Skip over navigation

Breath, Eyes, Memory

Edwidge Danticat

Section Three: Chapters 13–15

Section Two: Chapters 9–12

Section Three: Chapters 13–15, page 2

page 1 of 2

Chapter 13

It is August, two years since Sophie has left home. Sophie arrives in La Nouvelle Dame Marie, Haiti, with her infant daughter Brigitte, after a four- hour ride from the airport. Though she has not been to Haiti since leaving at age twelve, the flirtatious van driver finds Sophie's Creole flawless.

As the van's passengers disembark in the village marketplace, Sophie watches the female street vendors coming down the road. When one vendor sets down her heavy basket, the others call "Ou libèrè?" ("Are you free?") to see whether she has managed to do so without hurting herself. Meanwhile, several Tonton Macoutes climb into the van's empty seats to eat their lunch.

As they wait for Tante Atie, Sophie and Brigitte are startled by the familiar voice of Louise, trying to sell her pig. Louise, a local girl who has become Atie's best friend, is trying to raise money to buy passage on a boat to Miami. Despite the dangers of the trip, she tells Sophie that she is desperate to go.

Tante Atie arrives at the crossroads, grinning widely, and looking exactly as Sophie remembered. Atie is amazed to see Sophie, a grown-up version of the child she put on the plane, and delighted by Brigitte. Taking the baby in her arms, Atie proclaims that she has Martine's face.

Chapter 14

Sophie and Atie walk back to Grandmè Ifé's house, trading news. Atie carries Brigitte, whom she can hardly believe came out of Sophie. Atie admits that Louise has taught her to read, and that she sometimes even writes poems. Sophie admits that Martine has not answered her letters or calls, and that they have not spoken since Sophie left home. Knowing that Sophie and Martine need each other in New York saddens Artie. Sophie admits that in New York one can become easily lost.

As the three arrive at Grandmè Ifé's house, the old woman's eyes fill with tears as she embraces her long-lost granddaughter. In Brigitte's features, Grandmè Ifé declares that she sees a miraculous amalgamation of her family's faces.

More Help

Previous Next

Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!

Follow Us