“I come from a place where breath, eyes, and memory are one, a place from which you carry your past like the hair on your head. Where women return to their children as butterflies or as tears in the eyes of the statues that their daughters pray to. My mother was as brave as stars at dawn. She too was from this place. My mother was like that woman who could never bleed and then could never stop bleeding, the one who gave in to her pain, to live as a butterfly. Yes, my mother was like me.“ 

Breath, Eyes, Memory, a literary fiction novel by Edwidge Danticat, tells the story of a woman’s struggles with sexuality and race. Born in Haiti and raised by her aunt, the main character and narrator - Sophie Caco - has never known her mother. At age twelve, she is sent to New York to live with her mother; this novel tells the story of her life from the age of twelve until her late twenties. Throughout this time, she struggles with finding her roots and finding herself.

This book is so beautiful. Each sentence is like a poem; a jewel. it is the kind of book that you need to own yourself, the kind that you want to read over and over because there is simply so much to take from it. Breath, Eyes, Memory is incredibly powerful and is one of the only books that has ever made me cry - the pain that the characters feel is so real, and so easy to connect to. Even one who has never dealt specifically with what the characters are going through will be able to relate to what they are feeling.

Breath, Eyes, Memory is an excellent book that I believe everyone should read at some point in their lives; however, it is for mature readers. It deals with many difficult themes and topics that can be difficult to deeply understand. The characters in this novel deal with so much internal struggle, with problems and pasts that are often very challenging - because of this, only mature readers should read this book. Nevertheless, I believe that Breath, Eyes, Memory is an important book that everyone will be able to learn from.


“‘You know, Isabel,’ she said, ‘sometimes I want to die.’

Isabel retied a shoelace, light-headed. The room seemed to get brighter for an instant, then faded to normal again. Maybe that was a sunspot. The sea roiled as the sunspot blazed, overturning a ship sailing over the sea past the farm where she and Ann lived. ‘Why?’ she said, staring at the sea.

Isabel’s mother pressed her long fingers into the corners of her eyes, squeezed her eyes shut, shaking her head. ‘I just do,’ she said. ‘I just want to die.’”

Tea, a realistic fiction novel by Stacey D’erasmo, is one girl’s fascinating exploration of love, art, and independence as she struggles to find herself and break free from her past. In 1968, eight-year-old Isabel Gold’s mother has always seemed sad. It is not long until she takes her own life.

After this, Isabel grapples with connecting with people and putting her life together. Tea follows her from ages eight to twenty-two, through many relationships and friendships that never seem to last.

Tea is so beautiful and yet so simple. The characters are flawed and flawless, ordinary, yet incredibly extraordinary at the same time. It is one of those books that you read slowly because you don’t want to reach the end. It is not only plainly one of the best books I have ever read, but also one of the most intriguing. Every thought is so real, so genuine and so honest.

To me, Tea seems like a book that is important for everyone to read; it might be more enjoyable for girls, but I think everyone would benefit from reading it. I think that it is so significant because of the way it explores life’s many obstacles, problems that - although specific to the characters facing them - can be related so easily to the readers’ own lives.

I would recommend Tea to everyone who is looking for a book that will make them think, feel, and ultimately fall in love with every character, every thought, every word.