of themes related to motherhood, outsiderness, and emotional connection.” - BOOKLIST

”'Benson's characters are complicated people, damaged by circumstances past and present; her exploration of what it takes for their wounds to heal is aglow with empathy and insight.” - SUZI WUSS, author of THE CIVILIZED WORLD

”'Benson masterfully braids the lives, desires, and fears of three memorable women. Their loneliness and longing, their bravery and resilience are illuminated-with empathy and honesty-against the vivid landscapes of Kenya and Liberia. This clear-eyed novel is both heartbreaking and hopeful.” - JOANNA LULOFF author of THE BEACH AT GALLE ROAD

”'A riveting page-turner filled with wonder, grace, and joy. Adrienne Benson is a fantastic writer.” - BRANDO SKYHORSE, author of THE MADONNAS OF ECHO PARK

”'An enchanting and deeply moving story, The Brightest Sun is a lovely portrait of three women's lives redolent with beautiful evocations of the African landscape and light. A page-turner of a tale and a stirring and finally redemptive story of mothers and daughters.” - SARA MANSFIELD TABER author of DUSK ON THE CAMPO