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Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat

(2014 Selection)

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About the Book

 

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In Claire of the Sea Light, best-selling and award-winning author Edwidge Danticat brings us deep into the world of Ville Rose, Haiti—a town at once blessed by natural wonders and haunted by the secrets and ghosts of the past. We enter this nexus of people and place through Claire Limyè Lanmè, Claire of the Sea Light, a little girl whose heartbreak and tragedies, and whose hopes for a better future, allow the adults around her to discover startling truths about themselves—and each other—during the course of a single, transformative night.
 
On Claire’s seventh birthday, she and her fisherman father Nozias Faustin follow the same tradition they have long practiced: they go to visit the grave of her now-deceased mother, and his wife: a beautiful, universally loved woman named Claire Narcis who died giving birth to the girl who bears her name. Nozias has raised Claire on his own, yet has all along been tormented by a single idea: that, in order to provide for his daughter he should leave her “pou chèche lavi”—to look for a better life—and to entrust Claire with a woman of greater means: a local shopkeeper called Gaëlle Lavaud.
 
By the evening of that seventh birthday, Nozias has made up his mind, finally convinced that to leave Claire in another’s hands is the best decision for them both. But something wholly unexpected happens. As he is speaking to Madame Gaëlle about this fateful choice, Claire disappears, setting in motion a search to find her, one that brings to the surface stories from the shared pasts—and presents—of all the lives that mysteriously surround this one little girl. Danticat delivers these myriad stories with lush prose and piercing insight into the hearts and minds of her characters. As taut as poetry and wide-ranging in scope as a novel twice its length, Claire of the Sea Light is a masterful work of family and friendship, love and revenge, loss and homecoming, from one of our most brilliant and original storytellers.

Courtesy of Random House

 

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