cover image God Loves Haiti

God Loves Haiti

Dimitry Elias Léger. Amistad, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-234813-5

In the moments just before the biblically awful Haitian earthquake of 2010 hits Port-au-Prince, the beautiful Natasha Robert is walking across the tarmac, pulled by her new husband, who happens to also be the Haitian president , toward a waiting plane. Though she has been anticipating escape her whole life and is indeed about to be ferried off to a luxurious life in Italy, Natasha is suddenly hesitant, apprehensive about leaving behind her true love, Alain, whom she’s left locked in her closet at the National Palace. For all the destruction the imminent earthquake will cause, it will also save Natasha, though in unexpected and mysterious ways. This debut novel explores how Natasha comes to grips with what has unfolded both in her country and in her heart. While the setup is promising and the context rich for emotional mining, the novel often feels slow and even repetitive, not for the mourning and reflection such horror would seem to force, but for the cyclical tendencies of the narrative. Although Alain, the president , and Natasha wander in the aftermath of the quake, their separate emotions seem restated rather than deepened, but the book still shows undeniable strength and a powerful message about creating something new out of such devastation. (Jan.)