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At nineteen years old, Nicole C. Kear's biggest concern is choosing a major--until she walks into a doctor's office in midtown Manhattan and gets a life-changing diagnosis. She is going blind, courtesy of an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, and has only a decade or so before Lights Out. Instead of making preparations as the doctor suggests, Kear decides to carpe di At nineteen years old, Nicole C. Kear's biggest concern is choosing a major--until she walks into a doctor's office in midtown Manhattan and gets a life-changing diagnosis. She is going blind, courtesy of an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, and has only a decade or so before Lights Out. Instead of making preparations as the doctor suggests, Kear decides to carpe diem and make the most of the vision she has left. She joins circus school, tears through boyfriends, travels the world, and through all these hi-jinks, she keeps her vision loss a secret. When Kear becomes a mother, just a few years shy of her vision's expiration date, she amends her carpe diem strategy, giving up recklessness in order to relish every moment with her kids. Her secret, though, is harder to surrender - and as her vision deteriorates, harder to keep hidden. As her world grows blurred, one thing becomes clear: no matter how hard she fights, she won't win the battle against blindness. But if she comes clean with her secret, and comes to terms with the loss, she can still win her happy ending. Told with humor and irreverence, Now I See You is an uplifting story about refusing to cower at life's curveballs, about the power of love to triumph over fear. But, at its core, it's a story about acceptance: facing the truths that just won't go away, and facing yourself, broken parts and all.


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At nineteen years old, Nicole C. Kear's biggest concern is choosing a major--until she walks into a doctor's office in midtown Manhattan and gets a life-changing diagnosis. She is going blind, courtesy of an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, and has only a decade or so before Lights Out. Instead of making preparations as the doctor suggests, Kear decides to carpe di At nineteen years old, Nicole C. Kear's biggest concern is choosing a major--until she walks into a doctor's office in midtown Manhattan and gets a life-changing diagnosis. She is going blind, courtesy of an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, and has only a decade or so before Lights Out. Instead of making preparations as the doctor suggests, Kear decides to carpe diem and make the most of the vision she has left. She joins circus school, tears through boyfriends, travels the world, and through all these hi-jinks, she keeps her vision loss a secret. When Kear becomes a mother, just a few years shy of her vision's expiration date, she amends her carpe diem strategy, giving up recklessness in order to relish every moment with her kids. Her secret, though, is harder to surrender - and as her vision deteriorates, harder to keep hidden. As her world grows blurred, one thing becomes clear: no matter how hard she fights, she won't win the battle against blindness. But if she comes clean with her secret, and comes to terms with the loss, she can still win her happy ending. Told with humor and irreverence, Now I See You is an uplifting story about refusing to cower at life's curveballs, about the power of love to triumph over fear. But, at its core, it's a story about acceptance: facing the truths that just won't go away, and facing yourself, broken parts and all.

30 review for Now I See You: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    ★★★½ Now I See You is a memoir written by Nicole C. Kear. Fresh into adulthood, Nicole was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease. In her book, she discusses life, work, love, motherhood, and her emotional journey in general since receiving her prognosis of blindness within ten years’ time. One thing I loved about Nicole’s story is the humor she adds while discussing random experiences that people with healthy vision often take for granted. Although humor is likely her ow ★★★½ Now I See You is a memoir written by Nicole C. Kear. Fresh into adulthood, Nicole was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease. In her book, she discusses life, work, love, motherhood, and her emotional journey in general since receiving her prognosis of blindness within ten years’ time. One thing I loved about Nicole’s story is the humor she adds while discussing random experiences that people with healthy vision often take for granted. Although humor is likely her own personal coping mechanism, it reminded me that it’s OK to not take life so seriously all the time. If Nicole can laugh at this very scary time in her life, then I sure as hell can let go of some of the anxiety I experience from mundane things I probably won’t even remember next year. I listened to the audio book which was narrated by Nicole herself, and knowing she was sharing her own story with her own voice added a level of intimacy to the experience. I enjoyed Now I See You, but if I’m being honest, I found myself tuning out during a few latter portions (BTW I feel very guilty saying that). Maybe that was my mind’s way of separating my emotions from some non-humor related parts or maybe the book really did take a turn in writing style/content/flow, I’m not sure. Regardless, I rated Now I See You 3.5 stars, rounding up to 4. I liked it overall, and the humor itself was incentive enough to bump the rating up half a star. If you enjoy memoirs and can appreciate humor added to an otherwise dreary topic, then make sure to check out this title! My favorite quote: ”As a rule of thumb, the secretly blind should avoid all activities in which they’re required to glue objects onto their face. This includes the application of fake eyelashes. At best, you’ll stick the lashes on asymmetrically; making it look like one side of your face has melted. At worst, the black feathery clump will land in the area between your lid and your brow, causing people to think you are under attack by mutant spiders. Should fake lashes be an occupational necessity, as is the case with celebrity impersonators and actors specializing in mid-twentieth century farce, simply enlist the aid of a colleague. This can be achieved by batting your real lashes and blaming your abysmal fine motor skills. Then try to find an office job. You have enough problems without worrying about this shit.”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mauoijenn

    I could only imagine what I would do if I was ever given the same diagnosis Kear was given. I would run around looking at all and everything I could. Plus camp out at my local library and buy every book that even peaked my interest in a tiny bit. Losing your eye sight has got to be one of the scariest senses to lose if to lose any. This memoir was written in great detail and I believe very honest. Nice job!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways and St. Martin's Press for the chance to discover this book. Self-deprecating, unflinchingly raw and ultimately quite moving, this memoir was surprisingly hilarious and devastating at the same time. Given a life-changing diagnosis and told that she is ineluctably going blind, a kick-ass and gritty nineteen-year-old decides to literally "rage, rage against the dying of the light" and fight the odds with all that she can muster. An incredible story of stubbornness, Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways and St. Martin's Press for the chance to discover this book. Self-deprecating, unflinchingly raw and ultimately quite moving, this memoir was surprisingly hilarious and devastating at the same time. Given a life-changing diagnosis and told that she is ineluctably going blind, a kick-ass and gritty nineteen-year-old decides to literally "rage, rage against the dying of the light" and fight the odds with all that she can muster. An incredible story of stubbornness, naïveté, courage and hedonism, "Now I See You" is a colorful and witty book about what it means to lose your vision when your dreams involve making it in Hollywood and becoming a mother. Suffused with a desire to live as big a life as she can before her world narrows down, Nicole C. Kear's story is an ode to the millions of acts and scenes that we all take for granted because they are there for the taking as soon as we open our eyes in the morning. A defiant lesson in wisdom and self-acceptance, this was a wildly endearing story that will make you look around you a little more closely once you finish the last page. No small feat.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Connie G

    I would never have guessed that a memoir about going blind from a degenerative retinal disease could be so full of humor. At the age of 19, Nicole Kear found out she had retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease where she would first lose her peripheral vision, and eventually be blind in 10-15 years. With a "seize the day" attitude, she decided to travel, have a series of one-night stands, finish a degree in drama at Yale, and search for acting jobs in California and New York. She only told her famil I would never have guessed that a memoir about going blind from a degenerative retinal disease could be so full of humor. At the age of 19, Nicole Kear found out she had retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease where she would first lose her peripheral vision, and eventually be blind in 10-15 years. With a "seize the day" attitude, she decided to travel, have a series of one-night stands, finish a degree in drama at Yale, and search for acting jobs in California and New York. She only told her family and a few close friends about her diagnosis. She pretended to be ditzy or drunk when she walked into glass doors or tripped over things she did not see. It was especially challenging to see at night, and she had some hilarious stories about attending parties to network in California which were often held around the host's swimming pool, a dangerous spot for Kear. I would not have wanted to be on the road when she was driving. Eventually she fell in love and had children. Keeping track of toddlers is challenging enough for people with good sight. She had a terrible scare when she couldn't find her daughter, but the little girl was just sitting on a nearby bench, out of Kear's range of vision. She realized she could no longer be in a state of denial, and needed to ask for help from her family, her friends, and a state training program. Her children would be safer if people knew her secret. I enjoyed the author's exuberance, and her irreverent, self-deprecating sense of humor. Kear also included times of fear, as well as tender moments, in her book. This was a well-written memoir that kept my interest.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    ARC for review. Blindness. A fascinating topic. However until I read the incredible [book: Blindness} by Jose Saramago (which was more dystopian versus blindness-centered) my experiences with blindness in literature were pretty much limited to Mary Ingalls and the Helen Keller biography that I believe every 1970s female elementary student used for a book report (I swear the only biographies with female subjects in my elementary library were that one and one on Amelia Earhart, so I'm definitely g ARC for review. Blindness. A fascinating topic. However until I read the incredible [book: Blindness} by Jose Saramago (which was more dystopian versus blindness-centered) my experiences with blindness in literature were pretty much limited to Mary Ingalls and the Helen Keller biography that I believe every 1970s female elementary student used for a book report (I swear the only biographies with female subjects in my elementary library were that one and one on Amelia Earhart, so I'm definitely going to choose the one about badly-behaving Helen every time). When Nicole Kear was nineteen she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa and her doctor told her she might be completely blind within ten years. Kear is oh-so-human as she talks about her various responses, her evolving life (both the deterioration of her sight and the normal trials and tribulations of dating/families/children...very little about work, though, and I would like to have read more about that) and, poignantly, the humiliation and shame she felt - a response that will speak to so many readers. Here's a book that found me at the best possible time. I've recently been diagnosed with a progressive illness so Kear's story about her life definitely spoke to me, but, separate from my own connection this book is incredibly interesting and well-written and Kear is someone I would love to know. Here's hoping this book finds the wide audience it deserves.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Now I See You: A Memoir is the story of a young woman who is diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that causes her to slowly go blind. I loved this book. I almost didn't start it, because I wasn't really in the mood for anything too serious and I was afraid it might be kind of a somber read. I was so wrong! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her life. I was fascinated to hear about her struggles and how she would eventually overcome them. I laughed out loud at her very Now I See You: A Memoir is the story of a young woman who is diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that causes her to slowly go blind. I loved this book. I almost didn't start it, because I wasn't really in the mood for anything too serious and I was afraid it might be kind of a somber read. I was so wrong! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her life. I was fascinated to hear about her struggles and how she would eventually overcome them. I laughed out loud at her very relatable chapters on parenting (we've all had a friend like Heather, the super-mom). But mostly, I was very touched by her courage and her love of life. I didn't feel like anything was sugar-coated. The struggles are there, but she always manages to find something to be thankful for. Nice job, Nicole C. Kear. Thanks for the uplifting summer read! Thanks to NetGalley for providing an advanced copy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life)

    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review. 4 Stars I do not read this type of book very often. I am really more of a fiction reader because my reading goal is simply to be entertained. Every once in a while a book outside of my usual fiction reading catches my attention as this book did. A book that tells the story not of someone who suddenly goes blind This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review. 4 Stars I do not read this type of book very often. I am really more of a fiction reader because my reading goal is simply to be entertained. Every once in a while a book outside of my usual fiction reading catches my attention as this book did. A book that tells the story not of someone who suddenly goes blind and must adapt but of someone who is told at a very young age that she has only a few years of sight left. This is Nicole's story. Nicole is diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at age 19. She is told that she will be blind in a decade or so. Nicole shares her diagnosis with her family but otherwise keeps her declining vision to herself. As a result of her lack of sight, she does have a few close calls but few know about her problem. Nicole eventually marries and becomes a mother which bring on more challenges. The author is a remarkable story teller and I found myself pulled into her story. I will admit that I did not understand why keeping her diagnosis secret was so important to her. I would recommend this book. It was a quick read and told an interesting story. I found myself wondering what I would have done had I found myself in Nicole's place. I could not even imagine what I would attempt to do if I learned that I only had a limited time to see the world. This was the first work by Nicole C. Kear that I have had the chance to read. I would be interested in reading future works by this author.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    First, the positive. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the eARC of this book for me to read and review. Now for the negative. I don't do self-depracating humor. This book is full of it. It makes me completely non-sympathetic and negative towards the author, who obviously had a very difficult medical diagnosis thrust on her at a very young age. There was a ton of repetition in the book of her being afraid to face her diagnosis and to DO anything positive about it and her fear to talk ab First, the positive. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the eARC of this book for me to read and review. Now for the negative. I don't do self-depracating humor. This book is full of it. It makes me completely non-sympathetic and negative towards the author, who obviously had a very difficult medical diagnosis thrust on her at a very young age. There was a ton of repetition in the book of her being afraid to face her diagnosis and to DO anything positive about it and her fear to talk about it with others and to even let those she was around actually KNOW that she was legally blind. I was frustrated with the fact that she basically wasted time when she was more sighted to do things that would prepare her for when she no longer was able to see. This is more a how not-to book than a how-to book. It doesn't profess to be a how-to deal with going blind book, but I can't even suggest it as a read to someone, other than to use it as an example of learning by doing the opposite of what the author does. I know, I know, I wasn't in that situation, I can't say with 100% surety what I would have done if I was in her shoes, but I can make an educated guess and it wasn't what the author did, other than to travel to see the things she would't be able to see in the future. This book was not my cup of tea. Too much repetitive whining about the situation and avoiding the problem instead of tackling it head-on annoyed me. It may have made for a shorter and less "entertaining" work if she adjusted earlier and dealt with the problems instead of running from them, but I think I would have enjoyed it more than this work. I know I sound like a heartless person by saying these things. I'm not unsympathetic to the situation, but I just don't agree with how she handled things. It's her life and it is always an honor when someone shares their life with you, whether you agree or disagree with how they lived it. She had the right to do what she did. I am not disputing that. I am sure there are those out there who disagree with how I live my life. She is free to live as she chooses, without explanation or apology, as she is not hurting anyone else or breaking any laws. I wish her and her family well. I just did not enjoy this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    John

    Most folks have deal-breakers for reading matter: gratuitous violence, F-bombs, and the like. One of mine is a memoir where the couple, or in this case protagonist, gets all TMI about a need to have kids, or in this case, another one. "In the middle of our carnal embrace, David paused for a prophylactic and I stopped him. 'Don't use one,' I whispered." I actually stopped reading early next chapter with her telling her toddler son, "It doesn't hurt. I'm just working hard to grow a baby in my bell Most folks have deal-breakers for reading matter: gratuitous violence, F-bombs, and the like. One of mine is a memoir where the couple, or in this case protagonist, gets all TMI about a need to have kids, or in this case, another one. "In the middle of our carnal embrace, David paused for a prophylactic and I stopped him. 'Don't use one,' I whispered." I actually stopped reading early next chapter with her telling her toddler son, "It doesn't hurt. I'm just working hard to grow a baby in my belly." Before she implored her husband above, I was getting feeling that this book was more of a reason to write a "memoir" (or uber-blog) of her life in general, than one about her medical issues ... which, frankly, were handled badly in the first place. She manages to get a drivers license on the technicality that the eye test doesn't measure peripheral vision; she has none. Instead, she endangers the public with her self-described Mr. Magoo-like adventures behind the wheel. Up until the point I bailed, I'd rate the book a 2 - 2.5 stars.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly McCreight

    Hilarious and profoundly heartwarming, Now I See You is about living under the weight of a life-altering secret and finding the courage to brave your own truth. You’ll be drawn in instantly by Nicole C. Kear’s witty worldview and compelling voice, but it’s her indefatigable spirit that truly keeps the pages flipping. Ms. Kear’s triumphs will inspire you. And Now I See You will change the way you see the world.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Cunningham

    Nicole C. Kear's NOW I SEE YOU is a funny, sad, terrifying, and uplifting memoir about her very personal battle with a degenerative eye disease. Nicole was nineteen when a doctor diagnosed her with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), an untreatable genetic condition that would render her blind within fifteen years. She went from being a normal college student fretting over things like boyfriends and disappointing jobs to worrying about what would happen to the rest of her life - would her condition mean Nicole C. Kear's NOW I SEE YOU is a funny, sad, terrifying, and uplifting memoir about her very personal battle with a degenerative eye disease. Nicole was nineteen when a doctor diagnosed her with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), an untreatable genetic condition that would render her blind within fifteen years. She went from being a normal college student fretting over things like boyfriends and disappointing jobs to worrying about what would happen to the rest of her life - would her condition mean she couldn't be an actress, couldn't get married, couldn't have children, couldn't function in the world like everyone else? For the first few years after her diagnosis, Nicole did the best she could to hide her deteriorating vision, even going so far as to pretend intoxication to cover up all-too-frequent clumsiness. NOW I SEE YOU explores Nicole's journey from denial to acceptance, from fear to affirmation that truly living requires courage, honesty, and a willingness to embrace the challenges we face. Much of Nicole's story is very familiar and recognizable - my guess is just about every woman on the face of the earth can identify with her boyfriend issues, her sexual exploration, her hysterical Italian family, her marriage, and her pregnancies. Her first labor (with son Lorenzo) was so like my own (including the prolonged contractions and the eventual epidural) that as I was reading I forgot all about her slowly failing vision. This was a young woman who reminded me of myself - albeit thirty-five years ago! And in many ways, that's the heart of this story. Nicole has an incurable disease and she will be blind by the time she herself is thirty-five, but she's also a woman with a world of things to experience. Her decision to live in that world - including having children, raising them, and watching them grow - is what transforms her from the victim of a disease to a woman with a mission. This is a very funny book, told with brilliant directness and unfettered honesty. Nicole's greatest challenge from the start was accepting her advancing condition and the limitations that came along with it. She couldn't stand the idea of people knowing she was losing her eyesight, whether because of vanity, pride, or just fear. What she finally realized is, "Vanity, pride, and fear were formidable opponents but my sense of maternal duty was stronger." She used the words "maternal duty," but she could just as easily have said "passion to live," because it's not just her children who benefitted from her will to persevere. She's a loving wife to husband David and a wonderful daughter, sister, and granddaughter to her family. That's what impressed me so much about Nicole's story - it's more the story of everyone who comes to know her, including those of us who share in it through this book. At the end of NOW I SEE YOU, as Nicole Kear was faced with the reality of being legally blind, she had to also face the fact that "You CANNOT do this ALONE!" That's an important realization for any of us. For years, Nicole hid from the truth about her battle with RP, but through her loving relationships (especially with her three children), she stepped out from the shadows and embraced all that life had to offer. This is a book all of us can relate to, whether we're facing a debilitating disease or just life's ordinary everyday slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. I recommend this highly to anyone who enjoys life-affirming true stories that celebrate the positive. Great story about a woman who has a lot to teach us all about living life. [Please note: I was provided a copy of this novel for review; the opinions expressed here are my own.]

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carly Friedman

    I really enjoyed this memoir of a woman who slowly lost her eyesight due to retinitis pigmentosa. My husband is an ophthalmologist so it was interesting to see things from a patients perspective. I learned a great deal about the challenges of vision impairment. She is spunky and I enjoyed her writing style.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Judy D Collins

    A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. NOW I SEE YOU, by Nichole C. Kear, an uplifting, emotional, and humorous journey—a memoir about a courageous young woman and her personal battle with a degenerative eye disease—retinitis pigmentosa (RP). She was told by her doctor, no one in her family has it. Essentially the photoreceptor cells in her retina, the ones that turn light into electrical impulses for the brain are dying. The night v A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. NOW I SEE YOU, by Nichole C. Kear, an uplifting, emotional, and humorous journey—a memoir about a courageous young woman and her personal battle with a degenerative eye disease—retinitis pigmentosa (RP). She was told by her doctor, no one in her family has it. Essentially the photoreceptor cells in her retina, the ones that turn light into electrical impulses for the brain are dying. The night vision goes first and peripheral vision, then the central vision later on. Her vision had been given an expiration date—not a good sign! Her first options: penning epic poems (Homer/Milton); composing musical masterpieces (Ray Charles/Stevie Wonder); and selling pencils out of paper cups (homeless people). Slim pickings! Diagnosed at age nineteen, an untreatable genetic condition, basically leaving her blind within fifteen years, immediately chose to ignore the diagnosis, and faked all her symptoms for years to come. Nichole goes from being a normal college student, worrying over boys and jobs, college—she would not be able to have children, or function as a normal person. She wants to enjoy her life and indulges herself (you will laugh out at some of the things she says and does). Bouncing from New York City to California and back, Kear surged forward, hiding her increasing disability from her family and friends. Despite the difficulties of losing her eyesight, Kear fell in love, married and tackled all that she met, even having children and a full life. When she finally comes out of hiding and embraces all she has—she is able to live. A story of negative turned positive. An uplifting, inspiring, and well-written story—one we all could learn from. It is the little things in life that matter the most. An ideal read for any woman, especially if you are a mother. With the author’s unique writing style, sometimes you think you are reading a book of fiction. (Loved the attractive front cover). One of the most engaging and satisfying memoirs! I loved Kear's determination and drive to do what she wants to do, despite what other people think (am a firm believer in this). You will fall in love with the author and her wonderful supportive husband. Thank you for sharing such a poignant story. Nichole is assured to empower you! Judith D. Collins Must Read Books

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    In fourth grade, my class had a discussion about whether we would rather be deaf or blind. If asked today, I'd give the same answer I did then: I'd rather be deaf. Since I was born deaf, I don't know any different, but that could be a blessing. In Nicole Kear's case, she was born with sight, so she knew what she would be missing. But I can't imagine being in this world never having seen any of it. And if I had been born hearing and lost it later in life, that would be a tough adjustment, as it w In fourth grade, my class had a discussion about whether we would rather be deaf or blind. If asked today, I'd give the same answer I did then: I'd rather be deaf. Since I was born deaf, I don't know any different, but that could be a blessing. In Nicole Kear's case, she was born with sight, so she knew what she would be missing. But I can't imagine being in this world never having seen any of it. And if I had been born hearing and lost it later in life, that would be a tough adjustment, as it would if I had Usher's like several of my friends (who lose both their sight and hearing). So I can understand why Nicole has a hard time dealing with her diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa, even though it was frustrating reading about her stubbornness in hiding it. I wish her family had talked about her disease and not made it feel like a secret. I'm lucky that I was taught to advocate for myself and be open about my disability. Nicole writes about her RP and journey to independence with humor. I also really liked this description about books: "Sticking your nose in a book might seem like the very opposite of grabbing life by the balls, but reading had always been one of my great loves, and it was one of the things I was most terrified to lose. Sure, there were always audiobooks, but the holy communion of bringing your eyes to paper and sweeping them across the page, left to right, left to right, left to right, the rhythm of that dance, the quiet of it, the sound of the page turning, the look of crinkled covers stained with the coffee you were drinking when you read that chapter that changed your life - you didn't get any of that when listening to an audiobook, and I wanted as much of that as I could get, while I still could." Thankfully Helen Keller's purported statement that "Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people," is no longer true either way.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    I'm so glad I read this! It's a funny, fresh and frank memoir of self-acceptance-- in Nicole Kear's case, accepting and navigating vision loss. At 19, she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited eye disease causing gradual retinal degeneration, eventually leading to blindness. She takes the news as a shameful secret to hide, and also as a personal dare: seize the day! Forget her doctor's exhortations: don't drink, don't smoke, stay close to home. She travels, studies at clown colle I'm so glad I read this! It's a funny, fresh and frank memoir of self-acceptance-- in Nicole Kear's case, accepting and navigating vision loss. At 19, she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited eye disease causing gradual retinal degeneration, eventually leading to blindness. She takes the news as a shameful secret to hide, and also as a personal dare: seize the day! Forget her doctor's exhortations: don't drink, don't smoke, stay close to home. She travels, studies at clown college, tends bar, indulges in flings, graduates from Yale and Columbia, all the while being reckless while she loses her peripheral vision. Walking down the street, she's liable to fall over a fire hydrant, careen into walls, and trip over dogs and toddlers. What changes her life is her decision to have children, whom she loves deeply, but this love also terrifies her: her vision is diminishing, yet there is so much more she wants to see, do, and give. Motherhood compels her to seek support groups and orientation & mobility training with a white cane. If you've ever had anything to overcome -- any kind of disability, surely, but also any personal hangup that prevented you from living a full life -- you'll be touched by her fearlessness. She's unafraid to depict her moments of self-pity and entitlement. She's not a martyr and not a saint.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I liked this book. But then again, I love memoirs. I am always curious about how other people live their lives. And this one is particularly interesting: The author is a mother of three who has Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease. She is diagnosed at age 19, and this is her story of denial and refusing to accept her diagnosis and its increasing limitations as she gets older. She is smart and funny, and so is her writing. Never in the story does the reader feel sorry for her, and whi I liked this book. But then again, I love memoirs. I am always curious about how other people live their lives. And this one is particularly interesting: The author is a mother of three who has Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease. She is diagnosed at age 19, and this is her story of denial and refusing to accept her diagnosis and its increasing limitations as she gets older. She is smart and funny, and so is her writing. Never in the story does the reader feel sorry for her, and while she occasionally feels sorry for herself, the overall purpose of the book is to describe a life that is so full and joyous that the eventual blindness is but a small event. I worked with a principal in the Northeast who had Retinitis Pigmentosa also, and his life was full, purposeful, and joyous. If you like memoirs, then I'd suggest this one!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    This book was a train wreck. That's all I have to say! This book was a train wreck. That's all I have to say!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Adrianne

    Mostly I laughed my way through the book. On a couple of occasions I reached for tissues (especially the Green Eggs and Ham part). Kear's story is very captivating and one that will stay with me. Mostly I laughed my way through the book. On a couple of occasions I reached for tissues (especially the Green Eggs and Ham part). Kear's story is very captivating and one that will stay with me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Very funny and entertaining. I listened to the audio book. Lots of unnecessary swearing which was too bad. I had to be very careful that my kids were not within earshot.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    Fascinating story that may seem like something many can’t relate to but, ultimately, something we all struggle with. How do we answer these 2 questions: How would you live if you truly felt like time was running out? And, what would you do if you weren’t afraid? The author went from hiding to full out sharing with this book. Congrats!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Janette

    Having the same same eye condition as Nicole Kear, I was intrigued to read this book. In fact, a coworker brought it to my attention and suggested we purchase it for the library (I am responsible for purchasing books for our local library). Anyway, reading this book was like looking at my life experiences in may ways. One of the things about slowly losing your vision is that you adapt to the unnoticeable changes along the way so there really is no reason to tell anyone - you just do things a lit Having the same same eye condition as Nicole Kear, I was intrigued to read this book. In fact, a coworker brought it to my attention and suggested we purchase it for the library (I am responsible for purchasing books for our local library). Anyway, reading this book was like looking at my life experiences in may ways. One of the things about slowly losing your vision is that you adapt to the unnoticeable changes along the way so there really is no reason to tell anyone - you just do things a little different but no one notices or cares. Some of the fakes Nicole did I also did - like dealing with not seeing in the dark you just fake having one too many drinks - even if you have held the same drink for hours! Don't drive at night and you are out with friends, you just catch a ride or have to leave at sunset to pick up your kid. No one is the wiser. There is a point that comes when you simply can't fake things anymore and you have to have some help....with a deep breath and a lot of quiet meditation you come out of the closet and ask for help. With the many great staff at the Florida Division of Blind Services I was able to receive technology that allows me to be "normal" again and use a computer with technology that enlarges the screen, provides color contrast so it is easier to read with less glare, and even with audio options that reads EVERYTHING on the scree TO YOU. In fact you can take the written page and capture the images on your computer screen which will read the page to you. Amazing! I also have to thank the very kind staff at Lighthouse of the Palm Beaches for their support and training for home safety and mobility training. Nicole lives in New York and describes much of the same type of training and support she received from her local offices. Thank you Nicole for putting your experience down to help others learn about your experience!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Jeffers

    When she was just nineteen, Nicole Kear was diagnosed with an eye disease that would gradually rob her of her vision and would likely leave her blind within a decade. At first, she responds the way you might expect a nineteen-year-old to respond: by living it up, determined to experience as much as she can while she can. As she's closing in on her 30th birthday, Nicole is a new mom with a significantly decreased field of vision. She's trying to teach her kids to read words that she herself can n When she was just nineteen, Nicole Kear was diagnosed with an eye disease that would gradually rob her of her vision and would likely leave her blind within a decade. At first, she responds the way you might expect a nineteen-year-old to respond: by living it up, determined to experience as much as she can while she can. As she's closing in on her 30th birthday, Nicole is a new mom with a significantly decreased field of vision. She's trying to teach her kids to read words that she herself can not see. At a certain point, she has to come clean and admit to others -- and to herself -- just how bad her vision is. She even has to recruit help from a social worker who will teach her how to use a blindness cane. This is ultimately a story about self-acceptance and honesty, and it's very well-written. My only complaint is a personal one that definitely will not apply to many readers and it's that I was disappointed with the mommy bent of the book. Nicole spends so much more of the book talking about how her impending blindness affects her life as a mother -- and that's totally fair. It's an important part of her identity. But it's not an important part of mine, and I don't find a lot to enjoy in parenting narratives. Maybe if I'd read Kear's author bio -- her credits are primarily parenting outlets -- I wouldn't have been so surprised? Either way, I'm glad I read this book, but I do wish the marketing copy had made it more clear what I was getting in to.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    http://bookishdevices.com/2014/06/15/... Memoirs are not exactly a go-to genre for me but after reading Nicole Kear’s Huffington Post article, Reading After Dark, and some of her blog posts I felt compelled to pick up her book. I’m happy to say Now I See You was all I wanted it to be and more. It almost feels wrong to say this in response to a memoir about going blind but this was one of the most entertaining and fun books I’ve read in a long time. Kear has a gift with words and her writing style http://bookishdevices.com/2014/06/15/... Memoirs are not exactly a go-to genre for me but after reading Nicole Kear’s Huffington Post article, Reading After Dark, and some of her blog posts I felt compelled to pick up her book. I’m happy to say Now I See You was all I wanted it to be and more. It almost feels wrong to say this in response to a memoir about going blind but this was one of the most entertaining and fun books I’ve read in a long time. Kear has a gift with words and her writing style lets her personality shine through the pages. A perfect combination of humor, sadness, sarcasm, and love, blended with heart-wrenchingly beautiful moments, a general sense of determination and kick-assness that every New Yorker will understand. Now I See You feels like the story of someone I could know or maybe someone I could be if I only tried. Read it because you want to be inspired. Read it because you want to laugh. Read it because you want to cry. Read it because you want to be a better mother, a better woman, a better person. Read it because it has a cool cover. Read it because it’s awesome. Whatever your reason–just read it. You’ll be glad you did. This review is based on an advanced copy revived from Netgalley exchange for a honest review. I will be buying a hardcover copy when the book is released next week.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Liz Willard

    This was a tough one for me. As a human being and a mom of young kids, I really wanted to read this book, to get insight into what seems like one of the scariest things that can happen to you - going blind. And this book will give you that... sort of. It was difficult for me to relate to the author and her continued insistence on refusing to tell people about her deteriorating sight, despite pratfalls, inability to drive, and complete loss of a social life. Her secret causes problems in her marr This was a tough one for me. As a human being and a mom of young kids, I really wanted to read this book, to get insight into what seems like one of the scariest things that can happen to you - going blind. And this book will give you that... sort of. It was difficult for me to relate to the author and her continued insistence on refusing to tell people about her deteriorating sight, despite pratfalls, inability to drive, and complete loss of a social life. Her secret causes problems in her marriage, in her friendships, and in the raising of her children, but she remains silent - well, at least to others. In the book she repeatedly beats herself up about her secrecy, her shame about her condition, but yet she doesn't change. For a long time. It's tough to read, it's tough to have empathy for someone who seems to be making her own life, and the lives of the ones she loves most, more difficult than it needs to be. She's also tough to empathize with since her anecdotes and stories are told with a bawdry humor - as if she's still trying to skim over the seriousness of her condition. I'm sort of hoping she'll write again in 10 years or so, when her children are older and she's lived with her near-blindness/blindness for longer, and perhaps has more to say about the experience than jokes and self-recriminations.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jamie McQuiggan

    I liked her writing style and voice - it was interesting and light and touching. It's a quick read and I enjoyed it... mostly. I had some serious problems with HER (like her handling of her disability, and her family's too... honestly.) and I'm not sure how that should impact the star rating. I am horrified when I think about how her denial impacted the safety of others... not just her kids and herself but society at large as she was driving at night to avoid having to admit she couldn't see at I liked her writing style and voice - it was interesting and light and touching. It's a quick read and I enjoyed it... mostly. I had some serious problems with HER (like her handling of her disability, and her family's too... honestly.) and I'm not sure how that should impact the star rating. I am horrified when I think about how her denial impacted the safety of others... not just her kids and herself but society at large as she was driving at night to avoid having to admit she couldn't see at night. I was also super irritated with her at the end. I don't know how her husband can leave her alone with the kids all day, or her parents? Like when she demanded the car to drive to California? WTF? The way she and all those around her handled the diagnosis was totally unrelateable to me. (Or was that just written in a sensationalized way to be funny? I dunno...) There's a lot to recommend here and I did enjoy MOST of it but it's hard for me to separate out the really annoying and irresponsible parts. I'm not sure what to rate it because I'm so conflicted, lol, so going with at 3 for now.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    A two star rating for "Now I See You: A Memoir" is a gift. I know that the author, Nicole, is a real person who got a bad break in life. But frankly, her whining coupled with her refusal to ask for help got tiresome. Everyone struggles - honestly, I have depression that makes it challenging to get out of bed each and everyday - but I power on and have become a very accomplished person with many successes in my life. It seems like Nicole spent wayyyyyyyyyyyy too much time crying into her coffee c A two star rating for "Now I See You: A Memoir" is a gift. I know that the author, Nicole, is a real person who got a bad break in life. But frankly, her whining coupled with her refusal to ask for help got tiresome. Everyone struggles - honestly, I have depression that makes it challenging to get out of bed each and everyday - but I power on and have become a very accomplished person with many successes in my life. It seems like Nicole spent wayyyyyyyyyyyy too much time crying into her coffee cup - I don't see how her husband put up with it. She had tons of help offered to her that she could access with her fingertips but, instead of taking advantage of this, she wasted her time feeling sorry for herself. Nicole seemed to be very self-indulgent. She didn't consider - or at least she didn't write much about how her disease affected her family or her husband. I expect books like this to be inspirational or at least offer some tips for dealing with adversity. This book does not.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gisselle Malespin Estevez

    I decided to read this book because it's a memoir of a girl name Nicole that is diagnosed with and eye desease called Retinitis Pigmentosa, a desease that causes people to loose their ability to see. It is a desease that runs in my father's side. I wanted to know more of this and how this girl's life is changed when she was diagnosed at the age of 19. Its incredible how her life changes and how she starts to view life in a different way, living it like it was the last time she could see. It's am I decided to read this book because it's a memoir of a girl name Nicole that is diagnosed with and eye desease called Retinitis Pigmentosa, a desease that causes people to loose their ability to see. It is a desease that runs in my father's side. I wanted to know more of this and how this girl's life is changed when she was diagnosed at the age of 19. Its incredible how her life changes and how she starts to view life in a different way, living it like it was the last time she could see. It's amazing how it makes you value so many things that we take for granted. This story makes you think about the things that matter. We sometimes complain about things so stupid and don't stop to look at all the wordfull things we have and how lucky we are to be able to see, to see our kids, our families and to see everything around us. It's and example for us to apreciate our sight and never take it for granted. "You can only hope that you live with the right regrets"

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aizel (One Page at a Time) Macaldo

    I read an ARC. :) I loved it! I don't read memoirs much because I'm afraid I might find them boring and dragging, but not Nicole's memoir, Now I See You. I really liked her style of writing. I did not find any boring parts at all. Despite her RP and inner struggles, she was hopeful. Yes she was in denial for a long time, but her love for her children won. The fact that she was able to write her story in a light manner made me admire her. She's humorous and very inspiring. :) I also liked her gran I read an ARC. :) I loved it! I don't read memoirs much because I'm afraid I might find them boring and dragging, but not Nicole's memoir, Now I See You. I really liked her style of writing. I did not find any boring parts at all. Despite her RP and inner struggles, she was hopeful. Yes she was in denial for a long time, but her love for her children won. The fact that she was able to write her story in a light manner made me admire her. She's humorous and very inspiring. :) I also liked her grandma and mother. They're funny! Haha! And of course, David is so sweet and supportive. I do wish them the best! :) What Nicole's life taught me was to never let fear interfere, (It rhymes! Haha!) to make memories while I still can. And most of all, it taught me to trust others, especially the ones closest to me. :) So, will I recommend this book? Yes! Definitely!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Now I See You: A Memoir, by Nicole Kear Kear's memoir of how she deals with her devastating Retinitis Pigmentosa diagnosis at age 19 is often laugh-out-loud funny. She discusses her almost pathological resistance to her illness and much of the book details how she refuses to come to terms with her impending blindness. Even as a young mother, Kear is still unable to share her misfortune and ask for much needed help, often putting herself and her children in danger. This was where the book became d Now I See You: A Memoir, by Nicole Kear Kear's memoir of how she deals with her devastating Retinitis Pigmentosa diagnosis at age 19 is often laugh-out-loud funny. She discusses her almost pathological resistance to her illness and much of the book details how she refuses to come to terms with her impending blindness. Even as a young mother, Kear is still unable to share her misfortune and ask for much needed help, often putting herself and her children in danger. This was where the book became difficult for me. And I don't quite understand her family and husband, failing to talk some sense into her.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Phaedra

    I wish there were half stars- 2.5 for this. I found the writing easy to read, and the humor made the topic very approachable. I was at 3 stars, but I got frustrated reading over and over about how she wouldn't share her diagnosis of eventual blindness with anyone other than a handful of people thereby bringing on so much extra drama and hardship. It got old. The humor failed to cover for the tedium of reading, yet again, that she hadn't told so and so that she was quite literally almost blind an I wish there were half stars- 2.5 for this. I found the writing easy to read, and the humor made the topic very approachable. I was at 3 stars, but I got frustrated reading over and over about how she wouldn't share her diagnosis of eventual blindness with anyone other than a handful of people thereby bringing on so much extra drama and hardship. It got old. The humor failed to cover for the tedium of reading, yet again, that she hadn't told so and so that she was quite literally almost blind and therefore '______' meant she would need help.

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