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In the Face of the Sun

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Go On Girl Book Club 2021 New Author of the Year | She Reads Best Literary Historical Fiction Coming in 2022 | BookRiot 2022 Historical Fiction to Add to Your TBR Right Now | We are Bookish Historical Fiction Novels You’ll Want in Your Future | BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Books of 2022 | BookBub Best Books of Spring 2022 & Best Historical Fiction Books of 2022 | BookT Go On Girl Book Club 2021 New Author of the Year | She Reads Best Literary Historical Fiction Coming in 2022 | BookRiot 2022 Historical Fiction to Add to Your TBR Right Now | We are Bookish Historical Fiction Novels You’ll Want in Your Future | BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Books of 2022 | BookBub Best Books of Spring 2022 & Best Historical Fiction Books of 2022 | BookTrib Top Ten Historical Fiction Books for the Spring 2022 In this haunting novel, the author of Wild Women and the Blues weaves together two stories as they unfold decades apart, as a woman on the run from an abusive husband joins her intrepid aunt as they head across the country from Chicago to Los Angeles, and confront a painful and shadowy past that has reverberated across generations. 1928, Los Angeles: The newly-built Hotel Somerville is the hotspot for the city's glittering African-American elite. It embodies prosperity and dreams of equality for all—especially Daisy Washington. An up-and-coming journalist, Daisy anonymously chronicles fierce activism and behind-the-scenes Hollywood scandals in order to save her family from poverty. But power in the City of Angels is also fueled by racism, greed, and betrayal. And even the most determined young woman can play too many secrets too far . . . 1968, Chicago: For Frankie Saunders, fleeing across America is her only escape from an abusive husband. But her rescuer is her reckless, profane Aunt Daisy, still reeling from her own shattered past. Frankie doesn't want to know what her aunt is up to so long as Daisy can get her to LA—and safety. But Frankie finds there’s no hiding from long-held secrets—or her own surprising strength. Daisy will do whatever it takes to settle old scores and resolve the past—no matter the damage. And Frankie will come up against hard choices in the face of unexpected passion. Both must come to grips with what they need, what they’ve left behind—and all that lies ahead . . .


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Go On Girl Book Club 2021 New Author of the Year | She Reads Best Literary Historical Fiction Coming in 2022 | BookRiot 2022 Historical Fiction to Add to Your TBR Right Now | We are Bookish Historical Fiction Novels You’ll Want in Your Future | BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Books of 2022 | BookBub Best Books of Spring 2022 & Best Historical Fiction Books of 2022 | BookT Go On Girl Book Club 2021 New Author of the Year | She Reads Best Literary Historical Fiction Coming in 2022 | BookRiot 2022 Historical Fiction to Add to Your TBR Right Now | We are Bookish Historical Fiction Novels You’ll Want in Your Future | BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Books of 2022 | BookBub Best Books of Spring 2022 & Best Historical Fiction Books of 2022 | BookTrib Top Ten Historical Fiction Books for the Spring 2022 In this haunting novel, the author of Wild Women and the Blues weaves together two stories as they unfold decades apart, as a woman on the run from an abusive husband joins her intrepid aunt as they head across the country from Chicago to Los Angeles, and confront a painful and shadowy past that has reverberated across generations. 1928, Los Angeles: The newly-built Hotel Somerville is the hotspot for the city's glittering African-American elite. It embodies prosperity and dreams of equality for all—especially Daisy Washington. An up-and-coming journalist, Daisy anonymously chronicles fierce activism and behind-the-scenes Hollywood scandals in order to save her family from poverty. But power in the City of Angels is also fueled by racism, greed, and betrayal. And even the most determined young woman can play too many secrets too far . . . 1968, Chicago: For Frankie Saunders, fleeing across America is her only escape from an abusive husband. But her rescuer is her reckless, profane Aunt Daisy, still reeling from her own shattered past. Frankie doesn't want to know what her aunt is up to so long as Daisy can get her to LA—and safety. But Frankie finds there’s no hiding from long-held secrets—or her own surprising strength. Daisy will do whatever it takes to settle old scores and resolve the past—no matter the damage. And Frankie will come up against hard choices in the face of unexpected passion. Both must come to grips with what they need, what they’ve left behind—and all that lies ahead . . .

30 review for In the Face of the Sun

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    1928. Sisters Daisy and Henrietta Washington work as chambermaids and at the newly opened Somerville Hotel. Daisy wants to be a journalist, she anonymously hands inside information to a reporter and for a good reason. This causes Daisy to lose two important things, her sister stops speaking to her and she no longer knows who she can trust in Hollywood. 1968. Francine Saunders is married to Jackson, she’s eight weeks pregnant and she wants to leave her abusive husband. Her aunt Daisy offers her a 1928. Sisters Daisy and Henrietta Washington work as chambermaids and at the newly opened Somerville Hotel. Daisy wants to be a journalist, she anonymously hands inside information to a reporter and for a good reason. This causes Daisy to lose two important things, her sister stops speaking to her and she no longer knows who she can trust in Hollywood. 1968. Francine Saunders is married to Jackson, she’s eight weeks pregnant and she wants to leave her abusive husband. Her aunt Daisy offers her a ride to Los Angeles, Frankie isn’t prepared for her aunt’s reckless behavior, she chain smokes and swears and she wasn’t expecting a third person to join them. Frankie’s worried that two colored women driving in a bright red car with a draft dodging white man will attract unwanted attention and during such troubled and violent times. But Frankie wants to know why her mother and aunt haven’t spoken in forty years, she’s not going to give up her one opportunity to find out and she has no idea Daisy is planning revenge. The unconventional road trip is an interesting and entertaining plot combination of Driving Miss Daisy on drugs and Thelma and Louise. I received a copy of In the Face of the Sun from Edelweiss and Kensington Publishing Corp in exchange for an honest review. Denny S. Bryce has written a relevant story set in old Hollywood and 1960’s Chicago about racism, love, tragedy, and the stages of grief, forgiveness and the lasting impact of physical and emotional abuse in the African-American community. Five stars from me and I can't wait to read Wild Women and the Blues. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/ https://www.facebook.com/KarrenReadsH...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Jenner

    IN THE FACE OF THE SUN is a vivid multi-generational tale that brings to life two seismic times in American history, forty years apart: 1928 and 1968. But at its heart, author Denny S. Bryce's second novel is about two women who take a road trip out west for very different reasons: one to escape her present, the other to reckon with her past. Bryce is gifted at finding and evoking compassion for all her characters, while conveying their unique personal and social struggles. I loved all the women IN THE FACE OF THE SUN is a vivid multi-generational tale that brings to life two seismic times in American history, forty years apart: 1928 and 1968. But at its heart, author Denny S. Bryce's second novel is about two women who take a road trip out west for very different reasons: one to escape her present, the other to reckon with her past. Bryce is gifted at finding and evoking compassion for all her characters, while conveying their unique personal and social struggles. I loved all the women in this book, from sassy senior citizen Daisy and her ambitious younger incarnation, to Frankie, her caring and thoughtful niece, who must find the courage to surmount an abusive marriage. With a supporting cast that includes real-life significant players in historic LA and black Hollywood and a decades-old mystery to solve, IN THE FACE OF THE SUN will charm and captivate historical fiction readers.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julie Failla Earhart

    Denny S. Bryce hits another one out of the park with her second novel, “In the Face of the Sun.” She returns to the 1920s for one of her two timelines, but juxtaposes it with a 1968 road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. In 1928 Los Angeles, Daisy Washington is a young woman who has dreams of becoming a journalist, writing for Black-owned papers. Mostly she collects gossip for Harry Belmont’s column in the “California Eagle” she gleans from the rich and famous Blacks who are checking into the new Denny S. Bryce hits another one out of the park with her second novel, “In the Face of the Sun.” She returns to the 1920s for one of her two timelines, but juxtaposes it with a 1968 road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. In 1928 Los Angeles, Daisy Washington is a young woman who has dreams of becoming a journalist, writing for Black-owned papers. Mostly she collects gossip for Harry Belmont’s column in the “California Eagle” she gleans from the rich and famous Blacks who are checking into the new Hotel Somerville where she and her sister work as chambermaids... From Bryce’s descriptions the hotel is stylish and glamorous. Daisy is excited that gets to meet Stepin Fetchit, the comedian, one of the first Black actors to make it big in Hollywood. But even more, Daisy is over the moon to see W.E.B. Du Bois as he and a bevy of Hollywood elite arrive. Du Bois has arranged to hold the NAACP’s annual meeting at the Somerville. Then the narrative shifts to 1968 Chicago. Daisy’s niece Francine (aka Frankie) has learned that she is about eight weeks pregnant with her abusive husband, Jackson. For the baby’s sake, and hers, Frankie has decided to leave him. As she is headed to the bus station, Daisy pulls up and talks her into going to Los Angeles with her. Since they will be driving, Jackson will never be able to catch up with her and force her to return. The two take off for a Thelma and Louise road-trip along Route 66. Daisy isn’t being nice; she has some business in LA and wouldn’t mind the company. The 1928 timeline was well-researched. I felt as if I were there. In the 1968 timeline, there were more twists that made the road trip dangerous. A third plot line that weaves between the two narratives is Daisy and her sister, Henrietta. They were very close, but a tragedy forced them to not speak for over forty years. Bryce is excellent at spooling out bits of information about this subplot as the roared toward a conclusion. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed “In the Face of the Sun.” This sophomore novel receives 5 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    Told in alternating time lines: 1968 and 1928, it’s a story about a young Black woman escaping her abusive husband and her audacious Aunt Daisy, who helps her escape. The writing was invigorating, the characters realistic, and the story is compelling. There is a lot Of issues the characters face in the book. It’s an enlightening read. Thanks to Edelweiss and Kensington for the early read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    A dual story of fame, fortune, love and revenge. 1928 Two sisters work at a famous hotel catering to the black elite of Los Angeles. Daisy and Henrietta take their jobs very seriously at the Hotel Somerville and are privy to secrets, scandals and the comings and goings of the Hollywood elite until something happens to wedge the sisters apart. Fast forward to 1968 where Frankie is pregnant and fleeing an abusive husband in Chicago. She needs a getaway which is just what Aunt Daisy will provide bu A dual story of fame, fortune, love and revenge. 1928 Two sisters work at a famous hotel catering to the black elite of Los Angeles. Daisy and Henrietta take their jobs very seriously at the Hotel Somerville and are privy to secrets, scandals and the comings and goings of the Hollywood elite until something happens to wedge the sisters apart. Fast forward to 1968 where Frankie is pregnant and fleeing an abusive husband in Chicago. She needs a getaway which is just what Aunt Daisy will provide but she has no idea what she is getting herself into. Daisy is looking to settle old scores and it will be a roadtrip for the books. Old Hollywood meets Thelma and Louise plus one young hippie roadtrip. A wonderful slice of Hollywood glamour that has been largely unnoticed paired with the turbulent 60's civil rights movement. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy. 4 1/2 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin

    Solid read. Enjoyed much more than her first book and can definitely see growth. I love how the author interjects historical facts throughout the storyline. While i was a kid in 1968, i remember a lot of the events of that time. Im glad I gave this author a second chance.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Flint

    In the Face of the Sun is the multigenerational journey of an African-American family from 1928 to 1968. It chronicles the history of racism and activism in the United States. In 1928, the Hotel Somerville opened in LA. It was the first luxury hotel built exclusively for Blacks. It also employed two young, Black sisters, Daisy and Henrietta Washington. A parallel story starts in Chicago in 1968. The country is reeling from the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Senat In the Face of the Sun is the multigenerational journey of an African-American family from 1928 to 1968. It chronicles the history of racism and activism in the United States. In 1928, the Hotel Somerville opened in LA. It was the first luxury hotel built exclusively for Blacks. It also employed two young, Black sisters, Daisy and Henrietta Washington. A parallel story starts in Chicago in 1968. The country is reeling from the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy. We meet Frankie Saunders, a young, pregnant Black woman who is fleeing an abusive husband. It is the story about how dreams, love and misconceptions can destroy a family. It is also about how a cross country road trip with an estranged aunt, her pregnant niece and a draft dodger sheds light on the past and helps resolve the misdeeds from 40 years early. So lucky to have received an advance copy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    4.5 stars - compelling with a vivid voice, though the pacing sagged a bit at times. I didn’t find myself as sucked in and flying through the pages as I’d hoped. Minor complaints for a strong story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Linda Galella

    Dual timelines with multiple arcs makes “In the Face of the Sun” an interesting, character driven, mildly complex historical novel. Some of the characters in author, Denny S. Bryce’s sophomore offering are real historical figures: W. E. B. DuBoise, Step Fetchit, (Lincoln Perry), Drs. John & Vada Somerville, Beatrice M. Cannady, King Vidor, Nina Mae, McKinney, Jack Johnson and Charlotta Bass, among others. Some other characters are based on real people and you can read about those inspirations in Dual timelines with multiple arcs makes “In the Face of the Sun” an interesting, character driven, mildly complex historical novel. Some of the characters in author, Denny S. Bryce’s sophomore offering are real historical figures: W. E. B. DuBoise, Step Fetchit, (Lincoln Perry), Drs. John & Vada Somerville, Beatrice M. Cannady, King Vidor, Nina Mae, McKinney, Jack Johnson and Charlotta Bass, among others. Some other characters are based on real people and you can read about those inspirations in the author’s note at the end of the book. I heartily suggest reading that PRIOR to reading the book. The 1928 timeline takes place in what’s known as “Brown Hollywood” featuring key individuals from the movie industry, art, architecture and other white and black elite. Primary setting for this arc is the Hotel Somerville, an elite location for African Americans and a good foil for the many layers of characters in this arc. Bryce does a good job with descriptive prose relating to clothing, architecture, hair styles and makeup. I was less impressed with the dialogue and found it confusing and not historically accurate in some instances. The phrase, “no worries” appears in the 1968 timeline when my research says it didn’t arrive in the US until approximately 1986 with Mick Dundee and his blockbuster movie. There are other examples but I won’t bore you. Also in the dialogue are an huge number of grammar disasters. Because I read an advanced copy, I cannot tell if it’s meant to be part of the language of lower socioeconomic black society or it’s major proofing that still needs to be done. My suspicion is the later as the errors effect all characters. 1968 is the timeline for the second major thread. Frankie, her Aunt, Daisy and Tobey, a white pacifist needing details to fill out his character, are heading across country in Daisy’s red mustang. Each has a specific goal in mind, running from and to something or someone. They meet a colorful bunch of quirky folks and find a heap of trouble as they travel from Chicago to L. A. Historical details from the 1928 timeline are filled into this timeline as Daisy tells her niece, tidbit by tidbit, about her intriguing life and unknown information about Frankie’s estranged mother. Relationships between husbands and wives, aunt and niece, sisters, friends and race relationships are the hallmark of “In the Face of the Sun”. A short epilogue chapter that takes place in 1990 goes a long way to tie up the loose threads. Adding a brief third timeline, it’s a good ending to Bryce’s second offering and creates a satisfying conclusion for all concerned📚 NOTE: 10 questions are included at the end of the book for reading groups or book clubs. Read & Reviewed from a GoodReads Giveaway.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Larnell

    Denny Bryce has once again penned a awesome historical fiction story that weaves together two stories from different time periods. The dual time-line technique allow us to witness the parallels between the two time periods. We also discover how the characters are connected across time. The dual timelines cover 1928 and 1968. The story begins in 1968, the same year that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Presidential candidate, Robert Kennedy were assassinated. The war in Vietnam was raging, and the Denny Bryce has once again penned a awesome historical fiction story that weaves together two stories from different time periods. The dual time-line technique allow us to witness the parallels between the two time periods. We also discover how the characters are connected across time. The dual timelines cover 1928 and 1968. The story begins in 1968, the same year that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Presidential candidate, Robert Kennedy were assassinated. The war in Vietnam was raging, and the violent Chicago Democratic Convention was viewed on our TV screens. The world was “a mess”, as Daisy, one of the female protagonists describes it. We meet a pregnant Frankie who is planning to leave her abusive husband, Jackson. The absolutely last person in the world she expects to help her leave is her Aunt Daisy, the family member that no one speaks to, but only speaks about, and not in a good way. I love her character. The audacious Miss Daisy drives a “candy-apple-red Ford Mustang fastback”. She is a pivotal character in this story as Ms Bryce reveals her intriguing life’s story. That’s where the year 1928, comes into play. Daisy is a young woman residing in sunny California. For African Americans across the nation, times were hard and racism was rampant. She lives with her over-bearing father, a sickly mother, and a younger sister, Henrietta. Daisy and Henrietta are employed at the newly built Hotel Somerville, the first luxury hotel built for African Americans in Los Angeles. The historical figures who appear in the story will blow you away, from the Somervilles to Stepin Fetchit, aka Lincoln Perry. I can’t omit the music of the times and the iconic places that give the story a lot of authenticity. Ms Bryce’s precise references and research are on point in the telling of this engrossing story. I can’t wait until you read this story and follow Frankie, Daisy and Henrietta, women of a multigenerational family.The Epilogue, dated 1990, is epic! IN THE FACE OF THE SUN is a gripping story that I highly recommend. It’s a great women’s fiction story, and historical fiction that is both entertaining and educational. You will not be disappointed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    I received a free copy as part of a Goodreads giveaway. (Mild spoilers ahead) Pros: The history! The glamour! The author does a wonderful job bringing the Roaring Twenties to life, with an viewpoint that goes explores a more "average" family than we typically see with novels set in this time period (e.g., lots of ages and life goals). As fun as it is to read about speakeasies, jazz, and illicit affairs, this novel takes a more unique approach, truly focusing on the lives of a black family in 1920 I received a free copy as part of a Goodreads giveaway. (Mild spoilers ahead) Pros: The history! The glamour! The author does a wonderful job bringing the Roaring Twenties to life, with an viewpoint that goes explores a more "average" family than we typically see with novels set in this time period (e.g., lots of ages and life goals). As fun as it is to read about speakeasies, jazz, and illicit affairs, this novel takes a more unique approach, truly focusing on the lives of a black family in 1920s L.A. Traveling through different eras, you really get to experience the connections between family members and see how a small decision can set off a domino effect through the years. Cons: At times, the switches back and forth between eras was a little confusing, especially given that the narrators didn't really have their own distinct voices (e.g., young Daisy reads a lot like young Francine). Also the description of Daisy as a young woman versus her older self didn't seem to quite line up. I personally though older Daisy sounded a lot more like young Henrietta. However, the story was still worth the few bumps along the way. Overall, I thought this was an interesting story worth the telling.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Thank you so much to @bibliolifestyle and @kensingtonbooks for allowing me to review this book! In The Face of the Sun is by Denny S. Bryce and was released April 26th! This book is told in two timelines. In 1968 we meet Frankie in Chicago as she’s about to run away from her abusive husband. She’s with her Aunt Daisy and she doesn’t really know her very well. The other timeline takes place in 1928, Los Angeles, with Daisy’s story as she works at a new hotel for the African-American elite. ❤️Revi Thank you so much to @bibliolifestyle and @kensingtonbooks for allowing me to review this book! In The Face of the Sun is by Denny S. Bryce and was released April 26th! This book is told in two timelines. In 1968 we meet Frankie in Chicago as she’s about to run away from her abusive husband. She’s with her Aunt Daisy and she doesn’t really know her very well. The other timeline takes place in 1928, Los Angeles, with Daisy’s story as she works at a new hotel for the African-American elite. ❤️Review❤️ This is my second book by Denny S. Bryce and they’ve both been 5 stars! I love books told with dual timelines. This book had the glitz and glamour of L.A, but also the grit and seriousness with the a woman breaking away from domestic violence. The book is extremely well researched for both perspectives. Each woman faced her own problems in a strong way even when you can feel the danger coming right off of the page. Family is important to both of them and I loved seeing how both storylines ultimately came together in the end. I couldn’t get enough of both of their journeys and the epilogue was the perfect touch. 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #InFaceOfTheSun #DennySBryce #BiblioStyle #Books #HistoricalFiction #BookGiveAway #Books #Bookstagram #BooksBooksBooks #NewBooks

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sharyn

    I received an ARC for this book for an honest review. A fascinating historical fiction focused on a black family in LA in 1928 and 1968, with a murder mystery thrown in to move the plot forward. I learned a lot about black life in LA and Hollywood in the 1920's through the eyes of Daisy Washington, who is a terrific character. Her niece Frankie is the other main protagonist and they meet in Chicago and then take a cross country trip back to LA. Even though it takes place in the past, this is a ve I received an ARC for this book for an honest review. A fascinating historical fiction focused on a black family in LA in 1928 and 1968, with a murder mystery thrown in to move the plot forward. I learned a lot about black life in LA and Hollywood in the 1920's through the eyes of Daisy Washington, who is a terrific character. Her niece Frankie is the other main protagonist and they meet in Chicago and then take a cross country trip back to LA. Even though it takes place in the past, this is a very topical book as 1968 is a year we saw so much change and thought the momentum of that year would change the world. Yet, our society seems to be moving backwards, and the nostalgia of that time, especially the civil rights movement is just falling away. I lived in LA for many years and many of the places in the book brought back memories for me. I highly recommend this book, which will be published next week.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Smith

    In this fast-paced dual timeline novel we follow Frankie Saunders in 1968 Chicago, fleeing across country to escape an abusive marriage, aided by her aunt Daisy whose story in 1928 Los Angeles forms the contrasting backdrop to the current narrative. The story of women looking to start over against tremendous odds isn’t a new one but in Bryce’s hands it comes alive, as she blends in the rich history of both 1920’s Hollywood scandals and forty years later, the upheaval of the 1960’s civil rights m In this fast-paced dual timeline novel we follow Frankie Saunders in 1968 Chicago, fleeing across country to escape an abusive marriage, aided by her aunt Daisy whose story in 1928 Los Angeles forms the contrasting backdrop to the current narrative. The story of women looking to start over against tremendous odds isn’t a new one but in Bryce’s hands it comes alive, as she blends in the rich history of both 1920’s Hollywood scandals and forty years later, the upheaval of the 1960’s civil rights movement. The story of these two women, struggling against odds to rebuild their lives, framed by the ever-present racism that’s a part of their everyday existence, is well-written and engaging. An intriguing historical women’s fiction from an author we’re sure to hear more from. Thanks to NetGalley for my advanced reader copy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly (Kimm) Mayer

    I really enjoyed this story of two generations of estranged family overcoming distrust and misunderstanding to be a catalyst for the future. While not unsatisfied with the end, I would have love to have a bit more development of some of the key supporting characters. I think it would have made the ending more of a resolution rather than a wrap up. In general, I would recommend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Wagner

    I really loved this author's earlier novel (Wild Women and the Blues) and I found this book only slightly less compelling. This story is split between 1928 and 1968 and follows two generations of a family and themes which connect them. I enjoyed the 1968 pieces a little more, but overall this book was a great read and I look forward to more from this author! I really loved this author's earlier novel (Wild Women and the Blues) and I found this book only slightly less compelling. This story is split between 1928 and 1968 and follows two generations of a family and themes which connect them. I enjoyed the 1968 pieces a little more, but overall this book was a great read and I look forward to more from this author!

  17. 4 out of 5

    KC

    1928 City of Angels; 1968 Chicago. Two timelines, two women, two points of view. The backdrop of scandal, racism, crime, activism, war. Can an aging estranged aunt and her niece run from their pasts while securing their futures? For fans of Brit Bennett.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Coffee&Books

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I picked this up in audio after publication. I was really rooting for Frankie and hoped she made it to LA and away from her husband. This element of the story was far more interesting than the other, interloped story involving Daisy and the white man she's running across the country with. I see what Bryce wanted to do with this novel. I typically love a dual time period novel. This one just didn't flow well for me. The jump back and forth wasn't smooth. I felt the execution was OK. I picked this up in audio after publication. I was really rooting for Frankie and hoped she made it to LA and away from her husband. This element of the story was far more interesting than the other, interloped story involving Daisy and the white man she's running across the country with. I see what Bryce wanted to do with this novel. I typically love a dual time period novel. This one just didn't flow well for me. The jump back and forth wasn't smooth. I felt the execution was OK.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erricka Hager

    3.75 ⭐️ Love a good historical fiction with a little mystery. The dual timeline for this one got a little muddled in the beginning and left me a little confused but overall I enjoyed following Daisy and Frankie’s timelines.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Going into this book I was not quite sure what to expect. I just know I like historical fiction - and the cover caught my attention. In the Face of the Sun is a dual timeline novel- Los Angles 1928 (Daisy) and Chicago 1968 (Frankie). The story is basically about Daisy and a murder that occurred in 1928 with bits of her niece Frankie's life issues thrown in. Daisy's personality completely changes between the timelines. In 1928 she was a hardworking, honest person that cared about her family and f Going into this book I was not quite sure what to expect. I just know I like historical fiction - and the cover caught my attention. In the Face of the Sun is a dual timeline novel- Los Angles 1928 (Daisy) and Chicago 1968 (Frankie). The story is basically about Daisy and a murder that occurred in 1928 with bits of her niece Frankie's life issues thrown in. Daisy's personality completely changes between the timelines. In 1928 she was a hardworking, honest person that cared about her family and friends. In the 1968 parts of the book she drinks, smokes, does drugs, cusses, carries a switchblade (and uses it) and likes to fight. My goodness, what on earth happened to her between 1928 and 1968? Anyway, I went along with them on their road trip from Chicago to Los Angles on Route 66. What a ride! Thanks to author Denny S. Bryce, Kensington Books, and NetGalley for providing a copy of this ebook for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

    In the Face of the Sun is another great historical fiction book by Denny S. Bryce. I could not put it down once I started reading it. Really enjoyed this story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Williams

    3.25 - 3.5 ⭐️ While I enjoyed the past timelines, it felt like it took too long to get to the meat of the story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Set in 1928 and 1968, In The Face of the Sun follows Daisy, a chambermaid at a new hotel for black rich people in Los Angeles as she meets many famous people, including her future husband. A tragedy occurs that changes the trajectory of her life and in 1968 she heads back to LA to seek revenge, as she also helps her niece escape her abusive husband. #InTheFaceOfTheSun

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kensley M

    GoodreadsGiveaway

  25. 5 out of 5

    Di

    *Thank you NetGalley for the ARC* I'm so happy I was able to get myself a copy of this. I enjoyed this book very much, a lot more than Wild Women and the Blues. I think this plot worked a lot better for me and it was more established. I could follow along and understand that the story is more character driven than plot. I usually prefer plot driven books but this was an exception and kept my interest. I was dying to know where this story was headed and it didn't disappoint at the end. I was very s *Thank you NetGalley for the ARC* I'm so happy I was able to get myself a copy of this. I enjoyed this book very much, a lot more than Wild Women and the Blues. I think this plot worked a lot better for me and it was more established. I could follow along and understand that the story is more character driven than plot. I usually prefer plot driven books but this was an exception and kept my interest. I was dying to know where this story was headed and it didn't disappoint at the end. I was very satisfied and glad there was an epilogue. I highly recommend this very unique BIPOC story. I look forward to reading the author's next book!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cassie Alford

    If the Face of the Sun is told in alternating timelines by two women. 1928, Los Angeles, Daisy Washington is a chambermaid at an African American elite hotel. She dreams of becoming a journalist writing for Black-owned papers. 1968, Chicago, Frankie Saunders is fleeing from her abusive husband and her rescuer is Aunt Daisy. Daisy has some unfinished business on her way to Los Angeles. The timelines were well researched and descriptive, and I felt like I was right there along with the characters. If the Face of the Sun is told in alternating timelines by two women. 1928, Los Angeles, Daisy Washington is a chambermaid at an African American elite hotel. She dreams of becoming a journalist writing for Black-owned papers. 1968, Chicago, Frankie Saunders is fleeing from her abusive husband and her rescuer is Aunt Daisy. Daisy has some unfinished business on her way to Los Angeles. The timelines were well researched and descriptive, and I felt like I was right there along with the characters. The characters were very realistic, once again I felt like I knew them, what they were thinking, and why they made the choices they did. The characters faced hardship and many challenges in both timelines. 1928 was full of glitz and glamour but you could feel the racism and discrimination and the fear that was felt. 1968 is reeling from Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination and Vietnam war, racism and activism are at a high. The story is full of fame, fortune, love, misunderstanding, and revenge. I did enjoy the story but wish some of the topics and plot holes were flushed out a little more and had a little more depth. The ending was a bit of a disappointment and almost confusing to me. The writing felt a little clunky at times, possible editing issues (repeating sentences, missing words, wrong words being used). I did read an ARC so these issues could well be fixed before the release date. Thank you Denny Bryce and Kensington Publishing for an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for my honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    This is one of the best historical fiction novels I've read. Denny S. Bryce takes us from 1928 Hollywood to 1968 Chicago, and the epic road trip that Daisy and Frankie share. This is both family and real world events. We have the compelling and vibrant Daisy, and her niece, Frankie, who is trying to figure out herself, her life, her path.. Along for the road trip is Tobey, a white man who is loyal to Daisy and there to try to keep her alive? Safe? All of the above? At the heart of the story is f This is one of the best historical fiction novels I've read. Denny S. Bryce takes us from 1928 Hollywood to 1968 Chicago, and the epic road trip that Daisy and Frankie share. This is both family and real world events. We have the compelling and vibrant Daisy, and her niece, Frankie, who is trying to figure out herself, her life, her path.. Along for the road trip is Tobey, a white man who is loyal to Daisy and there to try to keep her alive? Safe? All of the above? At the heart of the story is family, and choices, and experiences, and how one is shaped by them. Daisy begins as the one trying to follow the rules and be a caretaker of her family in 1928 to the glamorous rule breaking 1968 aunt and you can see how she got there without needing to follow the forty years in between. Frankie's life has been impacted by the events of 1928, though she doesn't even know it. And now in 1968, she has her own decisions to make and a path to fight for. Both are impacted by relationships with their parents, war, racism and discrimination, the expectations their families had for them, and the wider role for women in the world, especially black women. We see all of it, and it makes both characters and their worlds, come fully alive. In the larger world, through Daisy and her family, we see Hollywood's treatment of Black actors, artists, and professionals in 1928. There are places they can't enter, nightclubs that are only open so long as the police allow them to be open, professionals who cannot do the work they are qualified for, heath care that is not available to Black individuals. One can't help but see what still has not changed. Then in 1968, just after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and before the assassination of Senator Bobby Kennedy, Frankie comes into the picture and unexpectedly she relies on her Aunt Daisy to escape her life and head to Los Angeles. So much is the same, so many limitations on these Black women - which hotels they can stay at, which gas station will be open and have a bathroom they can use, how they are treated in a healthcare setting. It's important information, the real difficulties they face, the racism that doesn't change in forty years. It's a real, eyes wide open look at the world. I hope readers recognize the barriers and discrimination that still exist today. I appreciated that the resolution between Daisy and her family was not over the top and drawn out. Instead they do what you want people to do - when it gets hard, you talk, you lean on each other, you list, you learn, you figure it out. It all felt very real. There is real heartbreak in this story, and that hurts people. It hurts relationships and that takes time. Sometimes relationships don't recover from it, and sometimes they do. I really liked that approach here, it felt warm and real and honest. The story does jump between the two time frames, typically chapter by chapter (sometimes two chapters). Each time frame is noted so that one doesn't become confused, but there were a couple of places where I had to reset my thinking. This wasn't an issue, it was simply because Daisy is so strong in both time frames. Often a historical fiction with two time frames, focuses on different characters completely in each time. With Daisy present in both time frames, it takes a little more care as a reader. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I hope fans of historical fiction will take a look. This should be a great option for historical fiction readers who are looking for something outside of World War II and Europe. Black historical fiction fans and readers wanting to read more Black novels, should check this out. CW for racism, police brutality, racially targeted violence, domestic abuse, pregnancy/childbirth loss, mentions of war time death in Korea (off page), mentions of Viet Nam service and conscientious objector status I read an e-ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    "In the Face of the Sun" is a portrait of several generations of a Los Angeles family, initially living in a Sears Roebuck home, built from a kit, living a fairly middle class/working class life. In 1928, Daisy and Henrietta still live at home with their parents, but their mother is seriously ill. She suffered a heart attack and stroke in the aftermath of a dam collapse that killed her brothers. Daisy and Henrietta's father is a chauffeur by trade, working for the actor Alfred Lunt at the moment "In the Face of the Sun" is a portrait of several generations of a Los Angeles family, initially living in a Sears Roebuck home, built from a kit, living a fairly middle class/working class life. In 1928, Daisy and Henrietta still live at home with their parents, but their mother is seriously ill. She suffered a heart attack and stroke in the aftermath of a dam collapse that killed her brothers. Daisy and Henrietta's father is a chauffeur by trade, working for the actor Alfred Lunt at the moment. Daisy left college when her mother became ill. She's the older daughter. Henrietta is around 16. The "girls" are working in the luxurious Sommerville Hotel. The hotel is just about to celebrate its grand opening as the first high end hotel built and owned by a well off couple and serving a Black clientele. The NAACP is holding its convention at the hotel shortly after it opens with W.E.B. DuBois as the keynote and a host of high profile men and women from the civil rights movement and from the entertainment industry. As hotel staff, Daisy and Henrietta are in their orbit if not at the elevated levels of these powerful guests. There really was a Hotel Sommerville, later the Dunbar Hotel, in L.A.. Bryce does a nice job creating the setting, the city in this time and what was happening in the upper class Black community and with the staff members who served them. It is the jazz age, and the nightlife and music of this period, still part of the prohibition era, are deftly woven in. Bryce also does a fabulous job focusing on the Black publications of the era, with a character who is a columnist for the California Eagle. (An aside: you can read the California Eagle on Newspapers.com where it is archived. It served as one source for this novel). Although the novel opens and closes in 1990, the story alternates between this era in 1928, when Daisy and Henrietta are on the brink of adulthood, and 1968 when Henrietta's daughter Frankie looks up her Aunt Daisy in Chicago. They never met and Frankie needs help to leave her abusive husband. Her relationship with her mother is strained at best. Frankie knows Daisy and Henrietta have not talked since 1928, but not why. Frankie runs hot and cold about her Aunt Daisy, who pursued her interest in writing/journalism over the years and has become a chain smoking character. Daisy agrees to take Frankie to the bus station. It is that point in 1968 when anti-war sentiment is strong, but Frankie's father died in Korea and she considers service a patriotic duty. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed only a few months earlier and Robert F. Kennedy's death is on the horizon. Aretha is on the radio. Frankie is starting off on a difficult physical and personal journey. She's tried to leave her husband before and keeps returning to him. Meanwhile, we learn Daisy is driving to L.A., for unclear reasons. She drops Frankie off at the bus station, heading off to start her own trip to the same destination. And that's fine with Frankie. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the two eras and the ways Bryce brings elements of then current attitudes on race/civil rights, music, class, domestic violence, the Black press and the many lines still firmly drawn between races, classes, men and women. Yet, in both eras, there are inroads and determined activists as well as folks just living their lives in their Sears homes and their Hollywood mansions. The story did drag a little for me here and there, yet I ended up being happy for every detail included in the whole. I eventually was riveted. "In the Face of the Sun" is a lovely, loving piece, well researched, with compelling characters, drama, happiness... life.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The cover of this book is why I picked it up; the little red mustang hidden in the corner. The premise sounded intriguing, so I got excited. I really wanted to like In the Face of the Sun, and for the most part, I was entertained, but there were a few things that didn’t wow me. • For starters, the writing style was a little clunky. It was primarily dialogue, which is fine, but it didn’t flow very well, and it wasn’t as immersive as it could have been. I felt distanced from the setting and therefo The cover of this book is why I picked it up; the little red mustang hidden in the corner. The premise sounded intriguing, so I got excited. I really wanted to like In the Face of the Sun, and for the most part, I was entertained, but there were a few things that didn’t wow me. • For starters, the writing style was a little clunky. It was primarily dialogue, which is fine, but it didn’t flow very well, and it wasn’t as immersive as it could have been. I felt distanced from the setting and therefore the characters as well, sort of like I was watching this happen on a pixelated screen rather than HD. Additionally, the POVs changing was confusing, especially the beginning and the epilogue which are randomly back in first person Daisy (which makes no sense and has no purpose, why not just keep with continuity and stay in third??) I guess I just don’t understand the choice. • I really enjoyed the conversation on Black individuals in Hollywood and the rise of Black celebrities as actors and elite members of society, including the difficulty of breaking into a white-dominated world. The effects of Martin Luther King’s assassination and post-1964 Civil Rights is widely explored throughout the novel, with a big focus on the “Race.” • Character-wise, I think most of them were fine, but Daisy shines here more than anyone. Henrietta was my favorites until the end, when her lack of communication was the whole problem (ugh.) and her failure to just TALK to Daisy annoyed me. Frankie had the most sense, and I enjoyed her more dilute character as a contrast to the bold and striking Daisy. The side characters are pretty flat though, and seem somewhat archetypal: the blonde hippie, whose purpose is never really explained; the abusive husband who is mean physical big man; the gossiping maids, the white-blond, bitchy mistress. Malcolm was interesting, as well as Harry, but I wish they came alive a little more. I think the writing style really hindered their development, as unfortunate as it is. • Surprisingly, I started liking the 1960s storyline more than the 1920s storyline, which seemed to lag behind and not really go anywhere while also not really revealing anything. I wanted more on Daisy’s life, more details, more about the hotel, more showing less telling. • Not sure how I feel about the end. I don’t think “satisfied” is the right words, but I’m also not unsatisfied, so I’m unsure. It sort of left me asking myself: so what was the point? Though I was rooting for Frankie and Daisy to stab all the men because men suck. Overall, I really did enjoy this book, it just doesn’t compare to some of my favorites. Had the writing style been a little more elegant and descriptive, with a little more voice, I think it would’ve worked a little better. Maybe a clearer plot, with less random characters, too.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    I received an ARC from the publisher and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own. While I didn’t 100% love Denny S. Bryce’s debut, I saw a lot of promise in her writing, and that comes to fruition with her sophomore novel, In the Face of the Sun. Once again, she tells a multi generational tale, this one a family saga revolving around two Black women: Frankie and her aunt Daisy. Bryce’s passion for African American history, from the more notable events and figures to the less wel I received an ARC from the publisher and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own. While I didn’t 100% love Denny S. Bryce’s debut, I saw a lot of promise in her writing, and that comes to fruition with her sophomore novel, In the Face of the Sun. Once again, she tells a multi generational tale, this one a family saga revolving around two Black women: Frankie and her aunt Daisy. Bryce’s passion for African American history, from the more notable events and figures to the less well known, is evident in the text. She conveys the politically-charged year of 1968 as a compelling backdrop for her main characters well, discussing the impact of assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy and the ongoing Vietnam War on the country. This is juxtaposed poignantly with a portrait of the 1920s and the opening of the new Hotel Somerville, catering to wealthy Black people, and the fight for equality in the face of racism as it stood at that time. I’ve learned a little recently about the history of Black Hollywood and the early trailblazers of the film industry, so it was wonderful to learn more. I did initially fear that my investment in the book would be mixed and skewed to one time period, as that’s one of the major weaknesses of Bruce’s prior book. However, once I got into the rhythm of things, I came to find both perspectives and their connections to each other, both obvious and subtle, endearing. Daisy’s narrative in 1928 is the more compelling in its own right, because I enjoyed seeing both her associations with Hollywood and with prominent activists like W.E.B. DuBois. But the way it culminates in providing context for who Daisy is in the 1960s arc as the story goes on and she faces personal losses is compelling. Frankie is an incredibly sympathetic POV character for the 1960s arc, what with having fled an abusive marriage while pregnant. She and Daisy play off each other well, and I liked seeing how they navigated this sometimes dangerous road trip together, both with their own baggage and hidden issues. Given the way murder plays a part in 1928 arc, I liked the way the danger was equally prominent in this one, albeit in a slightly different way. I really enjoyed this and can’t wait for what Denny S. Bryce will deliver next! If you enjoy Black history and historical fiction, I recommend keeping an eye out fog this one!

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