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Beyond the Night    by Marlo Schalesky order for
Beyond the Night
by Marlo Schalesky
Order:  USA  Can
Multnomah, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Maddie and her husband Paul are driving on a dark country road in the middle of a pouring rainstorm. A deer in front of their car causes them to veer off the road. Now Maddie lies in the hospital in a coma, Paul at her side, urging 'Come, Maddie, remember with me. Remember the day I fell in love.'

Maddie flashes back to the day in 1973, when she and Paul were close friends, not wanting to spoil their friendship with romance. As they grow closer, they find out something that rocks both of their worlds. Maddie begins to go blind, with the same illness that caused her brother to commit suicide. Maddie's overprotective mother does not want Maddie to go down the road of her brother, so she tries to keep her in a protective cocoon. Maddie and Paul's relationship grows, until they must finally acknowledge their feelings before it's too late.

Beyond the Night appears on the surface to be a moving story of a relationship. It is that, but the ending is quite a shocker, even though I had inklings where the story was headed. The author is subtle in her revelation of the facts, and has more than one surprise up her sleeve for this tale.

The faith message, coupled with the storyline about going blind, added tremendous depth to Beyond the Night. Maddie and Paul's characters are both well developed and the reader comes to care about them and what happens to them. The pacing of the story is just right, revelations occur at the perfect moment to advance the plot and keep you moving toward the captivating conclusion. Marlo Schalesky is a gifted writer with the ability to communicate characters' thoughts and feelings clearly without getting bogged down in excessive detail. Beyond the Night is appealing on many levels, and those looking for an enchanting tale of a relationship will be thrilled at this offering.

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