Helen Keller in Love by Rosie Sultan

57%

15 Critic Reviews

Overall, as said I did want to like this book much more than I actually did.
-Marjolein Book Blog

Synopsis

A captivating novel that explores the little-known romance of a beloved American icon

Helen Keller has long been a towering figure in the pantheon of world heroines. Yet the enduring portrait of her in the popular imagination is The Miracle Worker, which ends when Helen is seven years old.

Rosie Sultan’s debut novel imagines a part of Keller’s life she rarely spoke of or wrote about: the man she once loved. When Helen is in her thirties and Annie Sullivan is diagnosed with tuberculosis, a young man steps in as a private secretary. Peter Fagan opens a new world to Helen, and their sensual interactions—signing and lip-reading with hands and fingers—quickly set in motion a liberating, passionate, and clandestine affair. It’s not long before Helen’s secret is discovered and met with stern disapproval from her family and Annie. As pressure mounts, the lovers plot to elope, and Helen is caught between the expectations of the people who love her and her most intimate desires.

Richly textured and deeply sympathetic, Sultan’s highly inventive telling of a story Keller herself would not tell is both a captivating romance and a rare glimpse into the mind and heart of an inspirational figure.

 

About Rosie Sultan

See more books from this Author
Rosie Sultan earned her MFA at Goddard College and won a PEN Discovery Award for fiction. A former fellow at the Virginia Center for the Arts, she has taught writing at Boston University, the University of Massachusetts, and Suffolk University. She lives with her husband and son in Brookline, Massachusetts.
 
Published April 26, 2012 by Viking Adult. 256 pages
Genres: Romance, History, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Helen Keller in Love
All: 15 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 7

Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Holly Weiss on Apr 25 2012

Although Helen’s voice is credibly written, the threads of Helen Keller in Love don’t weave together to make an entirely credible read.

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The Washington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Brigitte Weeks on Jun 12 2012

“Helen Keller in Love” is touching and fun to read. Its only major flaw is that the author tells us the end in the very first pages.

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Boston.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Julie Schlack on May 12 2012

Sultan’s prose in telling their story veers between simple and florid.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Jon on Jun 18 2012

Richly textured and deeply sympathetic, Sultan’s highly inventive telling of a story Keller herself would not tell is both a captivating romance and a rare glimpse into the mind and heart of an inspirational figure.

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Wired

Below average
Reviewed by Kris Bordessa on May 31 2012

As a reader, I was a bit conflicted about Helen’s romance with Peter, too.

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Bookshelf Bombshells

Excellent
Reviewed by Rebecca Kovar on Jun 29 2012

Despite the inevitable ending and sometimes melancholy musings, this is a story full of hope and romance and some surprisingly steamy moments.

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BrodartVibe's Blog

Good
Reviewed by Brittany on Apr 06 2012

It’s the perfect tome to add to your shelves for fans of romance novels, well-written literature, and historically-based fiction.

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Life by Candlelight

Below average
Reviewed by Amy on May 14 2012

An interesting premise but the presentation was lacking for me. It felt too superficial and the love story wasn't believable for me.

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Cozy Little Book Journal

Below average
Reviewed by Beatnik Mary on May 16 2012

Rosie Sultan's writing is compelling enough that this novel could easily stand on its own as a fictional love story about a blind and deaf woman named, say, Jane or Susan. It is not just historical fiction, it's literary fiction.

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The Literary Gothamite

Below average
Reviewed by Jessica Pruett-Barnett on Apr 26 2012

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.

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Author Exposure

Good
Reviewed by Libby on Apr 19 2012

Helen Keller in Love is a noteworthy debut and does not disappoint. I recommend it to readers who enjoy historical fiction or stories with a strong female lead.

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Marjolein Book Blog

Below average
Reviewed by Marjolein on May 03 2012

Overall, as said I did want to like this book much more than I actually did.

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Bookingly Yours

Good
Jun 06 2012

While the story is interesting, I had issues concerning with the author's tale about Ms. Keller's life.

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Three Bookish Girls

Good
Reviewed by Emdeardo on May 01 2012

Sultan’s novel is compelling and a richly rewarding read, as she brings to life the Helen Keller that few people are aware of–one who lived a full life outside the perfect public appearances.

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Betsy Reads Books

Below average
Reviewed by Betsy on Apr 30 2012

I didn't LOVE Helen as a character in this book like I expected to, and like I thought I should, even upon finishing the book.

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Reader Rating for Helen Keller in Love
69%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 37 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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