Crying Mountain

Lili Dauphin

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Reviews

Crying Mountain breaks new ground for understanding the power and complexity of the human spirit. "Wonderfully written......Crying Mountain will tantalize all your senses. Heart wrenching, insightful, hilarious, smart and soulful. So vivid; it's like watching a great movie. A must read for anyone who enjoys learning, living and loving. Simply unforgettable!

A. Agnant, M.A. - Counselor/Educator, Los Angeles

Lili Dauphin's Crying Mountain draws upon its author's vivid descriptions of a world that we would not otherwise be able to see. And when we feel the presence of the jungle and meet its people, we see that the only real jungle lies within the troubled entanglements of the human heart. Then, through the simple determination of a little girl, we feel the pain of a pure soul that seeks to confront the endless odds of her own culture, in the vindication of all that is right. It is a story of hope, told with the beauty of the pure heart that it was written from.

Bill Sullivan

"Crying Mountain" is among the rarest of documents: an invitation to look at the world with new eyes, to see beyond one's insular borders. With great power and authenticity, this writer gives readers the means to experience the exultation and challenges that confront the human spirit. The story is simply mesmerizing....it will be a classic.

William Morris

Lili Dauphin's story, Crying Mountain is very compelling. The pacing is up-tempo; it'll keep readers interested and will keep them turning pages. She has an engaging "artistic" writing style, especially when she (as the child narrator) is being introspective. Her story, told through the eye view of a child, wise beyond her years, is unique, offers unusual insights, and will bring great pleasure to its readers.

Cliff Carle - Editor and Publiching Consultant

Vibrant and full of feeling, Lili Dauphin's "The Crying Mountain" is alive with spiritual, poignant and masterful storytelling.

G. Pistoll

Zin love with Tilou, the little girl, you also find yourself falling in love with all the other characters as well. The originality of the story simply captured my curiosity so intensely that I could not put it down. This story will entertain readers of all ages for years to come. I am personally anticipating Tilou's future in other books.

Lourdes Clinton

Wise to some of the worst ways of the world while still very young, Lili Dauphin has written about Tilou with a perceptive eye and feeling heart that deeply affected this read. I cannot put out of my mind what I read in Crying Mountain. Her tales of human faith and nurturance, cruelty and misery remind the comfortable that there is an unbelievably different world, not so far over the horizon, that they need to know.

Gregory Wright - Writer

Lili Dauphin's new novel "Crying Mountain," left me breathless. It felt as though I was living the story right along with Tilou. This is a story that will uplift the soul and give hope to mankind. I read it over and over again. It is delightfully original and honest. It made me appreciate my life more now. Everyone will love this book.

L. Nguyen

Crying Mountain is funny, clever, inspiring and incredibly moving. Reading it has transformed my life. Lili Dauphin is an amazing writer!

Chantal Coussy

I have always loved and appreciated Lili Dauphin's larger-than-life spirit. She knows 'no boundaries' and is a true friend of the universe. As such, in "Crying Mountain" she has created a testament to the powerful strength of the human will and its pervasive spirit. With raw, first-hand insights compuounded with wit and her natural-born wisdom, Dauphin has perfected the art of the literary experience.

S. Plante

Description

Crying Mountain depicts a young girl's journey through a devastating hurricane captured in diary kept when she was eight years old. She has been writing since the age of five, when she was a little girl surrounded by extreme poverty, superstition and brutality. Crying Mountain is a story of personal spirit and a story about the human will to persevere against overwhelming odds.

Excerpt

It's a glorious day. The sky is blue and clear. Men, women and children are singing as they carry their goods to sell at the market. I can hear the voodoo drums in the mountains. I can see the palm trees standing strong and noble. I can hear the waves in the ocean mixed with the sound of the drums. It creates a beautiful melody that reaches every ear in the market. I can hear the sound of the children's laughter and the gentle murmur of the river nearby. The next moment the scene is replaced by strong wind, water and mud. Dead bodies are everywhere, including Chantal's. Chantal is my nine-year-old friend and she was just sitting next to me at the market.

I am barely eight years old and filled with guilt for not being able to save Chantal from the fury of the hurricane. I sit on the roof of an old unstable structure being carried away by the raging waters, surrounded by death and despair. Next to me is a dead boy, stiff, eyes wide open, his tummy large and tongue hanging out. I try not to look, but he is right in front of me. Next to the dead boy is Marcelle, injured and holding her dead baby. Suzette is also there, she's pregnant and is also badly injured and might be dying.

Suzette looks as if she's in pain. She appears as though she's going into labor. She keeps on holding her stomach and she is moaning.

"Sove nou Bondye, (Save us God)" she says calmly. "Padone nou. (Forgive us)"

Marcelle glances at Suzette, and then briefly looks up at the sky. She turns to me, looking very serious, yet her eyes are smiling, thus leaving me a bit confused. Her eyes leave me for a while when Suzette screams out loud. I feel very relieved, but don't know why. Marcelle is now paying closer attention to Suzette. I wish I could help Suzette. I am praying for her while she is crying intensely. I am thinking, how I could get in touch with God so that He could come down and help Suzette and her unborn child, but before I can think of how to get a hold of God, Marcelle turns to me, except this time there is no smile in her eyes. The beautiful smile in her eyes is now being replaced by grief and despair.

"You are going to deliver this baby!" shouts Marcelle, staring at me with a blank smile, as she looks at her own dead baby and sighs loudly with tears in her eyes.

For a moment there, I keep on thinking that this is all a joke, but who could joke at a time like this? It all looks so real!

Marcelle cannot help deliver Suzette's baby by herself, her injuries are too great and there is no one else here to help. I begin shaking harder than the wind. Maybe I'm shaking hard enough to create another big hurricane.

I know that I am eight years old because Granny says I am and besides I've been counting my years since I was five. Children are told here that most of us will die before we are five, so, I believe I'm lucky. If I can make it through the next two years, I will be doing very well, I think. So far, I feel lucky.

I see all the dead bodies, mostly children, being carried away by the flood. My heart sinks. I try to cry, but my tears fail me. I feel as if I'm fainting when I look down on the ground. I feel a huge lump in my throat when I try to swallow. It feels as though I am choking. When lightning lights up the area, I see four tiny babies floating away. Not too far away are women and men and older kids. A stream of people, dead and near-dead seems to run by forever, carried along by the violent, muddy water.

I don't like lightning. I pray for it to stop. I want it to be dark so I don't have to face the horror. The lightning lights up everything, and I'm afraid it will attack my soul and mar it with all of its might while inflicting the deepest and most personal pain. The darkness hides the horrors from a tender heart, as if to protect it. I look up at the sky to keep from looking at the horrible sights and search very hard for God amongst the stars and planets.

"You have got to be up there, I know you are," I softly murmur.

"Sove nou Bondye, pa kite nou peri, padone nou, (Save us, God, do not let us perish, forgive us)" I invoke Him in a whisper so that no one can hear me. I think God can hear me. I think He can see me and feel my pain.

"You will save us, I know you will."

We don't have much time to be sad. We have to deliver a baby and the mother might be dying. I realize that the roof -- our only refuge -- could end up in the floodwater at any moment and send us following the other dead people unless we are rescued. However, there is no rescue in sight or any hope of one; we are left to the mercy of nature or fate.

The wind is blowing violently. The fragile roof is hardly able to sustain its menacing strength. The flimsy structure looks as if it could end up in the water at anytime. The thought of it simply makes my stomach turn. I look down quickly and see two little girls being carried away by the waters. Marcelle does not seem to worry about the possibility that all of us on the roof could die at anytime or maybe she doesn't want to acknowledge the risk.

Marcelle orders me to remove Suzette's panties. I don't know why and don't ask because Suzette does not have panties on.

"Open her legs wide, Tilou," Marcelle orders.

I do it, but I become very confused and frightened. I have never seen hair between anyone's legs before now and it looks scary to me. I think that either something is wrong with me or something is wrong with Suzette. Suzette is not helping, she is barely breathing. I have no idea where the baby is going to come from, I think that all a woman having a baby has to do is vomit and the baby will come out of her mouth. I put both of my hands under her mouth ready to catch the baby.

"Sa wap fout fe la? (What the hell are you doing?)" yells Marcelle.

When I see a big head coming out from between her legs everything goes black, but not for long because Marcelle kicks me on my side very hard with her left foot, which is the only part of her body that isn't hurt.

"You have just begun," she says in Creole. There is more? I think to myself. "Huh! Huh!" Marcelle responds as if she can read my mind. I am dead, I think to myself. "Not until you are done," Marcelle answers.

I decide that Marcelle can read my mind so I refrain from thinking, at least for the time being. In the meanwhile I continue praying to God for a miracle. I wonder if Marcelle is able to also hear my prayers.