Saturday, October 14, 2017

Book Review: 'Now I See You' by Nicole C. Kear

Nicole Kear was just nineteen when a Park Avenue physician told her that she had retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease that would eventually lead to partial blindness. Kear admits that after receiving this depressing diagnosis, she denied the truth and behaved recklessly, immaturely, and impulsively, deciding to "live boldly, like there was no tomorrow."

It is agonizing to observe Kear's emotional and physical torment. For years, she keeps her condition hidden from all but her closest friends and relatives. It is difficult not to cringe at the terrible decisions she makes and the foolish risks that she takes. On the other hand, we empathize with this funny, self-deprecating, and ambitious young woman. How does someone on the cusp of adulthood face a bleak future with equanimity? Nicole wants to become an actress, fall in love, marry, and have babies. Will she be able to retain her independence--get a job, drive a car, and take care of children? Who will provide a roadmap to guide her down this difficult path?

Kear's determination keeps her from losing hope; one cannot help but applaud someone who, like Dylan Thomas, rages against the dying of the light. Nicole is stubborn and intensely private, but she finally realizes that there is no shame in seeking support from professionals, friends, and family. Ultimately, she taps into a bountiful supply of courage and resilience that she never realized she had. "Now I See You" is a bittersweet, darkly humorous, profane, and candid memoir that will make you laugh and cry at the same time.

Editor's note: This review was written by Eleanor Bukowsky and has been reposted with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right

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