Love is Blind

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


Love is Blind


Ruth E. Vallis



Publication Date:

March 23, 2021




204 pages


By age 3, Ruth E. Vallis was blind. Born in 1960 before many modern resources were available for blind people, she fought to not only get an education but also traveled overseas and qualified for a specialized profession. Here she describes her early life, how her family and Christian impacted her approach to being blind, and the ups and downs of navigating life without sight.

This book is an autobiography, not a memoir. Memoirs generally focus on a specific set of events within a life, giving it a lot of detail and narrative structure. Autobiographies cover the person’s whole life. They may have one central event that frames the story (see Forever and Ever, Amen), but the point is to cover the whole life. In this case, Vallis covers her whole life with equal emphasis on every stage. The one element which works sort of like a framing device is Vallis’ relationship with her mother, nicknamed “Peach.” No matter what stage of life she’s talking about, Vallis always circles back in some way to how she and Peach bonded and supported each other in that time.

There are some very poignant stories along the way. Vallis takes a very honest look at prejudice against disabilities in its many facets. One particular story about her getting fired from a position because a secretary at the firm couldn’t believe she could do the work is particularly sad. The stories of her experiences at a school for the visually impaired are particularly interesting, showing how disabled people can be exploited, but also the infighting which can happen in disabled communities. This presents an interesting wrinkle to the usual narrative about disability and prejudice. There has been much discussion about able-bodied people being (unintentionally and otherwise) cruel to people with disabilities or mental health issues (see This Too Shall Last). Vallis describes this problem, but also highlights strife and selfishness she experienced from other blind and visually impaired students. This point makes it clear that in the end, the big conflict is not between abled people and disabled people: the conflict is between living for Christ and living for the flesh.

The only real downside to this book is the writing style feels a bit flat. This may be due to various reasons. The writer is Canadian and studied in England, so the occasional use of British mannerisms can feel odd to American readers. It’s also possible the book was typed in Braille and translated into English, which would mean changing from one language to another and perhaps something getting lost in translation. However, even with a little stiffness the book is still very readable.

An interesting addition to disability literature and to Christian autobiographies.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians who enjoy autobiographies by people with disabilities, particularly ones about being visually impaired and historical over struggle with other disabilities and had to overcome the obstacles in less hospitable time periods.

Christian Impact

The author describes both her Christian upbringing and how her faith influenced her life as an adult. She particularly highlights how it brought a capacity for endurance and kindness which served her well in her career field. However, that does not make it a Prosperity Gospel story. There’s a strong sense that God was there even when the author went through tough things, some of which were perpetual struggles.

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