Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

Rating:           9

General Rating:  This story flows like a song, like a simple breath of air. It was easy to read yet deep. Powerful, yet appalling.

I struggled between an 8.5 and 9 rating because the story is quieter than most. The characters are, at times, flat. However, I feel the author’s character development was more realistic than lacking as those who bear struggles often appear insensitive. Detachment is often a way to deal with adversity.

Skip factor:  1%.

Who should read:   Any woman. (Not girls. While the author wrote this at a young age, the content is too sensitive for the young.)  I enjoyed this book’s focus on women. Strong women. The men were incidental.

Summary:  Sophie lives in Haiti with her Tante Atie (Aunt) when a plane ticket to the US arrives from her mother. The author mentions Sophie looks different than them, giving her first hint something’s amiss, sparking the reader’s interest. (Though fiction, the author herself is a Hattian immigrant.)

In the United States, Sophie reconnects with her mother who experiences severe nightmares, so the reader knows she’s troubled. Without spoiling the storyline, I’ll reveal only that the mother, along with other Haitian women, experienced sexual trauma–some cultural.

Breath, Eyes, Memory is a story about surviving the past, relationships, forgiveness, and culture.  

Writing:  This is simple writing at its finest. Lots of nouns, verbs, and short sentences relay a harsh story of resilience to the reader.

As a writer, I loved the flow. Many reviews say it flowed like a poem.

Read this author again?  Yes, I would.

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Read on!


CJ Zahner is the author of The Suicide Gene, a psychological thriller; psychic thrillers Dream Wide Awake, Project Dream, and The Dream Diaries; and Chick Lit novels Friends Who Move Couches and Don’t Mind Me, I Came with the House. Zahner’s dream series novels were inspired by first-hand experiences. See the video of her 9/11 premonition  here. Download her Beyond Reality Radio podcast here. Follow her on InstagramTwitterFacebookGoodreadsBookBub, or LinkedIn. Purchase her books on Amazon.