The Farming of Bones: 05/26/13
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat chronicles the slaughter of Haitians living in the Dominican Republic in the 1930s. The story is told through the eyes of Amabelle Desir, a Haitian orphan who has lived most of her life as a servant to a well to do family on the border between the countries.
Amabelle has already been through so much by the time the book opens. Her past is buried in her nightmares and soon she will be facing new dangers. Despite all the heartbreak, violence and death, Amabelle remains a survivor both in body and spirit.
The book reminds me most of Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee. Both have humanity in flight, violence brought on by state sponsored bigotry and a stubborn will to survive. The language is beautiful and heartbreaking.
I learned of the book through Elise Blackwell's guest post. It was the first book on her list of recommended reads of historical fiction. She describes the genre as "lying to tell the truth." I plan to read through the remaining books that I haven't already read.
Recommended by Elise Blackwell