Mouths Don’t Speak

Katia D. Ulysse. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-61775-592-7
In Ulysse’s powerful novel, Jacqueline has lived outside Haiti for over two decades, but news of the 2010 earthquake upends her life. She desperately tries to reach her wealthy department store magnate parents in Port-au-Prince but each failed call further cements her assumption that they did not survive. Her husband, Kevin, a former marine with PTSD, has nothing but tenderness for her as he cares for their young daughter, Amber. Jacqueline’s pain transforms to frustration when her mother calls a month later from Miami, where they have safely been since shortly after the earthquake, a small taste of the self-involvement that curdled their relationship. Still feeling dislocated, Jacqueline begins Creole lessons with an eccentric and challenging American who lived in Haiti for years. Against her husband’s strenuous objections (which she shrugs off as an offshoot of his trauma), Jacqueline takes their daughter to Haiti. A tragic accident shortly after their arrival causes a massive fissure between Kevin and Jacqueline. As Ulysse (Drifting) explores grief, she moves beyond her protagonist to consider the murky motivations and emotions of other characters. This is a harrowing, thoughtful dive into the aftermath of national and personal tragedies filtered through diasporic life. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/09/2017
Release date: 01/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-61775-604-7
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