Jesse's Reviews > Breath, Eyes, Memory

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
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Mar 01, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: book-club, read-in-2010

All the things that are never said, never expressed continue to haunt me after several months: Danticat elegantly utilizes silence and ellipses in a way that I'm quite accustomed to in cinema, but rarely find in literature. This means that at first the story seems thin, almost emaciated—but suddenly the absence reveal itself not as lack but meticulous authorial control, and peeking between the spare sentences are glimpses of vast expanses of the utterly inexpressible. The novel is constructed in a way that seems to suggest a collection of short stories revolving around the same small cluster of characters over a lengthy period of time; each "story," however, only takes on resonance when placed within the context of all of the others. The effect is often devastating—and the devastation only intensifies with each passing page—a quality which was also compounded by reading it in the context of the then-contemporaneous earthquake that had just ravaged the country where so much of the book's action takes place.

"In our family we had come to expect that people can disappear into thin air. All traces lost except in the vivid eyes of one's memory."
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Reading Progress

March 1, 2010 – Shelved
March 1, 2010 – Shelved as: book-club
Started Reading
April 19, 2010 – Finished Reading
May 31, 2010 – Shelved as: read-in-2010

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