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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Now I See You

A Memoir
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Publication Date: 06/24/2014
Format: Other Format
My Rating: 5 Stars
At nineteen years old, Nicole C. Kear's biggest concern is choosing a major--until she walks into a doctor’s office in midtown Manhattan and gets a life-changing diagnosis. She is going blind, courtesy of an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, and has only a decade or so before Lights Out. Instead of making preparations as the doctor suggests, Kear decides to carpe diem and make the most of the vision she has left. She joins circus school, tears through boyfriends, travels the world, and through all these hi-jinks, she keeps her vision loss a secret.
When Kear becomes a mother, just a few years shy of her vision’s expiration date, she amends her carpe diem strategy, giving up recklessness in order to relish every moment with her kids. Her secret, though, is harder to surrender - and as her vision deteriorates, harder to keep hidden. As her world grows blurred, one thing becomes clear: no matter how hard she fights, she won’t win the battle against blindness. But if she comes clean with her secret, and comes to terms with the loss, she can still win her happy ending.
Told with humor and irreverence, Now I See You is an uplifting story about refusing to cower at life’s curveballs, about the power of love to triumph over fear. But, at its core, it’s a story about acceptance: facing the truths that just won't go away, and facing yourself, broken parts and all.

My Review

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
NOW I SEE YOU, by Nichole C. Kear, an uplifting, emotional, and humorous journey—a memoir about a courageous young woman and her personal battle with a degenerative eye disease—retinitis pigmentosa (RP).
She was told by her doctor, no one in her family has it. Essentially the photoreceptor cells in her retina, the ones that turn light into electrical impulses for the brain are dying. The night vision goes first and peripheral vision, then the central vision later on. Her vision had been given an expiration date—not a good sign!
Her first options: penning epic poems (Homer/Milton); composing musical masterpieces (Ray Charles/Stevie Wonder); and selling pencils out of paper cups (homeless people). Slim pickings!
Diagnosed at age nineteen, an untreatable genetic condition, basically leaving her blind within fifteen years, immediately chose to ignore the diagnosis, and faked all her symptoms for years to come. Nichole goes from being a normal college student, worrying over boys and jobs, college—she would not be able to have children, or function as a normal person. She wants to enjoy her life and indulges herself (you will laugh out at some of the things she says and does).
Bouncing from New York City to California and back, Kear surged forward, hiding her increasing disability from her family and friends. Despite the difficulties of losing her eyesight, Kear fell in love, married and tackled all that she met, even having children and a full life.
When she finally comes out of hiding and embraces all she has—she is able to live. A story of negative turned positive. An uplifting, inspiring, and well-written story—one we all could learn from. It is the little things in life that matter the most. An ideal read for any woman, especially if you are a mother.
With the author’s unique writing style, sometimes you think you are reading a book of fiction. (Loved the attractive front cover). One of the most engaging and satisfying memoirs! I loved Kear's determination and drive to do what she wants to do, despite what other people think (am a firm believer in this). You will fall in love with the author and her wonderful supportive husband. Thank you for sharing such a poignant story. Nichole is assured to empower you!
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