Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings

For years Natalie has lived on the cusp of two worlds - the world where she can see, and the world of the blind.  Since she was a child her eye sight has been slowly slipping away, shrinking from a full world to a world where she struggles to make things out.  She has managed by counting her steps, making mental maps, and staying where things are familiar, but with the last of her sight slowly shrinking into nothing she makes the big step of attending the Baltimore Center for the Blind so she can learn the skills she will need if she loses the rest of her sight.

The school is not what she expected, not that she really expected anything.  Not all of the students are blind, some of them are balanced in both worlds like Natalie, while others have additional disabilities to cope with.  For ages she feels like a fraud, doing just enough to get by in her new classes, but stubbornly clinging to her old ways of coping when no one else is around.  The white cane is a visual reminder of being blind and one she doesn't want to carry and use.  Reading using Braille seems like admitting defeat and why should she have to learn it when there are audio books for her to listen to?  With her sight slipping into darkness, Natalie has to find the strength and courage to embrace what could be her future.

This is an amazing book, and it really shows that the author did her research.  The doubts and regrets that pass through Natalie's mind are both real and engaging, and you can't help but become part of her world.  At times it can be a little hard keeping everyone in the school straight because the names fly thick and fast at times, but it doesn't really distract from the story.  It is a coming of age story, it is a story about grief and grieving, and it is a story about true friendships and trusting in your self.  Natalie is a strong character who has her ups and downs, but you don't feel sorry for her, she is a young woman who is more than capable of making her own decisions - even when she is facing something that is scary or devastating. 

A must read for anyone who enjoys real life reads with real life characters.

If you like this book then try:
  • Thunder dog: the true story of a blind man, his guide dog, and the triumph of trust at ground zero by Michael Hingson with Susan Flory
  • Whisper by Chrissie Keighery

Reviewed by Brilla

1 comment:

  1. I really liked the book Blinsided it really touched my heart AND i LOVED IT!!!!