Published: 6th January 2015
Set during the 2010 earthquake, this formidable debut pays homage to the resilient people of Haiti. At the heart of God Loves Haiti are the connected but divergent fates of its President, his wife, and her lover. The first lady has locked her paramour in the closet of her room at the National Palace, in an attempt to abandon him and to escape from her eternally godforsaken hometown of Port-au-Prince. She meets her husband, the soon-to-be ex-President, at the airport. Standing on the tarmac, she realizes that while she does not love him, she's grateful to him. It is at this moment that buildings "tumble on people as if they were made of cards." In thirty-five seconds, more than 200,000 people are killed and 1.3 million are left homeless. An earthquake has struck, ravaging a land that is plagued by poverty and poor infrastructure. Yet in this stunning novel the amazing characters are never simply victims.The world has fallen down around them, laying bare remorse, pain, isolation, and unalloyed grief now devastatingly realized through her interrupted plans, and irrevocably altering all their lives. The first lady is having second thoughts about choosing a glamorous life in Europe over a passionate love in a tropical paradise. Is her lover even still alive?Anchoring this heartwarming and constantly surprising love story is its affectionate depiction of Haiti, in all its complexity—its proud past as the first nation established by a successful slave revolt, its entangled politics with France and the United States, and its efforts to rise from the ruins to build anew.God Loves Haiti is an enthralling first novel that is as astonishing as it is entertaining.
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