Study Guide

Breath, Eyes, Memory Book 2, Chapter 9

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Book 2, Chapter 9

  • We're time travelling now, skipping ahead six years. Sophie is now eighteen and about to start college. She's moved with her mother to a house in a better neighborhood.
  • Martine still works two jobs. She'd sent Sophie to a college prep school (that Sophie hated).
  • In the city, Sophie had to deal with prejudice from other Americans, who called her things like "boat people."
  • Sophie recalls how she learned to write and speak English—slowly at first, mixing Creole with English.
  • Now, Sophie's in love with an older man. He is their neighbor and he's a musician. Sophie remarks that Joseph reminds her of Monsieur Augustin, but Joseph's African-American, not Haitian.
  • Martine doesn't like him and makes no bones about it with Sophie.
  • She meets him properly when he comes over to borrow the phone. Sophie learns that his family is from Louisiana and that Joseph speaks a form of Creole, too.
  • Sophie learns that he spends part of the year in Providence. This impresses her, because she thinks that the town's named for God.
  • Time passes and they begin to see each other more. She explains to Joseph that she's going to school to be a doctor because her mother says they needed a doctor in the family.
  • Joseph wonders what she'd really like to do, but she doesn't really know. He reassures her that it's okay not to have life mapped out, but Sophie knows that isn't a very Haitian idea.
  • She learns Joseph's life story over time, and they become closer. She shares her life in Haiti.
  • Soon, Joseph declares that he'll marry her, despite her mother's objections.
  • They manage to sneak out for a date one night after one of Joseph's gigs. Sophie feels like she's in heaven.

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