Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Dew Breaker Paperback – March 8, 2005
|New from||Used from|
Saving Sara (Redemption Series)
Losing her daughter seems like the end, but can a new start offer Sara fresh hope? Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is episodic and can be looked at a series of short stories. But they're all interrelated, and tell the story of Haiti over the past twenty years. A "dew breaker" is a prison guard who tortures the captives in his charge. And he is the central character in the book. He now lives in Brooklyn and has a loving wife and a grown up daughter. He now works as a barber and his past seems a long time ago. We see him through his daughter's eyes as he reveals his true past to her. The daughter loves her father but this new fact about his life is hard to accept.
We also meet other Haitian people, living in America. There's the nurse who sends most of her paycheck home to her mother. There's the young man who brings his wife to this country. There's another man who travels back to Haiti to visit his dying aunt. There are three Haitian women learning English and sharing their stories with each other.
Eventually, we flash back to the story of the "dew breaker" in Haiti. It's not a pleasant story but yet a very human one. Even though we don't forgive, we do understand.
I was a little reluctant to read this book. I thought it would have detailed horrors and be excessively brutal. I was glad that Ms. Danticant, in her wisdom, spent most of her time on character development and story. She only put in a few of the horrible details, mostly focusing on the people, rather than on the gore.
The book is only 242 pages long, a fast read. It left me with a deep understanding of Haiti, its people, and what is going on in the news today.
As the novel begins, a young woman gazes upon her father with eyes of love, unaware of his past. Finally confessing his carefully hidden secret, he is revealed as deeply flawed, his actions virtually unforgivable. The scar he wears on his face carries a terrible history, his life in America built on deception. In his mouth the truth is a lie. Although the father pardons himself, there are many who damn him for the monster of their nightmares.
Weaving through the chapters, we learn of those who have been touched by brutal dictatorship and oppression, where unmarried women bear fatherless children, eking out the most basic existence. Haiti, an island paradise, turns into hell under a despot's reign of terror, freedom a vague dream, while the hungry scratch for garbage, all under a starlit sky of infinite beauty. Even when these characters find a different life in America, they carry the indelible scars of Haiti in their hearts.
This passionate novel is an assemblage of powerful interrelated stories; here a chorus of voices hums, the heard and the unheard, the "disappeared", the unborn, the women whose voice boxes have been surgically removed, the desperate murmur of prayers, the eternal silence of the dead and the staccato of random gunfire.Read more ›
In a series of episodes which resemble short stories more than a novel in form, Danticat illuminates the lives of approximately a dozen Haitian immigrants as they remember this traumatic period "back home." As the "novel" alternates between past and present, it is told from disparate points of view--those of Ka's mother and father, a young man visiting Haiti after ten years to see his blinded aunt, a wedding seamstress in New York, a Haitian-American reporter investigating a possible "dew-breaker," a man remembering a Haitian friend's long-ago disappearance as he awaits his son's birth in New York, and a popular Haitian preacher whose arrest affects lives for many years.
The novel gains much of its power from the horrors of vividly described torture and the overwhelming fear engendered by the Tonton Macoute militia.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Incredibly sensitive and honest portrayal of one of the darkest times in Haitian history. The author gives so many tiny hints to the reader and if time is taken to research those... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lauren Pilcher
Smartly woven tail of many viewpoints during a tumultuous period in Haiti. Edwidge tells great stories. Makes you feel you are right in the middle of it.Published 8 months ago by tania murray
Danticat is a powerful writer who tackles intense topics. The Dew Breaker is no exception. This novel blends and blurs the idea of short stories and novels and succeeds... Read more
Ms. Danticat is a muse who helps people to understand Haitian culture which she does in remarkable fashion. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kyle M. McNeil