Ain't No Sunshine

Rated 4.58/5 based on 12 reviews
Whites Only.
Those words adorned every building in Livingston, Virginia during the summer of 1963 confusing and angering five-year-old Stephen Phillips. Those words told him that what he felt for his colored neighbor Ruthie was wrong. As a teenager, Ruthie becomes the only ray of sunshine in his abusive life and he is not willing to let her go without a fight, a fight that could lead to murder.

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Words: 41,510
Language: English
ISBN: 9781458168634
About Leslie DuBois

Leslie DuBois lives in Charleston, SC with her husband and two daughters. She also writes as Sybil Nelson.

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Official Book Trailer: Ain't No Sunshine
In 1970's Virginia, living for love can kill you.

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Reviews

Review by: Tweezle on Sep. 26, 2013 :
I've sat and tried to figure out my feelings towards this book. I've flopped between a 4 and a 5 star rating and decided on 5 because of all the emotions it instilled in me. I was certainly involved with the characters and their family. I hated the father, loved the older brother,Matthew, and neighbor girl, Ruthie, and was very involved with Stephen. With the story line being centered around abusive home life, I had so many ups and downs and was certainly wanting to change things for everyone. At times I hated the book and didn't want to read it because of the abuse, but still NEEDED to because I wanted to know how everything turned out in the end. This was truly a love-hate relationship for me. I'm still stunned by the ending and all the twists that happened before. What a ride!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Ruth Parcells on May 07, 2012 :
I couldn't put the book down. This is a very inticing book about a love story brought up in a racist culture, and the extremes people went to to be with their love.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Aparna Sethuraman on Sep. 25, 2011 :
I got a copy of this book as part of the member giveaway. I loved the first one I got (Queen Bee) and wanted to see what this one would be like. Well I liked it but probably not as much as Queen Bee of Bridgeton.

In this one, the author takes on a very serious issue. It addresses the way african american people were treated in the past. It looks at this issue from the point of view of a young white boy. I loved the way the main character Stephen narrates the story.

The end disappointed me a bit as it seemed a little contrived.. as if the author was rushing to end the story and tie up all loose ends.
Over all a good one time read
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Shirley S. Simon on Aug. 10, 2011 :
A very engaging book. I loved the way the story proceeds. The first person narrative deepens the pain and passion of the protagonist - Stephen. The ending kind of blew me away. Totally unexpected. Really a wonderful book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: ♥ яªтнªиªк_.·´¯ıllıı наррч ღ イヤァ on July 29, 2011 :
i love the story .. this was mix with everything you can ask for in a story ..
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sweetpea122 on July 14, 2011 :
Leslie DuBois took me on a journey with Ain't No Sunshine, and I loved every minute of it. I had to keep reading to see what would unfold next. You won't be able to guess the ending. I was able to download the recently re-edited version - and it was great! I would love to see what Ms. DuBois does next.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Nic Nac on May 12, 2011 :
This story wowed me. I was immediately drawn in, and the wonderful narration kept me glued. The imagery is strong and the dialogue is believable and engaging. The characters are well developed and I cared about their outcome.

The story begins as Stephen Phillips is interrogated by a badgering Chicago police officer. “Did you do it, Stephen?” The officer places gruesome photos of Reverend Phillips’ bloody corpse on the table, but Stephen refuses to look at them. “Why don't you look at your father's mutilated body? Beaten to death with a shovel outside his own home."

The officer continues asking Stephen if he murdered the man who lay dead in Virginia. The same man who raised and loved him for eighteen years. Stephen replies, “My father never loved me. Never.”

When the officer’s goading doesn’t get the desired response, he attempts another tactic—changing the direction of the conversation to Stephen’s girlfriend Ruthie who sits in a nearby interrogation room.

Excerpt:
"Maybe I'll just have to ask that pretty little colored girlfriend of yours," he said, staring at Ruthie's picture and licking his lips.
"You leave her out of this." My hands clenched into fists.
"I don't know if I can do that. She seems to be pretty involved." He kept staring at her picture as he spoke. "Your father is found dead at your home in Virginia and you're found seven hundred miles away with a Negro whore. I can't -"
He didn't get to finish his thought. I leapt across the table and started pounding his face in. Seconds later, I was subdued by several officers. They placed me back in the chair and handcuffed me to the table.
This was getting worse and worse by the minute. I'd gladly go to jail for killing that man. He deserved to die. I just didn't want Ruthie to get dragged into this. After all we'd been through, at least one of us deserved a chance to be happy.

After the room settles, another officer enters the room. Lieutenant Drake has a friendlier, gentle approach, and Stephen begins to soften.

Excerpt:
"Why are you running? You know running only makes you look guilty and I don't really believe you killed your father. I don't think you're capable."
I stared at him. "You have no idea what I'm capable of. You have no idea what that man did to me."
"You're right. I don't," he said, trying to hide his surprise at my response. He sat down and crossed his arms. "So why don't you tell me? You obviously have a story and you need someone to listen. So tell me your story. Tell me everything."

Stephen’s story soon begins to flow. He tells about Ruthie, his childhood friend, and how their friendship eventually blossomed into a powerful love as they grew—despite the fact that loving a ‘colored’ was forbidden. He remembered staring up at the colored balcony in his father’s church when he was six years old, trying to catch a glimpse of his beautiful Ruthie. He paid for it when he got home with a beating. That didn’t stop his love for Ruthie. He refused to let his father take the one thing in his life that brought him true happiness.

He tells the officer about the lifetime of abuse he, his brother (Matthew), and mother (Marjorie) endured by the hands of the cherished small town Virginia reverend, Theodore Phillips. His father’s explosive anger and violence plagued him every day. After years of violent abuse, Matthew disappeared, and Marjorie suffered mercilessly until becoming an empty shell; but Stephen endured by retreating into that loved part of his heart. The beautiful part that Ruthie filled.

Stephen divulges the many ordeals that cursed his life that led to the day Theodore Phillips died. He reveals the eccentricities, secrets, and atrocities his father kept concealed behind his reverend cloak, and in the end, the truth behind the reverend’s death.

Upon completing this novella, I felt somewhat changed. It is a sad story with victories, and a terrifying tale with soft and loving moments. Such a wide range of emotions that finally left me feeling satisfied—yet not settled.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: K. Wodke on May 07, 2011 :
"Ain't No Sunshine" is a well-written engaging book that chronicles an abusive home life and the burgeoning cross-racial love between two young people. There were a couple of surprises toward the end of the book, and I did not see them coming. Hats off to the author for that! The sympathy a reader feels for the protagonist takes a bit of hit when the plot shifts, leaving the reader unsure how to feel. Without including any spoilers, I really can't expand on that. But it is an excellent book that has the reader really feeling for and caring about the characters. There were relatively few typos or other errors. It was a superbly plotted and expertly executed story.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: ShazInNV on April 05, 2011 :
This book keeps your interest from start to finish, with several clever plot twists.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Paul Swearingen on March 08, 2011 :
DuBoise has created a real page-turner with "Ain't No Sunshine". The characters are well-crafted, the plot compelling, and the outcome unexpected but not a complete surprise. A bit of closer proofreading should have been in order, as this version still has a few errors, but they do not affect the impact of this novel. A great read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Blake Hataga on Dec. 15, 2010 :
This book was intense, a well develop story of forbidden love and abuse, with a surprising conclusion.Looking forward to reading other books from this author.
RB North Carolina
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: goober21 on Sep. 19, 2010 :
Great book that keeps you guessing till the end. The characters were well developed, the plot was suspenseful, had to read it in one day it was so good. Look forward to more work from this author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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