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Breath, Eyes, Memory (Oprah's Book Club)

A book by Edwidge Danticat.

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A tale of strong but troubled women

  • Sep 11, 1998
I liked the strong connection of these women in the story--Sophie, her mother, her Aunte Atie, and her grandmother. It is amazing for 4 women in one family to have so much in common and yet be such different people. The customs, traditions and folklore of this Haitian family were so primary as to almost be characters in the story themselves.

I found this book to be so charming and eloquent as to distract me from its flaws. My only major disappointment is that there couldn't have been a more positive way for Sophie and her mother to escape the ghosts of their pasts.

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July 19, 2011
I have just finished this book and had a similar reaction. Is there no hope for these women? I think we must believe that only the young child has a chance to find happiness. The book shows, in a lyrically written way, a depressing society.
More Breath, Eyes, Memory reviews
review by . November 16, 2005
Breathe, Eyes, Memory is a very realistic book reflecting the lives of Haitian women. It shows their beliefs, customs and traditions, their fears, and their strong will. Sophie is one out of the many characters in the book that exemplify these characteristics. Her mother also demonstrates the pain that Haitian women face and their reality. This novel gives a very detailed explanation of how Haitian women lived and makes strong opinions on important matters.   The only flaw I can find in …
review by . October 22, 2004
Rooted in tradition, torn by political strife, Haiti is a place where "breath, eyes and memory are one, a place where you carry your past like the hair on your head."    Edwidge Danticat, like Sophie Caco, the narrator of her first novel, left Haiti and joined her parents in America when she was 12. Wrenched from all she knows and loves, Sophie is sent to New York, to the worn "scrawny" stranger who is her mother, Martine, a woman beset by nightmares.    Baldly, …
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Sheri ()
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I have been a customer reviewer on Amazon.com for well over a decade and an Amazon Vine reviewer since the program began. I enjoy writing product reviews that will help customers make a buying decision. … more
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About this book


Oprah Book Club® Selection, May 1998: "I come from a place where breath, eyes and memory are one, a place from which you carry your past like the hair on your head. Where women return to their children as butterflies or as tears in the eyes of the statues that their daughters pray to." The place is Haiti and the speaker is Sophie, the heroine of Edwidge Danticat's novel, "Breath, Eyes, Memory." Like her protagonist, Danticat is also Haitian; like her, she was raised in Haiti by an aunt until she came to the United States at age 12. Indeed, in her short stories, Danticat has often drawn on her background to fund her fiction, and she continues to do so in her debut novel.

The story begins in Haiti, on Mother's Day, when young Sophie discovers that she is about to leave 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. These early chapters in Haiti are lovely, subtly evoking the tender, painful relationship between the motherless child and the childless woman who feels honor bound to guard the natural mother's rights to the girl's affections above her own. Presented with a Mother's Day card, Tante Atie responds: "'It is for a mother, your mother.' She motioned me away with a wave of her hand. 'When it is Aunt's Day, you can make me one.'" Danticat also uses these pages to limn a vibrant portrait of life in Haiti from the cups of ...

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ISBN-10: 037570504X
ISBN-13: 978-0375705045
Author: Edwidge Danticat
Genre: Travel
Publisher: Vintage
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