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Claire of the Sea Light by [Danticat, Edwidge]
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Claire of the Sea Light Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Length: 258 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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'A haunting new novel ... Writing with lyrical economy and precision, Ms. Danticat recounts her characters' stories in crystalline prose that underscores the parallels in their lives' New York Times. (New York Times)

'A jewel - a remarkable book, as luminous as its title' Ann Patchett. (Ann Patchett)

'Magnificent ... this is a book that draws its power from its clear-eyed look at both love and decay' Kamila Shamsie, Guardian. (Guardian)

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Ville Rose clings to the Haitian shore, held between the arms of mountain and sea. It is a town of poor fishermen, rising business classes and a fringe of gangland slums - where the ocean is both giver of life and most feared abductor. Claire Limyè Lamnè is born the night her mother dies. Named for the light of the sea, she is brought up by her father, who longs to give her a better life. At last, on the night of her seventh birthday, an affluent shop-owner agrees to adopt her. Then Claire goes missing. As they search desperately, the townspeople each recall one lost love. Whether signified by mystic omen or snatched in shootings; a forbidden love or a first child; their tales reveal a profound connection between locals of distinct classes and creeds - now coming together to bring one promised child back to shore. With a potent alchemy of storytelling and folklore. Danticat delivers her bewitching vision in shimmering, verdant imagery; making the unknowable familiar, the stranger beloved. Like the townspeople, the reader comes to share a common humanity - always caught between the darkness and the light.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 703 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #228,884 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
CLAIRE OF THE SEA LIGHT comes to us as the new novel-- it's novella length, really -- from international best-selling Haitian author Edwige Danticat, whose previous works of fiction include the award-winning Brother, I'm Dying, and The Dew Breaker. Like much, if not most of her work, it's set in Haiti. Apparently before the horrendously damaging earthquake that hit in 2010 leaving so many hundred thousands dead, seriously injured, homeless, without access to clean food or water, and so many of the buildings, so much of the infrastructure of the small, poverty-stricken country destroyed. Jonathan Katz's The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster is a good recent book on the earthquake and its aftermath; I have read and reviewed it on its page here.

CLAIRE is set in Ville Rose, Haiti, a small seaside town that is home to about eleven thousand people. It centers on Claire Limye Lanme Faustin, Claire of the Sea Light, the lovely daughter of Nozias Faustin, a humble fisherman who lives with his small daughter in a shack on the beach. Claire's mother Claire Narcis had died in childbirth; every year, on the little girl's birthday, her father has taken her to the cemetery to visit her mother's grave. He has been trying, unhappily, for several years to give his girl, so that she might have a better life, to Gaelle Lavaud, a local shopkeeper, a woman of means from a prominent local family, who is the town's only fabric vendor.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I would call this an island story where many of the lives of these Haitians are interwoven as their personal stories unfold. The novel opens with everyone looking for Claire, a seven year old girl who disappears after her birthday party. Her father, a widower, is about to give her away to a woman of means who he thinks can give her a better life. As everyone is looking for Claire, a series of events and stories are happening simultaneously. The subplots include tragedies such as murders, cover-ups; attempted suicides and radio exposures as readers hold their breath to see if Claire will reappear and face her life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Had read this back in 2013 but felt like I was reading it for the first time all over again. The story could have done with more depth and feels like it ended rather too abrupt but as always I really enjoy Edwidge's style of writing.
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