Saturday, July 29, 2006

Review of Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

1994, Vintage Books
236 pgs
Rating: * (Good +)

First Sentence: A flattened and drying daffodil was dangling off the little card that I had made my aunt Atie for Mother’s Day.

Reason for Reading: This seemed like the right book to end my July reading travels with (althoug hit didn't turn out to be the last book I read for the month).

From the Publisher : At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti—to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence, in a novel that bears witness to the traditions, suffering, and wisdom of an entire people.

Comments: Breath, Eyes, Memory is a moving story about a daughter and mother tied together by a terrible secret. Raised in Haiti by her aunt, Sophie is suddenly shipped off to the United States at the age of 12 when her mother, whom she barely knows, asks for her. Sophie's new life is not an easy one as she learns a family secret that has haunted her mother for many years. She struggles with her own issues caused by her upbringing and her mother's personal demons as she comes of age. Edwidge Danticat weaves an intricate story about life, tradition, and family. The novel touches upon subject matter that speaks out to women who have been in similar situations.

I do wish the author had delved more deeply into the characters and their back-story. I felt that I only got a glimpse at the characters and was not really allowed to more fully understand them. Edwidge Danticat shows a lot of promise in this novel. I read one of her later novels, The Farming of Bones, a couple of years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

Favorite Part: I enjoyed most the time I spent in the beginning of the book with aunt Atie and Sophie.

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