Friday, August 19, 2011

Blind Obsession

Blind Obsession by Lee Wilkinson


Modern-day romance, set in England

As a teenager, Autumn fell in love with her fabulously wealthy older neighbor Saul, but things went badly. He crashed his car after an argument with her, and the accident left him blind, seemingly forever. Autumn flees to the US to escape her guilt, and Saul becomes a famous novelist or something. At the start of the novel, Autumn, now 22, returns to London and interviews for a job as Saul's secretary with a fake name, as part of some half-baked plan to be near him and see if he still hates her. Before she realizes what's happened, he gives her the job and whisks her off to a remote cottage in the Yorkshire moors, supposedly to help him finish his next novel. Alone together for weeks, how long will it be before Saul figures out Autumn's true identity? And is he still angry at her for causing his accident?

Spoilers: not long, and yes. This is one of the most sexist romance novels I have ever read. Even though it was written in the 1990s, it reads like it's set in the early 1960s. Saul basically tortures, abuses, and rapes Autumn into submission (ok technically not rape because the narrator keeps telling us how much she wants him, but she's still telling him no). There's no question for either Autumn or Saul that she really is responsible for his accident because she made him angry, and that she now deserves all the psychological abuse he heaps on her. Her response is to love him even more in hopes that he will remember her good qualities too. Wow, classic battered wife syndrome: "He only hits me because I deserve it, and it's a sign of how much he cares." This really made me sick.

Saul is spiteful and mean. The description of his blindness is utterly fake and unconvincing. Then about halfway through, it turns out he got his sight back already. He was just faking it to make Autumn feel even worse.  I suffered through this crappy, horrible book and he wasn't even blind!! I feel totally cheated.

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