In Darkness by Nick Lake

Set in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, this is the story of Shorty’s life; a fifteen year old boy who is trapped beneath the rubble. Shorty recounts his life story as he lies trapped in the darkness. His life fell apart with the death of his father and the disappearance of his sister ten years previously and he describes how he was slowly drawn into gang crime. At the same time as he remembers his own life, he also remembers the life of Toussaint Louverture, the leader of the Haitian revolution in 1791. Somehow their two stories are intertwined…

A challenging book that does not shy away from describing the dire life lived by many in the slums of Haiti – the violence, the power of the gangs, the ever present hunger and death. The story is not recounted in strict chronological order and the weaving of Toussaint’s life with that of Shorty’s can make the book hard to follow. The story is powerful and informative and an eye opener for those wanting to learn more about Haiti.

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