Bucket's Reviews > The Dew Breaker

The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat
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This is about a dew breaker (member of Duvalier's macoute force - torturers and general controlling force in 1960's Haiti). More than that, though, it's about the people whose lives he has affected. His wife and daughter, those he tortured and killed and their families, those who board in his house. The book starts at the end - he is living in New York City, working as a barber, and throws his daughter's statue of him in a lake; he finally tells her the truth about his having been a torturer. This is told in his daughter's voice and what follows is in the voices of all the other characters. The dew breaker himself doesn't get a voice until the very end and even that last chapter is mostly his wife's voice.

Themes: 60's Haiti, dealing with your past, hiding your past, lies and truth, the pain of being a victim, the pain of regret, honor, miracles

I was amazed at how emotional my reaction to this book was, especially towards the end. I was really upset when the dew breaker lied to Anne and she married him. Even though she knew the truth, it made me cry. She thought of herself as his miracle though - she wanted to be how he changed his ways. That's amazing forgiveness she has. I enjoyed that this book used so many different perspectives to tell it's story. I always knew more than the characters did, which made things more painful to watch but allowed me an amazing bigger picture view.

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Reading Progress

04/09/2009 page 3
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