Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Together: A Story of Shared Vision

One more book review post to wrap up Resolutions 2011. I actually came in under the deadline on this one though it's taken me 2 days to get around posting about it. It was a short book, one that I downloaded from the library and read in 2 days.

Together: A Story of Shared Vision by Tom Sullivan and Betty White (yeah--I *think* the actress)

This was a pretty fun read, and really, it helped that it was so short. It was certainly predictable, but the plot wasn't really the point. If you've seen or read Marley and Me (and cried like I did), then you get the idea of the animal-human bond/emotion that this book attempts to illustrate.

It's an interesting plot--a young 20-something man with tons of intellectual ability and possibility loses his vision in a hiking accident and then must come to terms not only with that but also with the sheer necessity of relying on another to help him re-achieve independence and interdependence. There's the typical selfish-girlfriend-can't-handle-the-handicap problem, which is quickly resolved by the loving-new-girlfriend-who's-only-known-boy-since-he's-been-blind-and-therefore-doesn't-have-t0-come-to-terms-with-new-limitations. There's the chance for figurative redemption by re-hiking a mountain and the inevitable disaster that turns out to be the epitome of the success of this man's life-changing evolution. And throughout, you get a pretty good dose of self-loathing, bitterness, and self-pity.

But the scene where the man "figures it out" and realizes just how much this new guide dog means to him is a pretty touching moment. It's simple, but it's also forthright. And the book get's a gold star for that; the emotions are so heavy to the point of nearly overwhelming the story that it doesn't need an equally burdensome mini climax. It makes sense the way it is...the man/boy just get's it. And that, is the beauty of the dog-human relationship in the book. There's no reason why animals and humans form such intense devotion to each other. It just happens. It just is.

A good way to end a year in book reviews.

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