BookBrowse Reviews The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Dew Breaker

by Edwidge Danticat

The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2004, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2005, 256 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


'Danticat is a crafter of subtle, gorgeous sentences and scenes'. Novel

From the Book Jacket: A brilliant, deeply moving work of fiction that explores the world of a "dew breaker"—a torturer—a man whose brutal crimes in the country of his birth lie hidden beneath his new American reality.

We meet him late in his life. He is a quiet man, a husband and father, a hardworking barber, a kindly landlord to the men who live in a basement apartment in his home. He is a fixture in his Brooklyn neighborhood, recognizable by the terrifying scar on his face. As the book unfolds, moving seamlessly between Haiti in the 1960s and New York City today, we enter the lives of those around him: his devoted wife and rebellious daughter; his sometimes unsuspecting, sometimes apprehensive neighbors, tenants, and clients. And we meet some of his victims.

In the book’s powerful denouement, we return to the Haiti of the dew breaker’s past, to his last, desperate act of violence, and to his first encounter with the woman who will offer him a form of redemption—albeit imperfect—that will change him forever.


Comment: From the author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and Krik? Krak!, comes a deeply moving work of fiction that explores the world of a "dew breaker"—a torturer—a man whose brutal crimes in the country of his birth lie hidden beneath his new American reality.

Selected Reviews
"The slow accumulation of details pinpointing the past's effects on the present makes for powerful reading...and Danticat is a crafter of subtle, gorgeous sentences and scenes." - Publishers Weekly.

"Starred Review. Danticat's masterful depiction of the emotional and spiritual reverberations of tyranny and displacement reveals the intricate mesh of relationships that defines every life, and the burden of traumatic inheritances: the crimes and tragedies that one generation barely survives, the next must reconcile.'" - Booklist.

Did you know?
The term dew breaker is Danticat's interpretation of the creole expression 'choukèt laroze', used to describe a government henchman, sometime torturer, during the 29 year period (1957-1986) when Haiti was ruled by 'Papa Doc' and 'Baby Doc' Duvalier. The name derives from the time of day when they usually captured their victims. The novel focuses on the life of one particular 'dew breaker', now living in Florida. The nine chapters are self contained short stories which together form a satisfying whole.

This review is from the March 2, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Rules of Magic
    The Rules of Magic
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's Rules of Magic is the long-awaited prequel to one of her most cherished novels,...
  • Book Jacket: Good Me Bad Me
    Good Me Bad Me
    by Ali Land
    Is a psychopath born or made? This is the terrifying question that author Ali Land explores in her ...
  • Book Jacket: Five-Carat Soul
    Five-Carat Soul
    by James McBride
    In the short story "Sonny's Blues," from the 1965 collection Going to Meet the Man, African-...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

"A powerful, provocative debut ... Intelligent, honest, and unsentimental." - Kirkus, starred review

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Never Coming Back
    by Alison McGhee

    A moving exploration of growing up and growing old, and the ties that bind parents and children.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Wisdom of Sundays

The Wisdom of Sundays
by Oprah Winfrey

Life-changing insights from super soul conversations.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Good M I H T F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.