Monday, June 26, 2017

Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "None so Blind" by Chautona Havig

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?
My Thoughts: "None so Blind" is the first book in the "Sight Unseen" series. I'm not really sure why the book or the series is named that as they deal with memory loss, not loss of sight. This book was unlike any book I've read. I don't know how I'd classify the genre as it isn't a romance, but it has romance in it, it isn't a mystery, but it has mystery in it.... The story is told from the perspective of quite a few characters: Dani Weeks, David Weeks, Ella Weeks, Vince Lanzo, Jared Weeks, Reid Wilcox, Charity Stafford, Lisa Lanzo, and Savannah Weeks. Often, we switch from one person to another and back again in the space of a paragraph. It took getting used to reading this style of book as most books stay with one character for longer before switching to another for a longer period of time. I never doubted Ella's memory loss, but I did wonder if she had done something to cause it in the first place. I was a little disappointed that we didn't have the answers to all the mystery elements, but I'm sure that they will be resolved in later books. I look forward to reading the second book, "Will Not See" later this summer.

About the Author

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

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 are 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.

Blog Stops

June 15: Genesis 5020
June 15: Lane Hill House
June 16: The Scribbler
June 17: Back Porch Reads
June 18: Carpe Diem
June 19: Quiet Quilter
June 20: Mommynificent
June 22: Pursuing Stacie
June 22: Remembrancy
June 23: Pause for Tales
June 24: Bigreadersite
June 25: Lots of Helpers
June 28: Just Jo’Anne
June 28: Henry Happens


 bf3041c3-aba6-432d-bade-2a2bc46cd775To 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:
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

"None so Blind" is available in paperback:
  • Series: Sight Unseen
  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1494492520
  • ISBN-13: 978-1494492526
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 3407 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1494492520
  • Publisher: Createspace (September 17, 2013)
  • Publication Date: September 17, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

I got a free copy of the book for the tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received. 


Nicole A. said...

I love Chautona's books. She is such a talented writer!

Ally Swanson said...

Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the review and learning more about this book! Looking forward to checking this book out!

Jennifer Hibdon said...

Thanx for the blog tour and giveaway!! I am looking forward to reading this! Unfortunately, senility runs in our we have seen first hand how knowledge of family members is lost. It does hurt.

joan's blessings said...

Love Chautona's books, they are all so varied

Chautona Havig said...

I wanted to apologize for missing this post. At the end of the tour, I sprained my ankle and man, who knew it was so closely connected to my brain. I couldn't read well so I gave up trying.

But I appreciate you taking the time to read. I'm sorry I couldn't wrap up the mini-mysteries in this book, but if I did, it'd have spoiled the others. I am concerned about POV shifts in the same section, though. That shouldn't be there. I'll have to see what happened. EEEP!