by Edwidge Danticat

Reviewer Rating:


The stories in this novel fit together (some loosely and some exactly) into a compelling narrative about Haitians affected by civil strife starting in 1959.  Various characters are victims, perpetrators of the violence during this time, and descendants from either side.  This multi-vocal perspective of Haiti's past, and the continuing effects to the present, successfully exposes the complicated origins of violence and the even more complicated reparations.  However, the writing lacks a subtlety that would give the stories a stronger hum.  Significance is emphasized where it would be more impressive if left alone.  There are many powerful connections to make within these stories, but the author doesn't give us a chance to make them for ourselves.

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