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Claire of the Sea Light is the type of unforgettable novel that pulls at the heartstrings and produces an almost unbearable degree of searing emotion. Claire Limye Lanme Faustin is the title character, and she is, of course, focal to the narrative, but she also serves as the lightning rod from which multiple storylines are illuminated. Each of these tales has a rhapsodic quality, full of pain and brimming with enchantment. Danticat examines an array of complex characters from the town of Ville Rose in Haiti, and she gives us a magnificent tapestry of lives, all of them haunted by suffering and struggle. The connectivity of these wounded souls feels like a human mosaic of experiences that range from love and grief to betrayal and redemption. The lovely, poetic quality of Danticat’s prose is nothing short of mesmerizing. She brings to life a spellbinding place in Haiti, steeped in tragedy, reliant on hope, always full of compassion.
A seaside village in Haiti is the setting for this story of a life change for a young girl and her father and all the things that led up to it. Simple, lyrical, and a bit magical.
Danticat shows us the beautiful, undetected, delicate, and heartbreaking connections she has skilfully built within a community and a nation. A story that builds in beauty, tragedy, and hope as it goes along. If possible, I recommend reading this all in one go (it's not very long) to get the full power of the narrative.
This is a wonderful, subtly written book of interconnected stories set in the village of Ville Rose in Haiti, pre-earthquake, although the earthquake is foreshadowed in the ominous cloud over the village. The lives of the people in the stories are all in some way connected to the child Claire, who serves a symbolic role in the book.
I have liked Edwidge Danticat's work a lot in the past but I was disappointed in this one.
Maybe it's just me and my resistance to literary fiction. I find so much of it pretentious and boring. This book has been touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread but it's a basic and boring story. ****SPOILER ALERT************************************ Child learns about some plans involving her. Child runs away. Child comes back. Big deal.
A girl loses her mother; a man loses his wife; a woman loses her daughter; a boy loses his friend, impregnates a maid and flees to Miami. All these characters become entwined in Ville Rose, Haiti. I must read more of Danticat!
Loved the title and the cover, the book, not so much. It seemed so disjointed and I didn't really connect to any of the characters.
The author did a splendid job putting the many stories together in which they neatly folded into one. A story about the love of a father who had lost the love of his life at the same time a new love begin. A love so deep he was willing to give her away to give her hope of a new life. A story of a young man who was on the right path but crossed the path of the undesirable and met a fate undeserved. A woman who appeared to have a wonderful life but had dealt with so much pain it took its toll. And a village whose natural beauty is ravaged by time. I will check out other books by this author.
The writing is beautiful, the story painful. I felt that Danticat captured and conveyed the essence of the island. This slim work took me awhile to read but held my imagination long afterward.
Claire of The Sea Light is an ensnaring, beautiful, and evocative novel by Hatian-American author Edwidge Danticat. I was immediately drawn into the narrative by the first paragraph, and did not put it down until I was done, four hours later. Claire of the Sea Light is less about the titular character and more about the intersecting lives of members of a small seaside town/village in Haiti, Ville Rose. It’s also about the legacies parents leave their children, in both presence and absence.
If at at first the novel seems more like a collection of loosely related short stories, the reader should keep reading. It becomes more and more obvious that the town is a character like the others, and it is what binds them all together. However, perhaps because of this, the coalescence of characters and events is less coherent than one might like. One of the story lines I was most interested in was simply dropped, and in the end, the reader is left not knowing the fates of characters she has been invited to invest quite a bit of emotion in. But that is the purview of fiction showing lives in progress, lives that are unfinished or only just begun. Like the radio show Louise George hosts, Danticat shows us the moments where people’s lives change for the better or worse, and leaves us with the hope that everything will turn out all right for these people whose stories we have come to love.