Cover Image: Sunset


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Member Reviews

What a beautiful and emotional read. This book hit me in the feelings so hard. The grief dealt with is enormous but is also so relatable in the smaller, every day feelings and ways we deal with hardship. A love letter to sisterhood for sure.
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Wow. Sunrise is deeply moving and funny as hell. Jessie Cave’s debut novel will have you sobbing, smiling and clinging on tight to the people you love.

Sisters Ruth and Hannah are the best of friends, and at times the worst of enemies. Older sibling Hannah is the fabulous and fearless leader, while Ruth is slightly-awkward and happy live aimlessly in the glow of Hannah’s sparkle. When a tragic accident occurs while the pair are on holiday, Ruth’s world is turned upside down, and she has to face life without her sister. 

Cave tackles issues such as grief, death and depression with such raw, unblinkingly honesty and dark humour. The realness of the characters, their emotions and the situations they find themselves in is shuddering accurate and totally captivating. This is a genius novel which stayed with me for a long time after.
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Funny, raw, heartbreaking, Sunset is an exceptional debut novel. Jessie Cave’s unsparing portrayal of grief in all of its complexities is striking for its realism and depth. Cave’s blend of humor and tragedy did bring to mind Fleabag and I would definitely recommend fans of that show, or I May Destroy You for that matter, to pick this up. The novel is narrated by Ruth who is in her mid-20s and leading a rather directionless lifestyle. Her older sister, Hannah, is very much her anchor and the two share an intense bond. Rather than resorting to the classic good/bad sister type of characterisation Cave makes both Ruth and Hannah into multidimensional and entirely authentic people, who have flaws and idiosyncrasies as well as many other qualities. The two love each other to bits, even if they bicker a lot. They are best friends, each other’s worlds, really. The two go on a summer holiday together and a horrific accident happens to leave Ruth bereft. She attempts to shut other people out and begins working at a Costa in Heathrow airport. As time goes by Ruth is forced to confront what happened on that holiday.

There is so much that I loved about this novel. Ruth is a wonderful narrator. Her anger, loneliness, grief, numbness, frustration, and sadness are depicted with such heart and realism as to bring her character to life. Her sense of humor, occasionally dark, always weird, made me laugh out loud and like her almost instantly. Some of her thoughts may very well make you uncomfortable but I appreciated how honest Ruth’s voice was. Her relationship with her sister is the central aspect of her story and their dynamic was wonderful and heart-rending. From their small habits to the way they speak to others or each other, Cave captures everything about them, making Ruth and Hannah feel less like fictional characters than real-life individuals.
I also loved the way Cave portrays and discusses things like sex, menstruations, and other things that are usually wholly romanticised or completely glossed over. In addition, Ruth’s narrative is full of piercing observations about other people or her own life. I also found that those references to ‘real’ places (such as Costa, Tesco, WHSmith) made Ruth’s London all the more vivid.
It's impressive that this is Cave’s debut as it is such an accomplished novel. Her prose is self-assured, her tone is consistent, and her characterisation is phenomenal. Cave’s depiction of grief and sisterhood is moving and believably messy.
At first, I wasn’t sure about the way the dialogue is laid out (it appears in a script-like way) but I soon grew accustomed to it and I commend Cave for her choice (rather than jumping on the no quotation marks bandwagon). Speaking of dialogues, these too are marvellously realistic. The exchanges Ruth has with others could be funny, awkward, and/or tense. Regardless of the nature of the discussion or conversation, Cave’s dialogues rang true-to-life.
Sunset is a bittersweet love story between two sisters that is bound to make you tear up and laugh out loud (often in quick succession). If you happen to like stories that focus on sibling bonds or that follow the experiences of directionless millennials, well, consider giving Sunset a shot.
To sum it up: I loved this review so much one day after reading my netgalley copy I popped into waterstones during my lunch break and bought a hardback edition of it.
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Sunset is a moving and heartbreaking story of life, great challenges, loss and grief. Set in London and the Mediterranean, I really enjoyed this story of sisterly love and reconciliation with issues of self-esteem and mental health. Told from Ruth's point of view, in differing timescales dating back to 1999, 2018 and the present (2019), the main characters were extremely likeable and Ruth's desperation after her sister, Hannah's terrible accident was tremendously well portrayed. As Ruth attempts to come to terms with what happened, Jessie Cave's representation of Ruth's grief was so incredibly raw and powerful. Hannah's boyfriend, Rowan was also terribly well-drawn. Hannah was the perfect big sister and a parent figure to her little sister, as well as being popular, hardworking with a successful career, a volunteer worker, and a loving girlfriend. Ruth on the other hand was complex, wild and chaotic, an artist who hasn't reached her full potential, a uni dropout, had no love life to speak of and had some antisocial tendencies, yet she was still so lovable. Although there was melancholia to sections of the story, it was well-handled by the author without being overwhelming largely due to the sweeter moments and the humour injections.

The author's writing style was a good fit for me and the deep, multilayered, charming novel wasn't frothy or saccharine. The audiobook was narrated by Bebe Cave and I alternated between reading and listening to this novel; listening to the story was a good decision and I thought it was narrated well with Bebe's engaging voice bringing the necessary worth and verve to the proceedings.

Overall, Sunset is a super book that deals with big issues but is still an easy read. Very highly recommended and definitely one of my favourite stories, so far this year. 😊🤞🌞

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from W.F. Howes and Welbeck Publishing via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Fantastic book about grief that is so raw yet somehow so comforting as it leads you through the journey of the protagonist. Very relatable, very emotional, and with funny moments dotted throughout. Loved it.
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Ahhhh so raw and strong and beautiful. I loved the characters in this - they were so engaging and wholly believable. Ruth has a slightly Fleabag feel about her. Her grief and chaos was completely absorbing. Really recommend it.
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Thank you so so so much to Netgalley allowing me to read this. 
I absolutely loved this book. Brilliantly written, amazing truly amazing. 

Jessica Cave has captured siblings bond perfectly, she has taken aspects from her own relationship with her sister which you can tell due to how feel it feels. This was a beautiful story, I can't believe this was her debut novel , I it not hesitate to give it a 5*. 
I requested this with no idea really what it was about, but it was full of love, loss and grief. Following the story of 2 sisters Ruth and Hannah. I love the growth of Ruth's character throughout. 
It made me feel so many emotions; made me laugh, cry and honestly shocked me.

Highly reccomend.
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Sunset 🌅

Ad - pr. 

Wow wow wow. I loved this book so much. A story on grief and sibling relationships this was incredibly emotional and I know it will stay with me for a long time. 

I both read and listened to this (thank you to @netgalley @welbeckpublish for the advance e-book and audiobook) and that immersive reading experience was special, even more so given that it was narrated by Bebe Cave, Jessie’s sister. 

The descriptions of life after loss were so raw and honest, it was painful to read in the very best way and it’s so hard to believe that this is a debut from @jessiecave given how beautifully this is captured. 

Emotional and captivating, this will make you laugh and cry and I’ll be thinking about this forever - definitely pick up a copy to see for yourself! 

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This is a book you kind of need to be prepared for going into: it is a book about grief, specifically one sibling grieving another (I don’t think this is a spoiler to say: it happens pretty soon into the book). It’s a relentlessly intimate and impeccable account of grief for someone you’re close to lost too young, and is really hard going at times. Ruth doesn’t have much of a support system in terms of her parents, but she becomes close to Hannah’s boyfriend and a multitude of kind strangers who she works with or otherwise sees regularly - the care with which Jessie Cave writes these interactions are what lifts the book and make it so hopeful in the end. Cave’s way of writing, which anyone who’s heard her stand up will be familiar with, makes this book very readable, witty and a fantastic debut novel. The last quarter of the book in particular is excellent, she really sticks the landing, and Ruth’s growth as a character is fantastic. It made me cry a lot, and I would really recommend if the subject matter is something you think you are able to read.
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When Ruth's sister Hannah dies in a tragic accident, this novel takes us through her loss and grief. 

Telling us about all the 'firsts' she will have without her and the things that Hannah will miss and never know again. 

This novel takes us through how the main character copes; written in first-person feeling hurt, pain, loss and also feeling nothing. 
That feeling of numbness; simply existing in the world without a purpose, but wanting to do anything as a distraction from your own thoughts or just to feel again. 

We see how the different characters are brought together through loss. How perceptions can change and how loss can also cloud judgement.

The novel is monotone throughout, but this is meant to reflect the atmosphere and tone in the writing and of the main character's feelings; I feel this is done very well! 

As we slide into reflection within the novel, the tone changes and again we as the reader feel this. 

As the novel goes on we see how the character heals and the tone of writing changes again; this is all very subtle and gradual. 

At times I found silent tears running down my cheeks as I read the dialogue.

A novel that is beautifully written exploring grief, loss, anger and healing.
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A very beautiful and honest depiction of grief and of the unique relationship between sisters. It’s much funnier than you might expect given the subject matter (and the fact the author really did lose a sibling not so long ago) and I adored both Ruth and Hannah. By the end I was an emotional wreck but I was so impressed that I wasn’t all the way through, the tone of the book is really perfectly pitched. A very enjoyable read, thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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I came to this book knowing nothing about it, with no expectations of what it might be about. I loved the tone of it from the start - it had me really hooked. Initially I loved it. I thought it would be the kind of book I'd wish I could give six stars to. 
I would like the protagonist, odd though she is, if I met her in real life. There's a lot about her that is easy to identify with: feeling a failure, especially in comparison to a sibling, or not fitting in. 
I wasn't expecting the book to be all about grief. Although I found it very moving and the rawness of the protagonist's grief is beautifully described, as I read on I felt I wanted something more to happen. There is perhaps a middle ground to be had between the saccharin sweetness of many books where something dreadful happens and then is quickly resolved and sorted out and this rather bleak, ongoing sorrow as described in Sunset. It felt relentless at times. The mundane details of her everyday life are described and whilst that pulls you along with the character, it did start to become mundane. 
In the end, I liked the book but didn't love it.
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This book floored me. It was so emotional and I thought Jessie Cave had captured the 'critical but sisterly dynamic' so perfectly. This was beautifully written and incredibly moving but there were also moments of humour. The whole book seemed really honest and authentic, with believable, flawed characters that you really care for. Thank you for the opportunity to read this ARC. It really was a privilege to read.
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A bereaved young woman, Ruth, struggles to cope following the death of her sister Hannah in an accident on holiday. She has a strong friendship with her sister and we learn more about Hannah, her romantic relationship, the dynamic between her and her sister and how she learns to try and cope and face life without her. 
I can’t say this was enjoyable to read but it’s so well written and heartbreaking at times. The reader really feels pulled into their relationship and the descriptions of the mundane and often self destructive ways she is trying to process what has happened are almost unbearable to read at times. It does meander a bit and sometimes Ruth behaves in shocking and surprising ways but this works well to show how there is no ‘right way’ to cope with such a loss and her parents and friends don’t necessarily offer her the type of support she needs. The story does well to offer a slightly hopeful, positive ending with Ruth returning to the place it happened but without reverting to cliche or suggestion that ‘everything will be alright’ as for Ruth her life is irrevocably changed. I wasn’t so convinced by the relationship between Ruth and Hannah’s ex boyfriend but this did makes some sense, the best writing in the book comes from the mundane and acute observations of working in Costa and the comings and going’s of the airport passengers, and other staff working at the airport, this is so beautifully observed. Worth a read, an uncomfortable one at times though!
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I don't have the words to give this book an adequate review, I did not expect this book to be so hard hitting book and honestly went into it expecting different. However it is a brilliantly raw book which touches on so many themes; loss, grief, love (and it's many forms), family relationships and a whole host of others. 
At first the conversational tone and short sentences of the book bugged me as I felt it didn't flow, however after a bit I realised how much this disjointed way of telling the story fitted so well with our character. The characters were so realistic you could feel their grief. 
Ruth the main character, is angry at the world (quite rightly) and detached from it. As the story progresses we see her interact and react with a host of situations and people, sometimes in a good way sometimes in a not so good way but it is all part of her learning.
Although when I finished the last page (and realised) my initial reaction was 'nooo' on reflection I think it was perfect.
*tw Ruth's sister dies, mentions of suicide, sexual abuse, substance abuse
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This is a book about grief, and this is a book about loss, and this is a book about the sometimes intense relationships between siblings. It is desperately sad for so many reasons, not least because the author lost her own brother in an accident recently and the articulation of grief feels so raw and real. Though there’s a lot of humour in there too (about a boy: “I don’t even know what star sign he is, though Hannah diagnosed him as a Gemini early on”).

Idon’t have a sister but I feel like I know exactly what it’s like after reading this. Jessie Cave has managed to capture the sibling relationship perfectly and it is clear from the acknowledgements how much of this is drawn from her own bond with her sister which makes it even more believable. Her writing is almost a stream of consciousness, which might not appeal to everyone, but as someone who has been Extremely Online all of my life this is exactly the type of thing I like to read. A really great debut novel.
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Sunset by Jessie Cave is a refreshingly honest debut novel. It's about bereavement and siblings but also about the little mundane moments in life.
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I went in to Sunset unprepared - I've loved some of Jessie Cave's other work, but wasn't really aware of any of the themes that would be present here. I really enjoyed Cave's prose writing style - it's conversational, really flows and keeps tugging you along (I couldn't put this book down).
Though it has quite an informal, casual tone, this book is brutally real and emotionally resonant. There are moments in this book which have stuck with me since reading, and I keep coming back to them - especially the novel's final image, which I found really powerful.
There are still moments of humour glinting through - this is not a depressing read by any means, rather a reflective and insightful one. I found Sunset to be a cathartic and ultimately uplifting read.
4.5 stars rounded up to 5.
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Sunset is the debut novel by Jessie Cave, about two sisters Hannah and Ruth. Ruth idolises her big sister and the two are very close until there's a tragic accident on holiday. The book flips between time before the accident and Ruth's life afterwards. It's a brilliant examination of the complicated nature of grief and doesn't sugar coat the destructive feelings and actions than can result from such a loss. I raced through this book and thought it was beautifully written and a great read.
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