The book under consideration is known as “Breath Eyes Memory” and has been written by Edwidge Danticat. The book is about a girl of nearly twelve years, who goes by the name of Sophie Caco, and is sent from her impecunious village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be joined up with a mother of whom she barely has any memories at all. In New York, the girl discerns secrets that should not be known perhaps by any child, and what she comes to find out is a bequest of humiliation that can only be cured by her going back to Haiti to get in touch with the women who played a part in rearing her.
The story starts off in Haiti, on Mother’s Day, when adolescent Sophie learns that she will have to go away from the only home she has ever known with her Tante Atie in Croix-des-Rosets, Haiti, to go live with her mother in New York City. The beginning chapters that are related to Haiti are divine, ingeniously inducing the affectionate, excruciating relationship that exists between a child who does not have a mother and a woman who does not have a child but feels nobility bound to lookout for the natural mother’s rights to the girl’s fondness above her own. Danticat also the first few pages of the book to limn a vivacious representation of life in Haiti ranging from the cups of ginger tea and baskets of cassava bread that is served at neighborhood potlucks to the folk tales of a “people in Guinea who carry the sky on their heads.”
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