|Helen Keller in Love,|
by Rosie Sultan
April 26, 2012
Helen Keller in Love begins with Anne Sullivan, longtime companion of Helen Keller, becoming incredibly ill. To help Helen with her speaking engagements, read the papers, and do everything else that Helen can't do by herself, she hires Peter Fagan, an ex-employee of Anne's estranged husband. Helen quickly falls in love with Peter, eventually attempting to marry him, but her family and Anne put a stop to it.
I couldn't help but make comparisons to the Twilight series when reading Helen Keller in Love. Helen Keller, instead of being a strong woman of 37, acts like a dumb teenager. She risks throwing away her entire life for a man that she barely knows, that she knows already has a fiancee. Sultan's Helen has no depth, no dreams, no personality outside of barely defined Peter. I think I was supposed to relate to their love and root for it, but as an adult I cannot relate to the whiny self pity Helen feels for herself because her good friend and family are looking out for her best interests.
As a side note, Sultan sometimes forgets that her main character is both blind and deaf. Helen Keller in Love is told entirely in first person (Helen) and many details are given that Helen could not have known. Also, Sultan doesn't seem to factor in time, particularly in how long it takes to finger spell. Some moments have Helen holding conversations (through finger spelling) simultaneously with movements like getting dressed, which would be a near impossible feat to pull off and are jarring to read.