Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky – My Review

Originally Posted at Bibliophile’s Retreat by Melissa Meeks

Multnomah Books (June 17, 2008)
This was quite the tearjerker in a bittersweet sort of sense. The opening scene introduces the reader to Maddie and Paul as they are driving a winding road on a dark, rainy night. The next thing we know the car has hurtled off the road into the woods that border it. We are left not sure of the fate of the car’s occupants and the scene shifts to a hospital room at an undefined point in time. Paul is speaking to Maddie and urging her to remember the beginning of their love story. Once again the scene shifts, to the past this time, and we see the events of their common path unfold from both perspectives with periodic shifts back to the hospital room setting mentioned earlier. Eventually we learn that Maddie began experiencing the effects of a genetic disease in her early twenties. This particular ailment affects the vision sometimes stealing merely the central portion others absconding with even the peripheral view and leaving the victim wholly blind. In general this disease manifests in the teen years and progresses from merely spotty vision to whatever degree of blindness it is destined to leave the victim with. Maddie and Paul have become friends when she discovers her late onset of this affliction. They both have feelings beyond friendship for the other but for unique personal reasons neither one will admit to such. Will faith and love win out in this contest of fear vs trust. Will Maddie and Paul live their lives forever pulled apart by circumstances and the inability to follow an undisclosed path or will love allow them to fight the fear and move on with life together? This may sound predictable to you at this point but I guarantee it is anything but that. There are many forks in the road of Paul and Maddie’s story that do not go where I expected and the ending was the most unexpected twist amongst them. This is one of those stories that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the last sentence and is also so intense and heart wringing at times that I am still blinking back the tears as I write this. (ISBN#9781601420169, 304pp, $12.99)

Be sure to visit the author’s website for more about this and her other work as well as drop by her blog for a quick peek. To purchase your own copy or just find out more about the book and author click the bookcover to hop on over to the bookseller’s product page.

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