Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Dew Breaker

In The Dew Breaker Edwidge Danticat looks at the consequences, the guilt and fear of one former Haitian prison guard, who tortured countless people 30 years ago. The story begins with a sculptor who has created a work depicting her father as a brave victim. This noble piece, which the woman is delivering to a wealthy client spurs her father to admit the truth, he was the predator not the prey. Then the story examines the torture in during the Duvaliers dictatorships. Danticat employs shifting narrators and each chapter has a different structure, which I found more confusing than artful. Still I found this a facinating way to see how morality and history impact individuals. I felt that Danticat describes the many characters well, but wished she'd given me more description of the places. I had no clear picture of the homes or towns in Haiti, which I really wanted since I've never been there or seen much through the media.

The reviews and introduction do make it clear that Danticat's father was not a torturer.

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