Everything Inside #BookReview

Edwidge Danticat | August 2019 | 224pp

This book is a collection of short stories focused on love and loss either set in Haiti or around the people or culture of Haiti.

Pros: The first story Dosas, was the lengthiest and by far the best story of the bunch. Even being somewhat predictable, I think it reveals the authors message better than any other: often times blessings come after our biggest pain, especially in matters of love. The author is a beautiful writer, choosing words carefully, reminding you of poetry in motion. In some paragraphs, it is a love letter to her native country of Haiti, painting beautiful images. She doesn’t deny the ugliness though and often uses it as a vehicle to increase any drama in the story (kidnapping, murders, political unrest)

Cons: The other seven stories seem grossly unfinished. Beautiful characters, but, just grouped together in random scenes, pointlessly. One or two (The Port-au-Prince Marriage Special) rises above boring but, still a predictable story about a young ‘fast’ girl, sideswiped by the promise of love by a married man. It could have been so much more but the story was undeveloped and ended abruptly.

It occurs to me, these stories could be interpreted as snapshots – just a peek into the lives of kinfolk from her native country. But even with that explanation, I feel unfulfilled after reading it. If you are from Haiti or have travelled there, this will likely be a glorious read for you, reading about traditions and places you can picture or relate to. There are many descriptions of the beautiful people and places and snippets of Haitian creole that I’m sure could feel like home, adding a texture I could not identify with.

This was a super short read and that’s the only reason I managed to finish it. That and May vacation😜🎊 so, time wasn’t a premium. Just ok book 6/2021

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