None So Blind by Chautona Havig (Blog Tour, Book Review and Giveaway)

nonesoblindcover-200x300A Wee Bit About the Book

Book Title: None So Blind

Author: Chautona Havig

Release date: September 29, 2013

Genre: Contemporary

Dani and Ella Weeks–two women who share one thing in common. The same life, the same family, and the same body.

When Dani wakes with no knowledge of who or where she is–no memories of her life at all–David and Dani Weeks discover that “til death do us part” takes on an entirely unexpected meaning. Practically speaking, Dani died. But she didn’t.

What’s a gal to do?

In a desperate attempt to separate the old life from the new, Dani insists on a new name, a twist of her old one–Ella.

Ella’s doctors can’t explain what happened. Her children can’t understand why she doesn’t know them. David, her husband, finds himself torn between admiration for the “new” version of his wife and missing the woman he’s known for over fifteen years.

Will Ella ever regain her memory? Why does their pastor suspect it’s one great hoax?

mythoughts

Can you imagine waking up one morning not knowing where you are, not recognizing anyone around you (pretty scary, don’t you think?), having no memories whatsoever, and not even recognizing yourself?  You can’t can you?  Well, that’s okay because neither can I.  When I first began reading Chautona’s book, I was thinking about dementia in its various forms. Alzheimer’s came to mind because my Nanna was afflicted with this terrible condition from her forties until she eventually passed away at the age of eighty-six. It is a cruel, uncaring disease which takes away everything from an individual, and has life-long repercussions upon their family and close friends.

As I read on I realized that poor Dani was most likely too young to have such severe symptoms for her condition to be dementia. I believe that dementia creeps up on a person gradually over a period of years like a sly old snake. In Dani’s case, she was okay one day, and not okay after having what most people would consider a good night’s rest.

Okay Chautona, you got my attention. I had to keep reading. What an incredible predicament. What on earth could cause total amnesia? Did Dani have a brain bleed while sleeping? Whatever could have gone so wrong? Does this really happen? Could it happen to me?

Chautona’s style is most personable, leaving one feeling like they are in the room with each of the main characters, thinking what they are thinking. Chautona slipped into calling Dani, Ella smoothly (just as Ella would have wanted), making it easy for the reader to adjust.

“As if she’d become her own saboteur, Ella’s mind returned to David’s words again “She could walk out of our lives tomorrow and never miss us”.

Chautona’s story brings to light the complexity of people’s expectations of us when they believe they know who we are and how we should behave … our likes, dislikes, funny or not so funny quirks. It is to a large extent reasonable to expect that people will find it challenging to accept such extreme changes. It unnerves them and displaces their sense of security. I found myself feeling terribly sorry for Ella but equally sorry for her husband and children.

There was an interesting twist in the plot which involved a mysteriously large sum of money. I was hoping this would be resolved at some stage throughout the book, but I’ve been left hanging. Thank goodness there is a sequel.Will-Not-See-sm-200x300 Perhaps we will get some answers to the many questions that arise when tackling such a sensitive topic.

You will be able to purchase Ms. Havig’s second book in this series “Will Not See” very soon. I feel that Chautona handled this topic with compassion and sensitivity, while still providing us with a jolly good read.

Here’s a thought: If we are to assume that Dani and Ella are two different people or personalities, but technically David is married to both. Would it be somewhat disloyal of David to begin to have strong feelings for Ella and even have a preference for Ella’s personality, when he has been married to Dani for many years?

I was kindly provided with an ARC by the author without any obligation to give a glowing review.  All thoughts are my own. Other information was provided by Celebrate Lit. I have awarded this book with 4 Stars.

media-headshot-sm-240x300About the Author:

Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert with her husband and five of her nine children. Through her novels, she hopes to encourage Christians in their walk with Jesus.

bf3041c3-aba6-432d-bade-2a2bc46cd775-300x300Giveaway:

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize that includes:

1 $25 Amazon Gift Card
1 Paperback Copy of None So Blind
1 Paperback Copy of Will Not See
1 Lampwork Necklace
1 Cool denim mini-backpack (to hold your stuff!)
1 Custom Travel Mug (with quote from book)
1 FREE eBook code to share with a friend!

Check out this cool video from Chautona: https://youtu.be/5K_cTjlg4S8

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ba35

Guest post from Chautona Havig:

“Who are you, again?”

“I’m Joe’s, daughter. Vyonie.” My sister pointed to me. “This is Chautona.”

For some odd reason, the niece she spent the least amount of time with, Aunt Doris remembered—somewhat. But she didn’t remember Vyonie from what I could tell. She smiled at me, that amazing, sweet smile I’d never forget. She asked how I was. I always thought that Mrs. Sanderson—mother of John, Alicia, and Carl on the TV show, Little House on the Prairie—looked and sounded like Aunt Doris. Of course, that memory of me didn’t last. A minute or two later, she gave me a big smile and asked if she knew me.

It gave me a picture of what it must have been like for my character, Ella Weeks—to wake up every day with these children there—children who knew her, but she didn’t remember. The hurt she caused every time she had to struggle to admit she didn’t know something she probably should—again. So, I thought I’d ask her to tell us about it.

Ella: People often assume that the worst part of losing my memory is the memories that disappeared, too. But it’s not. A much as I’d love to remember my wedding day, my daughter’s first steps, my son’s first words, or that moment I realized I was pregnant with my third, those are blessings that I don’t think about often. No, what hurts most is seeing the pain in my children’s eyes when they need me to remember something and I can’t. For me, not remembering their first day of kindergarten is an inconvenience. For them, it’s a further reminder that if they didn’t tell me, I wouldn’t know them. That without them pushing themselves into my life, I wouldn’t care about them any more than any other human in my path. I do now, of course, but not at first. I hate that they heard David say once, “…she doesn’t know me. She doesn’t trust me. She doesn’t know our children. She tries, but she could walk out of our lives tomorrow and never miss us.”

Living so close to it every day, I missed those little bits of pain that I inflicted without meaning to, but when I went with our Bible study to a nursing home and visited with the residents, then I saw it. Women with tears running down their cheeks as loved ones patted their hands and tried to comfort. I heard one man offer to find a woman’s father. She squeezed him close and whispered, “It’s okay, Daddy. I love you. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

The man promised to try to find her father in the meantime.

Those people there—most of them didn’t realize they didn’t remember someone important. They didn’t struggle to remember this or that. Their dementia had gotten bad enough that their lives had gone from constant frustration to, by comparison, blissful oblivion.

And their families withered with each forgotten face, name, moment.

That’s what my “episode” did for my family. It caused them pain that just resurfaced every time something new happened. Pain that I didn’t know I inflicted. And since that visit, I have a greater compassion and awareness of just how amazing and powerful memories are.

I also have a greater appreciation for those beautiful words in Isaiah when the Lord promised… “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.”

You see, there’s a lifetime of the sins that Jesus died for buried somewhere in my brain—or, at least at one time there was. I know that those sins were in there because the ones I committed yesterday are there today. The ones I’ve already confessed and been forgiven for—I beat myself up for the next morning. A week later. A month. But the Lord has wiped them clean. I just keep smearing them back out there again as if to say, “But You don’t get how BAD I was.” Yeah. The arrogance, right? Because an almighty, holy God can’t possibly understand how sinful a sinner that He had to DIE to save from those sins… is. The arrogance? That’s an understatement.

But all those years before that horrible morning… gone. Maybe I stole something. I don’t know. It was forgiven, wiped clean, and then wiped from my memory. I can’t rehash it with the Lord over and over. I can’t drag it back up like a wife who won’t let her husband forget the one time he forgot her birthday. I can’t use it as a whip to beat myself up with. And I think there’s something beautiful in that.

Do I wish I could stop hurting my family with my blank past? Of course. But am I also grateful for a living picture of the fresh start the Lord gives His people at salvation? Definitely. I hope I never take it for granted again.

None-so-blind-FB-Banner-copy

You can purchase your copy of “None So Blind’ here

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