A woman who marries a deaf man faces a crossroads in their relationship.
When Cara’s husband Dan meets her at the airport, she pretends that she doesn’t know him at first. After traveling for more than three months on business, she’s not sure she’s ready to go home yet. When Cara left she had welcomed the time away from Dan and the dark side of his personality that she’d been increasingly witnessing, but seeing him again causes her to reflect on their ten-plus years of marriage. Cara first noticed Dan–his dark blue eyes and distinguished demeanor–when he passed her in the hallway at work. When she encounters him at a party, she discovers that he is deaf, but because he can read lips and speak well they are able to strike up a conversation, and she finds herself immediately captivated by him. During the beginning months of their romance, Cara tries to understand Dan’s world and teaches herself sign language despite the fact that he declines to teach her–an early sign of his self-loathing. She discovers the origin of his shame when she meets his odd, upper-crust family, who treat him like an idiot despite the fact that he’s pursuing a master’s in business and is a fully functioning, intelligent adult. As the years pass, Dan increasingly takes his frustrations out on Cara, and she begins to believe that there is an unbridgeable divide between them, poignantly illustrated by a cruel trick he plays on her–he mouths the words â€œisles of view,” which looks exactly like saying â€œI love you” to her. Brunner’s debut novel is inspired by her own marriage. Readers who’ve been in long-term relationships will appreciate her skillful depiction of the often painful difficulties of communicating with a loved one, and how even the strongest bonds are tested over time.
A well-rendered, heartfelt love story.