#CBR7 Review #99: Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat

Because I decided that All the Danticat needed to be read, I went with Claire of the Sea Light next. I also have checked it out from the library twice, and have no more renewals left. It feels like defeat to check a book back in from the library without having read it–silly, I know. None of you feel this way, I’m sure. But I had to make some choices before going on vacation. Consequently, I packed more books than clothes or shoes. My parents were…bemused. But then again, when their daughter opted to get her PhD in English, they should have realized that her life would be books.

But on to Danticat. Claire of the Sea Light is a fast read, even if it lacks some of the incredible luminous quality of Krik? Krak! This short novel focuses on young Claire, a motherless seven-year-old girl who disappears on her birthday, which is also the day her mother died giving birth to her, and the day in which a local fisherman is drowned by a mysterious tidal wave. The novel follows all the supporting characters throughout the course of history of the village Ville Rose, as they converge on the day of Claire’s disappearance.

The idea of this novel is fantastic, and the premise is fairly successful in execution. I just don’t feel that it is cohesive enough to really flow well, nor do I feel emotionally connected to the characters. I liked the idea of the novel more than the actual novel itself. It’s not a bad read at all, just not my favorite. I do think that Edwidge Danticat is an incredible writer, however, and I look forward to reading more of her work.


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