Publisher's Note:  

A future as bright as the stars above the Connecticut shore lay before Jensen Reilly and her high school sweetheart, Ryder, until the terrible events of an October night left Jensen running from her family and her first love. Over the years that followed, Jensen buried her painful past, and now, married to a charismatic artist, she has created a new life far away from the unbearable secret of that night.

When Jensen’s father, Sterling, is diagnosed with a brain tumor, she returns to her childhood home for the first time in thirteen years, and the memories of her old life come flooding back along with the people she’s tried to escape. Torn between her life in Santa Fe with her free-spirited husband, Nic, and the realization that it is time to face her past, Jensen must make a terrifying decision that threatens to change her life again—this time forever.

An emotionally thrilling debut set during a New England summer, Susan Strecker's Night Blindness is a compelling novel about the choices we make, the sanctity of friendship, and the power of love.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Thomas Dunne Books

Night Blindness

by Susan Strecker

Review Date:

Recommended Age:

Overall Rating:

Profanity / Language Rating:

Violence / Gore Rating:

Sex / Nudity Rating:

Overall Review:  

The cover of this book reminded me of something I would see with the name Kristin Hannah or Elin Hilderbrand plastered on the front, but instead, I was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to a new author, Susan Strecker, of whom I had heard nothing about. I like discovering a new favorite author when I can, and to do that, I have to open myself up to picking up books that I might not otherwise.

Night Blindness was a book that for me hit pretty close to home. Having lost my grandmother to a brain bleed that was caused by a tumor late last year, I could easily relate to Jensen Reilly, the strong female protagonist. Although Jensen has a life of her own and has distanced herself from her family and her hometown, when she receives shocking news that her father is sick, she puts on her big girl pants and makes the journey back to her childhood town.


At this point in the story, I didn't know where exactly I would end up. I was being thrown into a heart-wrenching crises, but what else did this book have to offer me? Here is where the personal connection with Jensen ended, but the rest of the book was interesting and kept me engaged; I think many readers will find this to be the case for them, also. For a debut novel, Susan did a magnificent job of writing a story that felt true to life. Bravo!


Review of an Advance Reader Copy

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  3 religious exclamations; 10 mild obscenities; 2 derogatory names; 4 scatological words; 2 anatomical terms; 19 F-Word derivatives.


Violence/Gore:  A character cuts their finger, some blood is briefly mentioned.


Sex/Nudity:  An adult is mentioned to pose nude for an artist; minors are mentioned to be sexually active, no descriptions given; adults kiss several times; an adult couple is mentioned to be having an affair; nudity with sexual innuendo is briefly mentioned between adults; one brief scene of adult sexual activity, some brief detail given; sex is referred to several times; sex is implied between adults; a man is mentioned to have cheated on his girlfriend.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death, cancer, personal crises, crime and illegal activities (shoplifting).

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adults smoke; smoking pot is mentioned; adults drink frequently.

Reviewed By Lydia
No image available