Feature

Novel of the week: Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat's new novel immerses us in the life of a beautiful but violence-beset seaside Haitian village.

(Knopf, $26)

Edwidge Danticat speaks to readers in “a captivating whisper,” said Ron Charles in The Washington Post. Her new novel immerses us in the life of a beautiful but violence-beset seaside Haitian village, then gracefully unfolds a story of “tremendous emotional impact.” A fisherman’s daughter named Claire is celebrating her 7th birthday when her heartbroken father decides the time has come for a wealthier local woman to take Claire away to a better life. The girl dashes off, and a community search ensues. That effort opens for us new windows on the lives of “the perpetually unseen,” said Amy Driscoll in The Miami Herald. Some of the damaged souls we uncover dwell in unexpected places. Rich or poor, gangster or housemaid, everybody here is battling ghosts or demons. “Finally, there’s Claire herself.” When she re-emerges in the final chapter, “we see the story through her eyes with an unexpected burst of clarity.” As the day comes to an end, “the village—and readers—are changed.”

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