The morning Claire Limyè Lanmè Faustin turned seven, a freak wave, measuring between ten and twelve feet high, was seen in the ocean outside of Ville Rose. Claire's father, Nozias, a fisherman, was one of many who saw it in the distance as he walked toward his sloop. He first heard a low rumbling, like that of distant thunder, then saw a wall of water rise from the depths o0f the ocean, a giant blue-green tongue, trying, it seemed, to lick a pink sky.Those opening lines, along with this description of the novel, make me want to keep reading:
Just as quickly as it had swelled, the wave cracked. Its barrel collapsed, pummeling a cutter calle Fifine, sinking it and Caleb, the sole fisherman onboard.
Claire Limyè Lanmè — Claire of the Sea Light — is an enchanting child born into love and tragedy in Ville Rose, Haiti. Claire’s mother died in childbirth, and on each of her birthdays Claire is taken by her father, Nozias, to visit her mother’s grave. Nozias wonders if he should give away his young daughter to a local shopkeeper, who lost a child of her own, so that Claire can have a better life. But on the night of Claire’s seventh birthday, when at last he makes the wrenching decision to do so, she disappears. As Nozias and others look for her, painful secrets, haunting memories, and startling truths are unearthed among the community of men and women whose individual stories connect to Claire, to her parents, and to the town itself.
Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. Click here for today's Mister Linky.