A Wedding in Haiti
Apr 24, 2012
By Julia Alvarez
Hardback , 304 pages
ISBN: 9781616201302 (1616201304)
Published by Algonquin Books
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Julia Alvarez ... - this is a story about three of her most personal relationships—with her parents, with her husband, and with a young Haitian boy known as Piti. A teenager when Julia and her husband, Bill, first met him in 2001, Piti crossed the border into the Dominican Republic to find work. Julia, impressed by his courage, charmed by his smile, has over the years come to think of him as a son, even promising to be at his wedding someday. When Piti calls in 2009, Julia’s promise is tested. And so we follow her across the border into what was once the richest of all the French colonies and now teeters on the edge of the abyss—first for the celebration of a wedding and a year later to find Piti’s loved ones in the devastation of the earthquake.
Julia's book hold power in their words. They always strike deep into our humanity and hearts. She travels between cultures easily and makes us realize that we're all human, no matter how foreign someone else may appear to us.
This book is not a fictional book, but a recounting of her time in the Dominican Republic as a coffee grower, the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake and - surrounding it all - the decline of her parents, both struck down with Alzheimer's. Piti, a teenager she meets in 2001, has his story entwined throughout the entire book. She watches him grow, succeed and finally marry.
There are quite a few pictures in this book, detailing Haiti in it's glory and then the horrific aftermath of the earthquake. There are also family pictures to help you "know" the people in her life.
Unfortunately, I did - surprisingly - find the writing to be very dry and stilted at times, an issue that often happens when you tell a factual life story instead of creating interesting characters in your head and having a story revolve around them. Her life during this time does have adventure, love, sadness, fright and happiness, but I didn't find the words to flow and wrap through the pages.
If you're a fan of biographies and memoirs you'll probably enjoy this book as it has an important historical event in it and also provides a good deal of information regarding immigration issues, but as a compelling read I found it lacking. I will end by saying that biographies are not my thing.. so always take reviews like this with a grain of salt. :)
Reviewed by Idgie. If you would like to have the Dew review a book, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org