Title: The Blinding Light
Author: Renae Kaye
Narrator:: Jonathan Young
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 6 Hours, 55 Minutes
At a Glance: If you know you’re going to have a hard day at the office, or wherever, listen to The Blinding Light. It will brighten up your day, that’s a promise.
Reviewed By: Kathie
Blurb: Jake Manning’s smart mouth frequently gets him into trouble. Because of it he can’t hold a job. Combined with some bad luck, it’s prevented him from keeping steady employment. A huge debt looms over him, and alone he shoulders the care of his alcoholic mother and three younger sisters. When a housekeeping position opens, Jake’s so desperate he leaps at the opportunity. On landing, he finds his new boss, Patrick Stanford, a fussy, arrogant, rude…and blind man.
Born without sight, Patrick is used to being accommodated, but he’s met his match with Jake, who doesn’t take any of his crap and threatens to swap all the braille labels on his groceries and run off with his guide dog unless he behaves.
Jake gets a kick out of Patrick. Things are looking up: The girls are starting their own lives, and his mum’s sobriety might stick this time. He’s sacrificed everything for his family; maybe it’s time for him to live his life and start a relationship with Patrick. When his mother needs him, guilt makes his choice between family and Patrick difficult, and Jake must realize he’s not alone anymore.
Review: What do the Seven Dwarfs, a blue butt plug, and a machine that scans a page for text and reads it back have in common? The Blinding Light by Renae Kaye, a journey that has these three things intertwined within the story, and move Jake and Patrick towards their happily-ever-after. And if for one second you think there is no way they fit together, read and/or listen to this story and you will understand just how much of a genius Renae Kaye is in weaving a great story.
And now on to my favorite part of the review: the narration. Jonathan Young clearly had fun with this story. At one point in the book, Patrick describes Jake’s voice as sounding as though he’s always smiling. Jonathan Young captures this quality, his voice does sound like it’s smiling. Patrick’s voice, on the other hand, is hesitant, intelligent, and resigned, just the voice I would have excepted from this character. And the supporting characters? The best ever. For example, picture Mrs. Lee, a fellow housekeeper who’s training Jake on the care of Patrick’s house. She’s described as an “older Chinese lady who spoke in broken English and had a perpetual frown, worthy of a gold medal at the Frowning Olympics”. Now, read this next sentence with that accent in mind: “Hmph. So she di’n’t tell you hees blind?” Not a line in a story that would stick out, right? But when you listen to the audio, listen for that part. It will crack you up. It’s close to the beginning so you won’t have to wait long. Every character has his or her own distinct voice. Young jumps from formal to informal speaking, to a narrator’s voice, to a small child’s, and even gets the mother’s voice spot on—tired and weak. I can’t tell you if the accents are authentic to Western Australia—sadly, I’ve never been there—but as a reader from the Midwest, it worked for me.
Now back to the butt plug, the Seven Dwarfs, and the talking machine. Here is a hint: found in Patrick’s bed, describes the cycle of a romance, and helps teach manners.
Read this book, listen to the audio, and if you are as crazy about this author as I am, read the book again and listen to the audiobook again. If you know you’re going to have a hard day at the office, or wherever, listen to The Blinding Light. It will brighten up your day, that’s a promise.
You can buy The Blinding Light here: