But Blind is particularly good because of the way DeWoskin describes the smallest moments of discovery. Because Emma was once sighted, voices and sounds have the texture of color. Here DeWoskin writes of her experience listening to a quartet playing classical music:
At first, it was as if my way of separating sounds out got in the way: I could only hear the individual strands of music, but then, as I reminded myself to breathe, I started hearing all of it: the ridges and drops and the notes swelling and falling, and sometimes they were purple, dark like velvet curtains, and then the clarinet would come in and the notes were summer, lemonade, sand, and then the piano behind them became a drum for me ... and then the violin was playing a shivery line alone, above everything else like a bird, or something smaller, a bird so small and delicate it was invisible. To everyone except me.
I would challenge the most hard-hearted of readers, no matter what their age, to be unmoved at the end of Blind.
Rachel DeWoskin reads from and discusses her novel as part of the Ann Arbor Book Festival's "Book Crawl" on June 20.