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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Eyeless Mind: A Memoir about Seeing and Being Seen by Stephanie Duesing is a sensitive and heartbreaking memoir about her 15-year-old son, Sebastian, who was blind though he showed no signs of blindness and no one knew he was blind. Sebastian loved painting and he was a good artist. He loved nature and helping his mother in the garden. The book is also about medical malpractice, and the author's harrowing journey of trying to discover what was wrong with her son and getting him diagnosed properly for his neurological vision impairment is remarkable. Sebastian's story is that of courage, determination, and resilience and gives readers a better understanding of CVI (cerebral/cortical vision impairment). Though cerebral/cortical visual impairment is different from other ocular blindness, it is debilitating and, at the same time, common.
Eyeless Mind is a compelling read for all parents who are dealing with children who have invisible disorders and gives them strength, understanding, and hope. Stephanie Duesing's trials, challenges, perseverance, and heartbreaks are moving, and the book is also all about a mother's love. She speaks about her own mother and her abusive behavior and how she transformed herself from that of being a victim of child abuse to being a dedicated mother filled with unconditional love for her son. The narration is detailed and descriptive and the trauma, difficulties, and efforts to get a proper diagnosis and medical attention for her son are palpable to readers. What drew me to the memoir was the author's honesty in sharing her story. It is not always easy to put down thoughts and emotions when you are dealing with pain and fighting for the needs of your child. Her humanity and dedication run through the entire memoir. This is a good book for those who want more information about CVI so that no family faces the kind of ordeal she and her husband Eric had to go through.