Book Reviews of Breath, Eyes, Memory

Breath, Eyes, Memory
Breath Eyes Memory
Author: Edwidge Danticat
ISBN-13: 9780375705045
ISBN-10: 037570504X
Publication Date: 5/1998
Pages: 256
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 253

3.6 stars, based on 253 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

46 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Edwidge Danticat creates a cast of characters who epitomize the relationship, the connection, of mothers and daughters. This fast moving storyline takes the reader between Haiti and New York City and once again to Haiti for its dramatic conclusion. The author really captures the flavor of Haiti, its scenery, its people and the flavor of their lives. I love this book - it is truly beautifully written and I recommend it to everyone.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 300 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
At the age of twelve, Sopie Caco is sent from her village in Haiti to live with her mother, whom she hardly remembers, in New York City. There she discovers secrets about her mother, her birth and her family.

An Oprah Book Club selection, this is a story that is both disturbing and inspiring. It gave me a lot of insight as to the lives of the women of Haiti.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 80 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Good writing. For example: "I come from a place where breath, eyes and memory are one, a place from which you carry your past like the hair on your head. Where women return to their children as butterflies or as tears in the eyes of the statues that their daughters pray to."
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on
Helpful Score: 1
youthful author with beautiful, lyrical account of life from native Haiti to New York at age 12 - strength of Haitian women in fictional account. Spiritual landscape vividly portrayed
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 136 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Hmmm...this was an interesting story. Sad at parts. Not one I'd recommend - some parts were disturbing.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book makes you feel as though you are with the author in Haiti. The author is very good at making you feel the emotions of the main character. While the end is not nicely tied up neatly like some stories, the fact it is real life and not fiction sometimes doesn't really have an ending, as such. Life continues ...
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Interesting coming-of-age book. Takes place in New Yrok and Croix-des-Rosets.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book!
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This haunting story is a very rewarding quick read.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 96 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Danticat's writing style brings you right into the setting. You can see the people of Haiti, smell the smells, and feel the emotions of the characters.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 33 more book reviews
Really good book!
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 21 more book reviews
Wonderful reading.I enjoyed this book and learned
a few things too!
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 11 more book reviews
Oprah's book club selection, great book
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 37 more book reviews
One of Oprah's book club books.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 11 more book reviews
Excellent read. Was an Oprah book club pick.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 3 more book reviews
I love about half of Oprah's picks. This is one of the good ones.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 49 more book reviews
Lyrical writing, tranforms you to Haitian village life.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 49 more book reviews
This is a haunting book about the relationship of a mother and her estranged daughter who moves from Haiti to New York to be with her at the age of twelve. Sophie soon discovers the reason her mother left her homeland and why she only wants to go back to be buried there. At eighteen, Sophie is emotionally scarred herself by her own mother's hand in a ritual called "testing." This accepted practice is reluctantly passed down from generation to generation, but it changes Sophie and her relationship with her mother. I thought the book was a tad too depressing. If you're looking for thumbs-up recommendations, visit http://readinginthegarden.blogspot.com
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 839 more book reviews
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2013/11/breath-eyes-memory.html

Breath, Eyes, Memory is a book written in discrete sections. In the first section, we meet Sophie Caco, who is born and raised in Haiti. She has lived with her Aunt Atie since she was a baby when her mother left Haiti and went to New York. Sophie loves her aunt like a mother; yet, Aunt Atie is always careful to remind her of her "true" mother. One day, when Sophie is twelve, her mother summons her to New York. This section of the book ends as Sophie adjusts to her life with her mother and learns the devastating secret of her birth.

The second section begins when Sophie is eighteen - a six year gap. We learn of Sophie finding love and of a traumatizing cultural tradition of testing girls for their "purity". The section ends with Sophie's extreme decision and and action to escape.

The third section picks up a year or two later as Sophie returns to Haiti with her own infant daughter. Four generations of women - Sophie, her daughter, her mother, her aunt, and her grandmother - come together in anger, in love, in reconciliation, and in understanding.

The fourth and final section is upon the return of Sophie, her mother, and her daughter to the United States.

The book has the potential to be a very powerful story. The organization into discrete sections that skip time periods prevents its from completely achieving that potential. The movement from section to section pulls the reader away from the emotion, particularly as the first two sections end on such emotional points - the story of Sophie's birth and her actions to escape her past and tradition.

At those points, as a reader, I am not ready to move on. I want to know more and want the emotions and relationships to be further developed. It feels like the book drops a bombshell and then shows the impact only after passage of time. The immediate impact is left unexplored. A sad set of events. Compelling characters. But a story that stops short of being completely engrossing.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 4 more book reviews
I am always interested in reading an Oprah's Book Club selection, and don't find much literature set in Haiti. This was worth reading - a vivid account of the life of several generations of strong Haitian characters.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on
Great book. I was not able to put it down.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 15 more book reviews
I enjoyed the character of Sophie,the culture shock of moving for her was great.often sad,but the women here are strong.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 4 more book reviews
This novel is both vibrant and magic. The exquisite writing rewards the reader again and again. We follow Sophie Caco's journey from Croix-des-Rosets to New York where she discovers a legacy of shame which can only be healed by her return to Haiti. This novel gives the reader an insight to the traditions, suffering and wisdom of an entire people.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 13 more book reviews
This book really brings home what it is like for women of the third world - at least in this family. Very descriptive and inciteful
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 194 more book reviews
"Vibrant, magic...wraps readers into the haunting life of a young Haitian girl." Excellent book from Oprah's book club. Highly recomend.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 48 more book reviews
I really liked this book. Very sad story when it delves into the customs and pasts of the main characters. We are often victims of our heritage and our traditions. At some point we are all empowered to break the cycle of detrimental traditions and make a better life for generations to come. Well worth the read!
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 162 more book reviews
Another book I liked so much, I picked up a spare to share.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 109 more book reviews
powerful novel set in Haiti, focused on the strong women, the wonder, terror and heartache of Haiti.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 29 more book reviews
My wife read this book quite some time ago, and could not provide an adequate review. Below is an excerpt from the back cover of the book, which I hope is helpful.

"At the age of 12, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reuinited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti - to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence, in a novel that bears witness to the traditions, suffering, and wisdom of an entire people."
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 30 more book reviews
Good book.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on
Great book! Very moving.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 204 more book reviews
Made me cry. I don't usually read this type of book but it was good. I was particularly interested in how it portrayed the psychological impact of virginity testing in young girls. While I've seen FGM cases, this was not a cultural tradition I'd heard of before. Surprisingly, after reading this book, I saw an article on the issue in the NYT.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 38 more book reviews
awesome story of a haitian girl and her life journey...captivating.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 243 more book reviews
Simply a beautiful book!
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 89 more book reviews
I was fascinated by this Haitian fiction, the first I've read. A quick read, opened my eyes to a new world.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 34 more book reviews
This was a very moving emotional book with great characterization. I't s an Oprah's Book Club selection. It's about a girl born in Haiti who moves to the US and the contrast of cultures & her experiences.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 45 more book reviews
Interesting read!!
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 124 more book reviews
Daughter had to read this for school and absolutely hated it. She struggled trying to get thru it and discovered that listening to it on tape was much better. I personnaly didn't read it because after hearing her reviews of the story I wasn't too motivated to pick it up.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 15 more book reviews
Oprah's Book Club (back cover):At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti - to the women who first reared her.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 3 more book reviews
I would describe the author's style as minimalistic. She was able to capture and share life in Haiti and her characters were interesting and honest. Good story.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 34 more book reviews
At the age of 12, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets (Haiti) to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti--to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence, in a novel that bears witness to the traditions, suffering and wisdom of an entire people.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 14 more book reviews
This was an Oprah pick from years ago. It's about a young girl from Haiti.
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 104 more book reviews
Oprah's book club...
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 30 more book reviews
At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti - to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence, in a novel that bears witness to the traditions, suffering, and wisdom of an entire people.

Oprah's Book Club book
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 162 more book reviews
very good book
reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory on + 52 more book reviews
At an astonishingly young age Edwidge Danticat has become one of our most celebrated newnobelists, an writer who evokes the wonder, terror and heartache of her native Haiti-and the enduring strength of Haiti's women-with a vibrant imagery and narrative grace that bears witness to her people's suffering and courage....
At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des Rosets to New York to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers.There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti-to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence, in a novel that bears witness to the traditions, suffering, and wisdom of an entire people.