Of Such Small Differences

Joanne Greenberg, Author
Joanne Greenberg, Author Henry Holt & Company $18.95 (262p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0902-6
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Readers will get unforgettable insights into the world of the Deaf-blind in this haunting new novel by the author of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden and In This Sign . Greenberg writes with deep, poetic understanding about people we term handicapped, individualizing them into distinct, three-dimensional characters whose frustrations and aspirations become poignantly clear. The bittersweet story concerns the awakening of love and of creative powers, the acceptance of challenges and limitations. The protagonist, John Moon, was born blind; the loss of his hearing came later, after a beating by his father. Now 25, he has achieved a measure of independence: he lives alone and has a job plus a freelance assignment writing sentimental poetry for a greeting card company. When he meets Leda Martin, an aspiring actress who drives a van for the Deaf-blind community, she becomes his ``doorway into the complexity of the world.'' In many ways liberated by the power of love, John also comes to a new comprehension of his vulnerability and the limits of his ability to exist in a ``normal'' community. As his relationship with Leda changes, John realizes he has been ``surprised by his capacity for grief, but has also known every kind of joy.'' Greenberg's accomplishment in this beautifully imagined and sensitive novel is to give us an awareness of how people with sensory handicaps apprehend and measure the world; she does so through the mind of an indelibly appealing character. BOMC and QPBC selections. (September)
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