Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
When I was a young girl, I fell in love with the legends and folklore of Native Americans. I read all I could get my hands on about America’s first citizens – how they eked out a living in the wilderness and the stories they told about the spirit world.
I was delighted to find the same love of myth and legend in the book, Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat.
In this, her latest novel about Haitian culture, Danticat weaves together the stories of a motherless 7-year-old who goes missing when her father decides to give her away, a young man who returns to see the son he fathered ten years ago, a village seamstress who is still mourning the loss of husband and daughter, and many others.
As their lives and circumstances intertwine through a series of back stories, we see how these simple villagers struggle to overcome the difficulties of poverty, governmental indifference and the loss of loved ones to make their lives meaningful. We also discover that it is the remembrance of folk tales and the joyful re-telling of enchanting myths that bind these people together.
As Danticat melds reality with the mystical, she treats us to epiphanies that quite take the breath away. Read Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat for a journey that combines the heartbreak of everyday life with the resilience and the charm of Haitian culture.
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