Thursday, September 16, 2021

Blind Turn - Book Review

Forgiveness... let's just lay it out here right at the start.  Chances are every single one of us is going to need an extra helping of it more than once in our life—maybe even today.  The probability is 100 percent.

As we read Jess's story, which swirls like a catastrophic, Category Five hurricane, we will not only think about her mistake, but we are likely to reflect on our own lapses in judgment.

The thing is, it's pretty easy to err when you are sixteen years old.  Despite the fact that Jess is that absolutely model student, athlete, daughter, babysitter, friend, and girl most likely to succeed, she is also human.  And to be human, is to fail at something, or to fail someone—sometimes spectacularly.

In life, there will be devastation.  Blind Turn is about how you handle the devastation of humanity—your own and that of others.  It is about how you find your way to forgiveness when it seems you have done the unforgivable... when you feel unworthy of ever being forgiven.

This isn't a simple accounting... this story of a teen driver involved in a fatal accident.  The extreme fury of the allegations against her, Jess, would be enough to level any one of us.  Who could survive such sustained force of judgment and hatred?  Who could love themselves afterwards?  

Lest you think this too dark of a read for these stormy times, let's take a moment to speak hope.  I found, and I trust you will also find, the eye within the storm.  Inside that calm, even if temporary, are the insights that make this a read for this turbulent time.

The real blind turns in life aren't just in the roadway.  We will encounter some blind turns in our relationships.  There are things we just won't see coming.  As the lives of the main characters unfold before us, the thing that is striking is how they have each been shaped by that which was blinding at the time.  

I found that I especially loved the high school guidance counselor and the truly beautiful Miss Helen, who was widowed as a result of Jess's actions.  She lives and breathes the forgiveness, the love, the light of what it looks like to be the best possible version of ourselves.  Helen is the one I want to be.  I will carry forth her humanity.





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17 comments:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful, inspiring book. Not only could we all use a huge dose of forgiveness at times, but we need to forgive as well (and not just others). An accident is just that, an accident, but when someone we love is killed in an accident, forgiveness is difficult, yet required, as much for ourselves are for anyone else.

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    1. Forgiveness can be the hardest lesson to learn and gift to offer up (especially to ourselves when we feel we have failed beyond redemption). There is no love without forgiveness. I know I need a dose or two of forgiveness every day, for I am very human.

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  2. Interesting review...you really have a way with words. It sounds like a great book.

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    1. Thanks! It is an excellent read (especially if your book club is still meeting).

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  3. You have put a special spin on what it means to forgive ~ not an easy task for anyone. This sounds like a captivating story which may be told as fiction, but which can (and does) happen in real life. An excellent book review, Diana.

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    1. Thank you. It often takes us a lifetime to learn what forgiveness means and how to offer it up to ourselves and others. I see forgiveness as a form of love.

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  4. Oh Diana, I think you have hit on another book that I just need to read. We all have those times in our lives that we would rather forget! Forgiving ourselves and those who have wronged us is not easy to do, but necessary if you want to live life to it's fullest! Going on my Must Read List right now! Thanks Diana Wenzel!

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    1. Yes... who doesn't want to forget those times when they weren't at their best? I know I am guilty. Those memories can be almost as painful as the actual failures. Still, they lead us to become more of who we were created to be. And, I believe they build up compassion. I hope this book speaks to your heart as it did to mine.

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  5. Forgiving ourselves is so much harder than forgiving others. I can only imagine how much harder it would be for a teenager who works so hard at doing everything as well as possible to forgive herself for a momentary lapse in judgment that caused a fatal accident that she survived but the other driver did not. I have often wondered how survivors of fatal car accidents for which they were responsible live with themselves afterward, especially if they knew the people whose deaths they caused. My heart goes out to this young woman and to the victim’s family members and other loved ones. For, even though she is a fictitious character, she represents many, many very real people whose lives have been irrevocably changed by a moment of inattentives or human frailty.

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    1. Oh yes... self-forgiveness is so very difficult. To cause a death, I imagine, would be more than a thousand tiny deaths to the soul or psyche of the party at fault. Sometimes, it seems like the survivor of an accident suffers most. There is such guilt and shame. I know this story has been so very real to many families and readers (who can imagine this happening to their children).

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  6. Oh, Diana, You have such beautiful talent to just make the words flow. Sounds like an interesting book and read. How things i our life can change at any moment. Thanks!

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    1. And you are so beautifully uplifting with your support. Thank you, Sam. Yes... things often change in a split second. Makes me want to be very present, and exceedingly grateful, in the ordinary moments.

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  7. You had me from beginning to end on this review. I often consider the reverse of a situation to avoid inflicting judgement. What if it were my family, or someone I loved who erred? How would I feel if my friend or family member was the target of hate by others, and self-hate? Compassion is the only road home, no matter how horrendous a mistake is. We don't have to double-down on the negativity and hate. Nothing productive comes from that. If it's too tough, and we can't help, in my opinion it's best to keep our mouth shut.

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    1. That is a powerful way to filter things. Empathy and compassion... they go a very long way in this world. And yes... it doesn't hurt to disengage the mouth and hurtful, hateful words. Thank you for these potent comments. I appreciate your spirit.

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  8. Blind Turn sounds like an interesting read and you are right, we all need forgiveness in our list of traits.

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    1. The capacity to forgive is very revealing when it comes to our hearts and our character.

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  9. I love the sound of this book and you have a a beautiful way with words to describe it. Learning how to forgive fully is such an important thing to discover, along with empathy and compassion. To forgive ourselves is a deeper challenge. It is so important for your own health as well as for peace in life. This book sounds very inspiring and thought provoking.Thank you for the recommendation!

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