Do You Dream in Color

Do You Dream in Color

13531499 “Do You Dream in Color?: Insights from a Girl Without Sight” by Laurie Rubin

Publisher’s Synopsis: Colors, Rubin tells us, affect everyone through sound, smell, taste, and a vast array of emotions and atmospheres. She explains that although she has been blind since birth, she has experienced color all her life.
In her memoir Do You Dream in Color?, Laurie Rubin looks back on her life as an international opera singer who happens to be blind. From her loneliness and isolation as a middle school student to her experiences skiing, Rubin offers her young readers a life-story rich in detail and inspiration drawn from everyday challenges. Beginning with her childhood in California, Rubin tells the story of her life and the amazing experiences that led her to a career as an internationally celebrated mezzo-soprano.
Rubin describes her past as a “journey towards identity,” one she hopes will resonate with young people struggling with two fundamental questions: “Who am I?” and “Where do I fit in?” Although most of us aren’t blind, Rubin believes that many of us have traits that make us something other than “normal.” These differences, like blindness, may seem like barriers, but for the strong and the persistent, dreams can overcome barriers, no matter how large they may seem. This is what makes her story so unique yet universal and so important for young readers.

*****

1 out of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book. Parts were very well written, such as the poetry describing colors at the beginning of each chapter, but the tone of the book was just not quite right to me.

Laurie was born blind, and this is the story of her life starting with her childhood and upbringing and journeying through her education and the beginning of her career as a mezzo-soprano opera singer.

The beginning of the book details her childhood, and comes off as being very privileged. Coming from a well-off family, Laurie was able to attend the best schools and have the best possible education. Her family was aggressive when it came to making sure accommodations were made for Laurie. There is a LOT of gratuitous name-dropping in the entire book which was a turn off for me.

The second portion of the book is about her experiences at grad school, at Yale, and the beginning of her career. She realizes she is gay and falls in love.

I feel bad that I didn’t like this book. I really tried to and tried to see it in the inspiring light I assume it was written in. Unfortunately Laurie comes across as spoiled and petulant, especially visible when she is shocked when she does not land a coveted role. No where in the book does it detail any hard work put into her singing – just meeting this person who gave her this break, singing with this other famous person, and no one would give her a job. Not even teaching after she studied under some of the most famous voices ever heard on stage. This tells me that there is more to the story than “they won’t give the job to the blind girl”. I think the sense of entitlement that is evident in the second half of the book must also be evident to those she auditioned for.

Again, I wanted to like this book. I wonder what it says about me – with all my senses – that I don’t.

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