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Claire of the Sea Light

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  5,506 ratings  ·  808 reviews
From the best-selling author of Brother, I’m Dying and The Dew Breaker: a stunning new work of fiction that brings us deep into the intertwined lives of a small seaside town where a little girl, the daughter of a fisherman, has gone missing.

Claire Limyè Lanmè—Claire of the Sea Light—is an enchanting child born into love and tragedy in Ville Rose, Haiti. Claire’s mother di
Hardcover, 238 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Knopf (first published 2013)
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Nancy McGuckin The author is: Edwidge Danticat and the book is Claire of the Sea Light?

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David Dacosta
Claire of the Sea Light is as much about the intersection of the lives of a group of Haitians of different social standings, as it is an exercise in the art of storytelling. The elements and characters of the story fit creatively together in a refreshingly non-conventional fashion. It’s a pleasure to read the spirit of love and the care that Danticat infuses into the language of Claire. The essence of what made her non-fiction works shine is present here.

The realism of Danticat’s writing gives t
Roger DeBlanck
When I finish an unforgettable work, I’m thrilled with the idea of knowing I will someday reread the book to experience its impact over again. Having been a fan of Danticat, I prepared to like this novel. To my great delight, it has become an instant favorite. Almost unbearable in the degree of searing emotion that it captures, this novel pulls at the heartstrings. The title character, Claire Limye Lanme Faustin, may be focal to the narrative, but she also serves as the root from which multiple ...more
I thought Claire of the Sea Light offered an interesting opportunity to get glimpses of the different characters' lives, but the book just felt disjointed overall and most of the storylines felt underdeveloped by the book's end - I thought they would at least tie in more together once I reached the end but that wasn't the case. I also thought with the book's title being what it was, that Claire (or at the very least, Nozias and/or Claire's mother) would tie in (either literally or figuratively ...more
Ron Charles
In the decade since Edwidge Danticat published her last novel, “The Dew Breaker,” Haiti has been drowned by hurricanes and shaken by earthquakes. At each cataclysmic crisis, the plight of her homeland dominated the world’s attention and then quickly faded into the background radiation of suffering that passes through most of us unnoticed.

For someone born in Port-au-Prince, the temptation to rage at the public’s fickle concern must be immense. But in her rich new novel, “Claire of the Sea Light,”
Staci Newring
Ok let's make the book into a movie as soon as possible. Claire of the Sea Light should be played by Quvenzhane Wallis from Beast of the Southern Wild, and her father Nozias, should be played by Dwight Henry from Beast of the Southern Wild or better yet Forest Whitaker. I see Viola Davis as Gaelle, the shop keeper that Nozias wants to give his daughter to so that she will have a better life. I can just imagine what a beautiful picture this would be. I expected this book to be about what happened ...more
☔Diane S.
3.5 Love the title of this book and the cover, even though I read it on my kindle I can see the cover on this site. This book was like a circular maze, where the prize is in the middle and you just follow in circular movements. It starts with a young seven yr. old Claire going missing from her village and home. This is not a linear book so after this we learn about the villagers that make up this town called Ville Rose. At one point when they switched to a new story I thought to myself, what doe ...more
Susan Wilcox
I happened to finish this novel when flying with a friend, and as soon as I closed the book she asked me what I thought of it. The word that immediately came to mind was "poetry" and then I had no other words to offer. Danticat's books leave me with the need to pause and savor, and if it were possible, I wouldn't read anything else for a few days in order for her story/storytelling to sink in. Through Claire of the Sea Light (along with her other books) I have gotten to know something of Haiti - ...more
Chad Sayban
I was really looking forward to Claire of the Sea Light because I am always interested in works that bring far-off places and cultures that I will probably never have the opportunity to visit to life. And while Danticat did provide a look inside the culture of Haiti, the constant changes of character perspectives and reversals in the timeline of the story made it difficult for me to ever connect with any of the characters. In fact, the Claire of the title may be the least important or interestin ...more

This is an intoxicating weave of vignettes, populated by an endearing cast of characters. And there is no single protagonist either; they are all so important to this tale.

Perhaps the protagonist here is Haiti herself.

Claire Limyè Lanmè—Creole for Claire of the Sea Light—certainly draws you into her world so much that you are tempted to think of her as just that protagonist. But so many other significant souls swim by the reader that it becomes clear that
It is the seventh birthday of Claire Limye Lanme Faustin whose name means "Claire of the Sea Light" in Creole. Her birthday is also a day of death since Claire's mother died in childbirth, and her father brings her to the cemetery every year. On the morning of her seventh birthday, a huge wave overturned a fishing boat, and her father's good friend was lost in the sea.

On her birthday, Claire's impoverished father has been asking Madame Gaelle, a wealthy widow who is mourning her young daughter's
Rebecca Foster
Grief and its effects on an impoverished Haitian fishing village.

On the morning of Claire Limyè Lanmè Faustin’s 7th birthday, a freak wave sweeps a local fisherman away. Claire’s father, Nozias, is also a fisherman, and her mother died giving her birth, so the sea poses a grave threat to this diminished family. Nozias decides it is time to seek a better life, which entails giving Claire up for adoption to bereaved Mme Gaëlle. Yet Claire, as cheerful but elusive as her middle names (“sea light”)
Kasa Cotugno
Edwidge Danticat has always been a writer of powerful beauty, but here, she surpasses herself. At the center of this luminous novel is Claire, and through interlocking stories concerning her, her father Nozias, and the other inhabitants of a small fishing village 28 miles from Port au Prince, she presents a vivid portrait of a community and its insularity. Employing creole patois and sensual visual detail, the land comes to life for a reader who has never visited Haiti. She carefully lays out th ...more
This book reminded me that I need to read more Caribbean literature (Any suggestions? I'm open). It was my third Goodreads book club read this month and I might just get used to this book club thing.

Claire Limyè Lanmè. Each time narration entertainer Robin Miles said her name on my audiobook, I was entranced. It was a great experience, hearing French Creole sprinkled throughout the prose, with the distinguished storytelling seeming to illuminate the setting.

At first the story seemed to be about
Pristine literary prose, like fine art. Certainly an enlightening glimpse into the culture, traditions, and people of Haiti, reality in fictional presentation. The descriptive portrayal of the region and its nuances was clear and crisp. However fascinating, the crisscrossing of themes and characters didn't quite work for me. I found myself drawn in then pushed away, never allowing me the chance to totally warm up to any one character. A redeeming good read, slightly short of great.
While I was reading this book, Edwidge Danticat was interviewed on the public news hour. How fortunate was I. I really enjoy Danticat's writing. I was in Haiti for only 5 days but can recognize the society she describes. I also liked her interjection of the Creole language and her inclusion of poetic descriptions as well as poetry. The choice of the book title appears on p. 181. p. 118

The name was a buoyant as it sounded. It was the kind of name that you said with love, that you whispered in yo
I feel a little deceived by the book blurb and cover art for this book. I thought I was getting a story about a father struggling to give his daughter a future where she could have opportunities. But the story is really a collection of glimpses into the lives of the people who live in the same town as the father and his daughter. The characters we follow are connected to each other through their work or a personal acquaintance.

The story opens and we learn that every year on her birthday her fath
Emi Bevacqua
This is a not altogether complete story, of a small Haitian village where wealthy Gaelle lost her husband as she gave birth to their daughter, and where a few years later impoverished local fisherman Nozais lost his wife as she gave birth to their daughter. This story, and some others (about nascent gang warfare, radio journalists and a DJ, the diaspora, the wealthy and the poor who tend to the care of their families) are told from different perspectives.

Claire of the Sea Light is 7 years old,
Sara  (
This is my first Danticat but won't be my last. What a gift at evoking a place and a community of believable, vivid, characters. The only thing that detracted from my enjoyment was that sometimes the novel's tone and diction would shift from a kind of lyrical beauty to straightforward expository about the social ills of the town that felt more like a newspaper editorial than a fictional story.
This was a 3.5 star book for me.

In language poetically beautiful and painstakingly precise, Danticat infuses her characters with dignity as they navigate through the loss of innocence and the burden of guilt with a dollop of hope in the small seaside town of Ville Rose. The book opens with the story of Claire Limye’s Lanme’s (Claire of the Sea Light) life up until the morning she turns seven, which is also a day of death to her as her mother died in childbirth, and her father struggles with the
Mary Lou
Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat is a quick read and an artful creation that describes the environment and relationships in a small Haitian town. Twenty miles south of Port-au-Prince, Ville Rose has a population of 1100 people, most poor farmers, fishermen, and sugarcane workers.

Danticat introduces the title character, Claire Limyè Lanmè Faustin, on her seventh birthday; her father Nozias Faustin, a fisherman, and Gaëlle Cadet Lavaud, owner of the local fabric store, but quickly flash
Bonnie Brody
The structure of Claire of the Sea Light reminded me a bit of Olive Kitteridge, a novel composed of interconnecting short stories that meld the characters and their lives together, exposing secrets and providing additional information about their connections as we read. It is a beautiful novel, very poetic in its structure.

The story begins in 2009 in Ville Rose, Haiti. It starts out with Nozias, a fisherman, wanting to give his daughter away to a fabric shop owner on her seventh birthday. Claire
Haunting and mythic. This work is like Faulkner, in taking the common man and making him seem like a god; but this work too is like Hemingway, with strong, straightforward sentences that are simply unbreakable, pushing life forward with each full stop. In each story, we learn the deeper past of these characters, of their communal story, unbeknownst to any of them in its entirety. How grand to sit watching them, learn why they act toward their neighbours so. The eponymous character is more like a ...more
Intense, poetic, moving, a beautifully-written story. This is a tale of a sea town in Haiti where the lives and secrets of those who have and those who have not intersect on a fateful day when a fisherman is lost at sea. Though the seven year-old child, Claire is the namesake of the title of this book, she is one of many characters whose stories are revealed little by little in back story. But the sea itself is the main character as it is both the life blood of Ville Rose while it yet claims lif ...more
Sheryl Sorrentino
3.5. This was really a collection of interesting-enough short stories that are only thinly related because the various characters all live in a small Haitian fishing village and know one another. This was not a story about a missing girl. The sea featured prominently; Claire, not so much. It was okay, but didn't "wow" me.
Claire Limye Lanme, Haitian-Creole for "Claire of the Sea Light," is a wonderful, poignant story about the lives of several residents of Ville Rose, Haiti. It took me several chapters to catch on to Edwidge Danticat's storytelling style. Each chapter revolves around a particular character's life during the same time frame. Claire's mother died during childbirth, leaving Claire's father to cobble together a meager living from the sea for the two of them. He is pondering whether or not to give Cla ...more
What an utterly gorgeous book.

With the clarity of the scintillating light in water, Danticat tells of the people in a small town in Haiti. She writes of a fisherman's struggle to be a good parent, a headmaster's struggle to teach, women's struggles to be good mothers, and sons' struggles to be good men. All struggle to take care of the people they love and the things that are important. At the core, this is a book about being good people and taking care of each other.

But it's the writing that m
Danticat's writing is precise and at times lovely, and the sense of setting--I could feel the heat and dampness of Haiti, hear the cadence of the Creole language and see the devastation of floods and rogue waves--was powerful. But the central story, of a seven-year-old girl who disappears the night her father gives her away to a wealthy widow bereft of her own child, should have affected me more than it did. I think there were too many characters and too many other stories woven around that of C ...more
Claire of the Sea Light, is about a young girl born into both love and tragedy in the small fishing town Ville Rose, Haiti.

Seven-year-old Claire Faustin’s mother died giving birth to her. And as every year passes, her father, feels the growing need to earn more money than poor Ville Rose can provide, and therefore must give Claire to someone in the village to care for her.

The characters and their town are painted with vivid detail and lyrical language creating the book reads like a beautiful pat
Claire of the Sea Light is a book as luminous as its title. Edwidge Danticat's 2013 novel about the little seaside town of Ville Rose in her native Haiti is a hypnotic read and I was mesmerized from the first scene.

Ville Rose has an air of magic about it, yet it is a town where tragedy is an everyday part of life. The story begins with a tragedy. A poor fisherman out on his boat in the early morning is swamped by a rogue wave as his friend, Nozias, another poor fisherman watches from shore. The
Janine Brouillette
Claire of the Sea Light is a well written book that reminds me of the movie "Beasts of the Southern Wild" which was a wonderful movie. The difference of course, is that the book takes place in a small town, Villa Rose, in Haiti instead of Louisiana. The story is centered on Claire and her father's struggles after her mom died in childbirth. The book weaves the stories of a variety of people in the town and how they all are connected in someway. This is a book well worth reading.

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Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when she was twelve. She is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; and The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner. She is also the editor of The Butterfly's Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States and The Beac ...more
More about Edwidge Danticat...
Breath, Eyes, Memory Krik? Krak! The Farming of Bones The Dew Breaker Brother, I'm Dying

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“So much had fallen into the sea. Hats fell in to the sea. Hearts fell into the sea. So much had fallen into the sea” 15 likes
“No one will love you more than you love your pain.” 10 likes
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