Haiti with A Wedding in Haiti

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“Even if in the end we’re going to be royally taken, I’d still rather put my check mark on the side of light. Otherwise, all the way to being proved right, I’d have turned into the kind of cynic who has opted for a smaller version of her life.”–Julia Alvarez, A Wedding in Haiti

  • Here’s what happens:
    • Julia recounts the tale of the time she and her husband travelled to rural Haiti to attend the wedding of one of their coffee farm employees. It is a story that is brimming with travel-related mishaps and illuminating cultural understandings and misunderstandings.
  • It’s good because:
    • Honestly, this is one more book I picked up and began reading before I realized it was nonfiction. Looking forward to one last, page-turning piece of fiction before my summer break ended, I was a tiny bit disappointed. I was hoping for a colorful piece of Dominican fiction a la The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; however, even though Alvarez’s travel memoir wasn’t what I expected, it was still a thoughtful and introspective piece of writing. I love the unexpected adventures that arise from third world travels, and I am also equally fascinated by the history of dictators and the movements that resist them. Luckily for me, Alvarez includes both in this novel.
  • Read if:
    • It’s hard for me to decide on the circumstances to recommend this insightful little book since my reading it felt very accidental. But if you have an open mind about travel narratives, and are looking to be pleasantly surprised, I think this would be a good one to read. I also can’t help but feel like this book was destined for me, since I purchased it second hand months ago, and discovered it was a signed copy when I sat down to read it two weeks ago!

Up next: New Zealand with Annie Proulx’s Barkskins!

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