Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Helen Keller in Love

A captivating novel that explores the little-known romance of a beloved American icon.
Rosie Sultan's debut novel imagines a part of Keller's life she rarely spoke of or wrote about: the man she once loved. When Helen is in her thirties and Annie Sullivan is diagnosted with tuberculosis, a young man steps in as a private secretary. Peter Fagan opens a new world to Helen, and their sensual interactions--signing and lip-reading with hands and fingers--quickly set in motion a liberating, passionate, and clandestine affair. It's not long before Helen's secret is discovered and met with stern disapproval from her family and Annie. As pressure mounts, the lovers plot to elope, and Helen is caught between the expectations of the people who love her and her most intimate desires.

Sultan, fascinated by Helen Keller since she was eight years old, was inspired by a brief note found in the Helen Keller Archives at the American Foundation for the Blind in a file labeled “Peter Fagan.” The note, from Fagan’s grown daughter, read: My father kept a photo of you taken ages ago. Why would he have kept your picture all these years?  Miss Keller, can you enlighten me?”  Helen never wrote back.

My Thoughts: Is this book fact or fiction? Technically the latter but the author did extensive research to write a believable story based on facts. I've always been fascinated by Helen Keller and very much enjoyed seeing this other side of a fascinating woman.

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy of Helen Keller in Love available via NetGalley.

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