By Edwidge Danticat
Edwidge Danticat is an author who is equally respected by her peers, book reviewers and readers. Born in Haiti, this young writer touched the hearts of many readers with her Breath, Eyes, Memory. So well written is Krik?Krat! that the book was a National Book Award Finalist. Most of the story takes place in Haiti. It is a time of civil and political upheaval in the country. At the start of Krik? Krat! two of the main characters are writing each other love letters. They are young. They believe that nothing can weaken or sever their love for one another. They are wrong.
One of the young adults writes his letters while aboard a refugee ship. As if life is unaware of his love for the young woman, he spends his days and nights watching people he once saw going to work, taking care of their
families and laughing with their neighbors starve and die. Death brings its cruel stench all around him. Back on Haitian soil, the young woman goes to school and dreams of a better time. It is not until she and her family reach New York City that life begins to change for her. Upon arriving in the city, the family is surprised to find a Haitian community alive and well. Seeing that she is not alone in her traditions, the mother holds tightly to her Haitian customs. Her daughters do not.
At the end of Krik? Krat! the family is torn once again. However, this time it is not the approach of civil unrest, of war, that pulls at the family. Instead, it is a wedding. Caroline is getting married to an American man the
mother does not care for. Yet, as it was with the family surviving Haiti’s unrest, so too, love takes them through this change. It is their love for one another and their people that makes them fight to remain a tight unit. They do.
Krik? Krat! – a good read!
Denise Turney is the Book Review Editor for The New Citizens Press. She has more than 25 years of writing experience to her credit. She is the author of the books Portia, Love Has Many Faces and Spiral (due out Spring 2002!). She is online at www.chistell.com. Contact Denise about books in the column by e-mailing her at RCampb3422@aol.com.
Printed in Volume 1 Issue 11