Book Review: Do You Dream in Color? Insights from a Girl Without Sight

Laurie Rubin’s memoir offers an inspiring message despite awkward writing

Within months of her birth, Laurie Rubin’s parents knew there was something unusual about their daughter. Baby Laurie didn’t look at people the way other infants did, and it took several doctor visits to learn why: her retinas hadn’t developed. She could see light, but nothing more.
And yet, that was never an obstacle for Laurie.

When she expressed frustration at not being able to read, her parents found someone to teach her Braille. She camped, skied and, after being taught some basics in mobility, was eventually mainstreamed into public school. She learned that she loved to sing, and was very good at it – even landing a small gig on an album with her friend and mentor, Kenny Loggins.

High school changed a lot of things, however. Laurie struggled with math and with friendship. Mean girls lived up to their sobriquet and Laurie was often left out of conversations and cliques. Boys didn’t avoid her, but they didn’t interest her much, either.

For Laurie, music was solace. As a student at Yale Opera, she gained a guide dog and met the love of her life, Jenny.

Today, Laurie Rubin lives in New York with Jenny and their dogs. Rubin, a mezzo-soprano, performs as often as possible and her dreams, she says, are like those of anybody else’s. It’s the daydreams that are most important.

Do You Dream in Color? has a wonderful message in it, but it’s also very clunky. Part of the problem is that much of this book consists of quoted conversation, which feels inauthentic. It moves Rubin’s story along, but not very well. There were times when a name occurred in the narrative without prelude, making me guess who the individual was. The mystery was usually solved, but not always quickly.

Overall, the message in this book is great but the delivery method detracts from its impact. You might like it more if you’re an opera fan, but for most readers, Do You Dream in Color? is slightly out of tune.


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