Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
The main story in this novel of interconnected stories and lives focuses on the daughter of a local fisherman, named Claire of the Sea Light, who goes missing. Her mother died giving birth to her and every year on her birthday her father talks to the local fabric merchant about adopting Claire and giving her the life her father is incapable of providing. He is terrified that he will die and Claire will be left alone with no one to care for her. Claire, however, has other plans.
While the main story ends happily enough, there is a lot of despair and misery surrounding the everyday life of the inhabitants of this small Haitian town. The reader really understands Haiti and the struggles of the people of the town. Stories involve prominent townsfolk (the very few with money), fishermen, gang members, shop keepers and local radio personalities. The audiobook is wonderful because the reader really keeps you in Haiti with her slight accent and her poetic reading of the French phrases interspersed in the narrative. This is a glimpse into the life of a town where life is at once fleeting and precious.