An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
By Susan Strecker
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Publication Date: 10/7/14
Format: Other Format
My Rating: 4 Stars
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
NIGHT BLINDNESS by Susan Strecker, an engrossing debut novel of long buried secrets, love, risk, forgiveness, and redemption, set in the beautiful area of New England, where things are not always as they seem.
Jensen Reilly is sixteen years old and she and her high school sweetheart, Ryder are involved in an accident which kills Will, Jensen’s brother and Ryan’s best friend. Will did not want Ryder and Jensen to date, so they had to hide their relationship.
Jensen suffers from dreams and night blindness. It came on suddenly after Ryder’s funeral, a dull blurriness, as though swimming through water; the outlines of trees and houses appeared ethereal, dreamlike. Eventually her parents take her to a pediatric ophthalmologist and was diagnosed with nyctalopia, night blindness.
Jen and Ryder share a secret that changes the course of their lives, with consequences--turning Ryder into a neurologist, as Jen turns away from away from academics and Julliard to work as an artist’s model. She later marries Nico, a famous sculptor, they live a bohemian life in Santa Fe—she has carefully stayed away from her family, for over thirteen years.
For years to come, Jen and Ryder lead separate lives, still guilt ridden, and choosing not to be honest with the family regarding the events leading up to the favorite football star son’s death.
But when Jensen's beloved father, Sterling Reilly, former NFL hero, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, she returns to her childhood home and the memories of her old life come flooding back, along with all the people she has tried to escape.
Torn between the life she has created in Sante Fe with her free-spirited husband, Nic, and the realization that it is time to face her past, Jensen must make a terrifying decision that threatens to change her life forever. She knows she will not be free until she comes clean.
Jensen struggles to deal with her father’s illness, she also has to confront her feelings for Ryder and guilt over Will. While in the process of unburdening her guilt, she later uncovers information which if know earlier, her life as well as Ryder’s may have been different. Is it too late for this couple or is there still time to make their dreams come true without guilt--with no one standing in their way?
As family bonds are tested, they find the answers they need to overcome tragedy, in order to begin their future. A beautifully written and emotionally charged debut novel told from Jensen’s POV, of family dynamics, friendships, first loves, secrets, loss, renewal, and the power of truth and love. An engaging and satisfying read. Look forward to reading more from Susan!