God Loves Haiti, by Dimitry Elias Leger
Big things sometimes come in small packages; "God Loves Haiti" is one of them. Though slim, this debut novel packs a psychological punch. Set in the moments and days after the devastating earthquake nearly destroyed Haiti, we follow three main characters: Natasha Robert, a twenty-year-old artist who has just married the outgoing President of Haiti; said President of Haiti, a man forty years Natasha's senior; and Alain Destine, Natasha's young boyfriend who is head over heels in love with her. Each of the three carries their own burdens after the earthquake, holding a nation and a people upon their backs in different ways. After a rollicking start in the earthquake itself, the majority of the book's action is internal. This is not a book one can skim easily, and I could see how some people, drawn in by the action of the first chapter, might lose interest later on in the novel. But it is our desire to see lovers united, to make sure everything is okay, that pulls us through the emotional molasses of "God Loves Haiti." The denouement is unexpected, but wonderful nonetheless. This is a beautiful, lyrical debut novel that deserves high praise, but will probably not win over the action-hungry.