Breath, Eyes, Memory is the story of Sophie Caco, a Haitian immigrant to New York City in the company of her mother. Sophie is a child of rape, and her mother is controlling of her emerging sexuality, testing her repeatedly to see if her virginity remains intact. The novel deals with Sophie's many internal struggles and conflicts, and with the cyclical nature of cultural, emotional, and sexual abuse. It follows Sophie into her womanhood and tumultuous marriage and ends with the death of her mother.
The Bluest Eye is a novel by Toni Morrison about a black girl named Pecola and her insecurities and troubled family life. The story is told partly in the first person by Claudia MacTeer, whose family takes in Pecola as a foster child temporarily. Pecola is insecure about her appearance, wishing to be a white girl with blue eyes. When her father rapes her, she becomes pregnant and the child dies prematurely. There have been many attempts to ban the book because of its themes of racism, incest and rape.
Their Eyes Were Watching God is a 1937 novel by Zora Neale Hurston about the life of African-American woman named Janie Crawford and the three marriages she struggles through. Logan Killicks, her first husband, desires her only as a domestic worker so she runs off with Jody Starks. In Eatonville, Jody becomes mayor but dominates and constrains Janie. After he dies, she marries Tea Cake, whom she is forced to shoot after he contracts rabies. The novel deals with themes of race, love, freedom and femininity.