Cynthia Ayala ’16 / Emeraiment Monthly Staff Writer
One moment she could see, and then in a flash there was darkness and pain. Emma Sasha Silver was just a normal teenager until one fateful Fourth of July weekend left her blind. Now back to her old life–after months of re-learning the basics in her life like how to read, get dressed and survive, Emma is trying to live through her disability and find the light that has been lost to her as she fumbles through dark days.
Blind is a standalone novel written by Rachel DeWoskin, published on Aug. 7, 2014 by Viking Juvenile. The novel lives within the realm of contemporary fiction in the young adult genre and stands on a first person narrative.
DeWoskin takes readers on an emotional journey with her main character Emma who has a terrible accident that took away her sight. With her vision gone she has lost sight of what the meaning of life was, especially when a school mate of hers kills herself. It’s a terribly amazing and emotional novel that will really affect the reader as it thrusts them into this emotional journey for Emma who has to grow beyond herself and face the world without her sight. This novel explores the darker days for the character that gives the reader a view of why her loss of sight is so meaningful to her. Like many in society, sight is often taken for granted, and for Emma, she highlights that, how she never really appreciated the world around her until it was taken from her, and that is a very dark essence within the novel.
The emotional toll this novel takes on the readers is incredible because while there is dialogue in the novel, it shifts from the now to a memory of when she was re-learning how to live and breathe, the narrative, the experiences ground the novel in such exceptional ways. DeWoskin creates such a breathtaking novel with her limited usage of dialogue, instead using Emma’s other senses to bring the scenes to life. While her sight is taken, she has been given a gift to see in other ways, with her mind, with her hands and ears and nose and for DeWoskin to do that, to paint a scene with so many incredible images without relying on sight, highlights her talent considering there are many books out there that paint too much or too little on their canvases. DeWoskin however has created an emotional piece of art that makes the reader feel what the character feels: her pain, her heartache, her loneliness.
Throughout the novel, the only aspect that is tiresome is the dialogue because everyone stumbles around Emma, treating her as though she’s this fragile thing. All Emma seeks throughout the novel is truth, equality, a way to return to the person she was before her accident, before she realized that those around her, the adults, tiptoed around the truth. For Emma, while she may have lost her visual sight, she has gained insight into the truth of the world around her, and that is such an incredible aspect, that all the stuttering and the stumbling will enrage the reader because the reader understands Emma, the reader can see through Emma’s perspective and understands that she is a strong character who can handle the truth. It’s the lies, the constant attitude that she is fragile, that she can’t bear.
Over all though, this was an incredible novel. An amazing novel that is emotionally impactful, touching and insightful.