Author: Susan Strecker
Published: September 2015, A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Paperback, 295 pages
One October night, when Jensen Reilly is sixteen, she and her high school sweetheart are involved in a horrible accident. Ever since then Jensen has been running from her past. But when Jensen's beloved father is diagnosed with a brain tumor, she returns to her childhood home and the memories of her old life came flooding back- as do the people she's tried to escape.
Set against the steamy background of a New England summer, filled with the intensity of first love, and framed by an unforgettable father-daughter relationship, Night Blindness is about risk and redemption, and the ways we are hunted down by what we try to escape.
My thoughts: This is Susan Strecker's debut novel and I was captivated from the first page. It's an emotional read, yet at the same time it's also uplifting.
I loved the way this story was told - the seamless back and forth in time to fill in the gaps and help uncover the long-ago buried secrets that really were the driving force of this book. Told from Jensen's point of view, it was quite easy to feel the intensity of her emotions and her guilt over brother's death. Now, forced to come home after years away, all those emotions and the guilt that she has kept at bay come bubbling up to the surface and she desperately feels the need to confess - but to confess what and to whom?
I also loved all the characters in this book - all of who we meet through Jensen's eyes. Still, I found them all to be great, fun characters and added just the right balance to her. I don't really feel that there was anyone that wasn't needed - everyone had a purpose for being included and played a role in Jensen's life. Whether you like them or not, and believe me, there were a few I didn't like, they still were needed.
This book reminds you that not everything is as it seems. It's about a family in crisis and how love's power can heal the past. It's an emotional read, but well-worth the tears. The writing is absolutely wonderful and I am looking forward to reading Susan Strecker's next book, Nowhere Girl, coming out in March.