National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and author Edwidge Danticat’s fourth fiction novel is certainly ambitious. Following classics such as Breath Eyes, Memory and Krik? Krak!, the Dew Breaker begins in New York with the depiction of a loving father on a road trip with his daughter. After revealing the sculpture she created in honor of her father’s time spent as a prisoner in Haiti, the true and haunting story of this family’s past unfolds. The reader soon learns that the beloved father is the perpetrator of unforgivably heinous war crimes which he has since distanced himself from.
Unfortunately, this novel doesn’t live up to what the book blurb promises. The story is powerful but feels somewhat shallow and unfinished….or perhaps over edited by the publisher. There were times while reading that I wanted Danticat to dig deeper into the psychological scars carried by both the victims and perpetrators of Duvalier’s bloody reign. I also waited for a culminating moment, a climax perhaps, that tied in the victims narratives through either a confrontation or internal revelation. I’m a few pages from the end of this novel and thus far neither has occurred. I’m left wondering if this story is too ambitious for Danticat’s depth of writing. I hope I’m wrong . . .
Share your thoughts?