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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
In The Gift of Misfortune, Haitian siblings, Armand and Deborah Etienne, live in fear of an unpredictable future in their hometown of Port-au-Prince and the rest of Haiti. The young Etiennes are not rich, but they have a comfortable life compared to most people who live in the capital, and they are aware of the dangers lurking around them. Each day heightens their anxiety, especially when they hear about a close friend who has disappeared without a trace. Living under an oppressive government is comparable to living in hell. Written by Joseph P. Policape, this is a brilliantly written contemporary fiction look into the journey of the young immigrants to the United States.
Armand Etienne’s dilemma is understandable. No matter how degraded your country seems when compared to others, to be apart from your family, much less sever all ties with the place where you were born and grew up, is difficult. Personally, The Gift of Misfortune is a serious fiction to me, as its depiction of the political turmoil, immigration, divorce, and child custody battle clearly reflects on reality. Even so, it is also a brilliantly entertaining and well-written piece of material that is difficult to stop reading until the end.
My admiration is limitless for the fierce intelligence of Joseph P. Policape as he explores certain issues in America with such overwhelming effectiveness; without ignoring the fact that a novel is the creation of a fictional world and not simply a platform from which to preach one’s credentials. An exceptionally satisfying read.