It is a case of honor for her. She believes in personal commitments and implies that it takes much more than a piece of paper for keeping memory. She derides Atie and Louise's trip to officially register themselves in the city archives.
She tells stories of the baby's birth and Ti Alice's rendezvous showing her wider experience and a kind of special literacy she is aware of. She has the capability of forming an entire story from the night's whisperings and the blinking of lights on the hill. In the stories she attempted to frighten her daughters knowing well the harshness of the society and the cruelty on women who do not adhere to the mold.
For Ife, Brigitte's face evokes generations of ancestors. She attempts to arrange reconciliation of the estranged family; her two daughters and granddaughter, she is well aware of the stakes. She knows that the family must stay strong and stay together if its daughters are to bear up under the weight of the world.
Atie is characterized by the traditional duty bound Haitian woman, who had her own share of 'test'ing of her hymen as a proof of her virginity and purity. She has the traditional duty of looking after Sophie, her sister's illegitimate daughter. She gives all the love and affection of a mother to Sophie, in the process makes Sophie regard her as her own mother. Sophie wants to give her the mother's Day card. But a dutiful Atie would have none of it. She wants to save the younger generation from the political turmoil of Haiti. She wants Sophie to follow the Haitian tradition; a daughter should follow her mother, insisting her to go to her mother Martine, as she herself is going to her mother Ife as a duty to look after old mother. She is heartbroken by the treachery of Monsier Augustine, but hides it well. Till Sophie was with her, she refused to learn reading and writing, even inventing her own method of communication with her sister by exchanging cassettes, recording their own messages. But after Sophie's departure she not only learns reading, she starts maintaining notebook. She is heartbroken by the treachery of Louse who leaves her even without informing. She once again feels that she has been used for her company, her body, her presence, but was not loved actually. She feels that Sophie is the only person who did not betray her, and tells Sophie about how she has loved Sophie as her own child. But at the end she liberates herself in her own Haitian way. She shows her freedom by her alcoholism, going out at night, going to graveyard, doing things on her own, at her will.
The character of Martine gives us different shades of human nature. She is true believer of her Haitian traditions. She cannot adjust her life after loosing her purity by rape. Martine's rape by an unknown man, possibly a Macoute, is the defining event in her life, bringing with it overpowering feelings of fear and self-loathing which she passes on to her daughter Sophie. The nightmare of loosing her purity haunts her all her life. She lives the agony of rape every night. Her daughter Sophie is a regular reminder of her rape, as she feels that the