In darkness I count my blessings like Manman taught me. One: I am alive. Two: there is no two. In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake a boy is trapped beneath the rubble of a ruined hospital: thirsty, terrified and alone. 'Shorty' is a child of the slums, a teenage boy who has seen enough violence to last a lifetime, and who has been inexorably drawn into the world of the gangsters who rule Site Soleil: men who dole out money with one hand and death with the other. But Shorty has a secret: a flame of revenge that blazes inside him and a burning wish to find the twin sister he lost five years ago. And he is marked. Marked in a way that links him with Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Haitian rebel who two-hundred years ago led the slave revolt and faced down Napoleon to force the French out of Haiti. As he grows weaker, Shorty relives the journey that took him to the hospital, a bullet wound in his arm. In his visions and memories he hopes to find the strength to survive, and perhaps then Toussaint can find a way to be free ...
ReadingNook Rating: 4 out 5 stars
In Darkness is a perfect title for this book, because it is infact a really dark story. Nick Lake creates a rintimate and disturbingly real look into the situations in Haiti prior to the earthquakes of 2010 and after. Natural disasters have always intrigued me and I thought this book would more so focus on that, but was more a look into what life is like in the slums of Haiti before the earthquake. This book is filled with murder, gangs, poverty, drugs, and political backlash to the extreme. I never knew how poverty and crime striken Haiti was and is, so this was an eye-opener of a book for me.
Nick Lake's writing style was poetic in a way, and I felt like the story moved along smoothly alternating between now and then timelines. I'm almost at a loss for words when it comes to this review, because I don't really know what to say to give this book justice. All I can say is this is a POWERHOUSE of a book, and can definitely see it read in high schools as required reading, and recieving prestigious awards. If you want an eye-opening look into Haiti and the poverty-stricken society that is a reality there, then you definitely need to read this book.
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