Being from the Caribbean, I don’t often get the chance to read West Indian literature but will always jump at the chance where possible. I was able to read this book for free via http://www.netgalley.com in advance of its publication.
‘Because We Are’ follows the struggles of friends Libete and Jak in conflict- torn and politically sensitive Haiti after they discover the body of a young woman and a baby and the events following. The descriptions are so vivid, horrible and gruesome at times that I found it quite upsetting in parts. However, I enjoyed this aspect of the story as I felt it was useful in raising awareness of so many of the issues faced by young Haitians today.
The use of words in the local Creole language as well as the references to folklore, traditions and superstition sucked me even further into this beautifully executed story.
The boisterous, naturally inquisitive Libete was a joy to follow. At times you wanted to scold her for being so bold, a quality which seemed inherent in her, despite her youth. Mostly, I was in awe of her bravery and wise head beyond her years. I was so in love with her character and I commend Oswald for his work!
I can imagine this book being immortalized in film one day as I felt it would prove a visually stunning, heart wrenching and powerful film full of messages of hope, courage and humanity.
I have not felt this moved nor inspired by a book in a long time and I would love to read more from this fantastic author!!
The title was republished in mid 2014 after previously being self published. In the spirit of Libete, I would urge you to read this. Now.
If you have read this, comment below!