Jennifer recently enjoyed reading the amusing Young Adult novel Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Malika Moulite, which offers a blend of romance, mystery and adventure. Here is her review:

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine  is an intriguing alchemy of how reality and magic mix to create personal truth. This high drama coming-of-age story resembles Star Wars as an exploration of a dark legacy which juxtaposes grand and individual perspectives.

Its epistolary style lends itself well to macro and micro expressions of culture and selfhood. On the wider stage, historical highlights of Haiti’s emancipation intertwine with modern political machinations via letters, emails, ancestry records, and business correspondence. On the personal level, recipes, diary entries and texts likewise illuminate the dynamics of a central mother-daughter relationship complicated by divorce, distance, fame and early onset Alzheimer’s.

Hints of magical realism appear in the possible manifestation of a generational curse rooted in Haitian custom. This nuanced menace nicely complements the primary thread of the novel told from a young woman’s perspective. As consequence for a school incident, Alaine reports on Haiti’s history as part of a mandated internship in a Haitian charity. Her experiences offer a compelling bittersweet ‘own voice’ narrative that balances lively and sardonic humour.

Uniquely co-authored by Haitian sisters this authentic and amusing novel offers romance, mystery and adventure all in pursuit of untangling the ties that bind family relationships.

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