Book Review: GOD LOVES HAITI, the physical and psychological aftershocks of a devastating earthquake

Léger, Dimitry Elias - God Loves Haiti (2)God Loves Haiti
Dimitry Elias Léger

In God Loves Haiti, Natasha Robert, a beautiful young artist who always dreamed of leaving Haiti, married the President when he promised to take her to Italy. In so doing, she left her soulmate, Alain Destiné, who she loved but could not give her the future she envisioned. However, as Natasha was climbing the steps up to the plane that would take her from her home, a devastating earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, destroying much of the city and killing thousands upon thousands of people.

The earthquake changes them all irrevocably, challenging their confidence and leadership, calling into question their faith, changing their career trajectories, and even threatening their very lives. Though Natasha thought she had resolved the love triangle before she left, that, too, was brought to the surface as emotions under the surface came to bear with the force of the aftershocks.

As Léger unravels the story of the lovers, he reveals details of Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake: the overwhelming death and destruction; the overcrowded and at times dangerous refugee camps; the well-meaning, though at times ineffectual, relief workers; the Western governments and United Nations exerting power in exchange for aid (as they did before the earthquake); and the Hollywood star who came to help for absolution.

Although I thought the ending was fitting, I did not care at all for the epilogue and though it was cheap and unnecessary. I was also distressed to encounter the phrase “could care less” as well as multiple typos. Still, I haven’t read many books set in Haiti, and none written by a Haitian. Furthermore, even though I watched news coverage of the 2010 earthquake, I really didn’t get a sense of the complete horror of the aftermath until finishing this book.