Danticat, Edwidge "Breath, Eyes, Memory" - 1994
The world of Sophie Caco, her world starts in Haiti with her aunt Atie while her mother lives in the United States. We follow her from the age of twelve into adulthood where she has to battle with her mother's past, her mother's ghost.
This is an immensely interesting story about the life of women in any kind of culture, about the life of women in Haiti especially, the life of anybody living within a culture that prescribes what your are supposed to do according to "other people", what people are doing to defend their "honour".
A highly gripping tale, a walk between tradition and future. A highly recommendable novel.
A quote that speaks to me: "She told me about a group of people in Guinea who carry the sky on their heads. They are the people of Creation. Strong, tall, and mighty people who can bear anything. Their Maker, she said, gives them the sky to carry because they are strong. These people do not know who they are, but if you see a lot of trouble in your life, it is because you were chosen to carry part of the sky on your head."
From the back cover:
"When her mother leaves Haiti to find work in the US, Sophie is raised by her aunt. Their parting, years later, when her mother sends for her, is as wrenching as the reunion in New York. Though she barely knows her mother they both carry secrets from their homeland that will haunt them forever."