In the end, Breath, Eyes, Memory turns out to be one of those disappointing books that is much less than the sum of its parts. I suspect much of the praise it received stemmed more from American fascination with youth and “exotic” cultures than from its modest artistic merits.
Danticat is talented, without a doubt, but this book is a short story clumsily stretched into novel-length, barely, full of archetypes and allegories but not nearly enough character development. In the end, you don’t really know or care about anybody or anything; what should be an intense and emotionally harrowing story ends up flat and unfulfilling.
It’s a Lifetime TV movie-of-the-week. With an accent. 🙁