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The Seeing Glass
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When a rare optic condition strikes Jacquelin Gorman, colors one by one vanish from her spectrum and her vision begins to falter. She quickly finds herself in a race against the encroaching darkness, frantically studying family photos, the faces of her daughter and husband, and the geography of her home, committing them to the realm of memory, where she will retreat when the world she has known dissolves into a hard steel wall of grayness. Without her sight, Gorman seeks. refuge in the safety of her bedroom, and plunges into the landscape of her family's past. In nightly Technicolor dreams she relives moments from her childhood that bring to life her brother, Robin - the oldest child and only son of this beautiful and blessed family, and long its repository of pain and misfortune. In the late fifties and early sixties, on the fabled Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, the Gormans and their four daughters were a picture-perfect. high-society family: beautiful, affluent, and intelligent (Gorman's great-uncle was the poet Ogden Nash). But Robin, named for the startling clarity of his blue eyes, was often out of the picture. Diagnosed with autism as a toddler - one of the first such cases on record - he was committed to a hospital for the mentally ill. Years later, during her siege of blindness, Gorman searches for deeper meaning in the bittersweet memories that present themselves like snapshots. come to life. She finds innocence and courage in her brother's brief, tragic life, and a pure, unquestioning love that illuminates her darkness.
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