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The Blind Affect by Michael Poeltl
Genre: Literary Fiction
Diversity, inclusion, and equality are at the heart of this character-driven story. While difficult and heart-breaking lessons await Jonah, Severn, and Darnell in their own lives, a shared event along a similar timeline links all three despite their glaring differences. Caught in the gravity of the event, purpose presents itself and their shared blind affect validates the notion that no life is wasted.
The Blind Affect explores the purpose behind existence – the reason we take our first breath, and the rationale behind all the drama leading up to the moment we breathe our last. It is a walk on the wild side of family life and the events, people, and places that make us who we are.
As Jonah reflects on his life an asymmetrical pattern featuring a thousand shades of grey appears as if caught up in a fragmented kaleidoscope – the introduction of any colour negated for fear of denoting some appeal. He’d lived a fruitless existence built around fear and addiction, the blueprint to his life; his twin brother stillborn moments before Jonah’s birth. The guilt he harboured over his brother’s death kept him sedated. His mother’s overprotective parenting supported this inertia. An addict, Jonah struggled through life seeing multiple therapists over his seemingly endless issues until a chance meeting attempts to rewrite his abject history.
Severn was born in a Christian home with an alcoholic mother whose addiction became intolerable after Severn’s father died when she was ten. The affluent lifestyle she was accustomed to remained, but her family life collapsed soon after, leaving her to fend for herself. One fateful night in 1973 Severn was abducted, and any issues she’d had with her past paled in comparison to the life she was forced to endure.
Darnell had it tough his whole life. At 17 his abusive father was killed in a raid on his illegal business, while Darnell’s mother had been shot dead the year before. Discovering a large sum of money upon his father’s death offered Darnell the opportunity to flee his impoverished neighborhood and change his luck, and that of others along the way.
Lives are lived and lost ubiquitously, these three just so happened to be in the same city along a similar timeline. Can life be more than the sum of one’s own experiences?
Born in Toronto, Canada, Poeltl went on to study fine art and illustration, honing his love for storytelling while working as a freelance illustrator. Soon the art of writing overtook his artistic pursuits and his stories found their voice.
Michael Poeltl is a multi-genre author with several books ranging from a post-apocalyptic trilogy, science fiction trilogy, upmarket fiction, children’s fantasy, picture books, and educational children’s books. Poeltl’s illustrations feature prominently in his picture books, connecting him to his artistic roots.
He enjoys the processes that drive creativity whether it appears as a conversation in his head while enjoying time outdoors in his kayak or mountain bike, or as a random thought that might otherwise be lost were it not for that napkin on the table or phone in his pocket. If the artistic endeavor has taught him anything, it’s that inspiration can happen anywhere and at any time. All he can hope to do is record it before it slips back into the ether.
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What is book club fiction? Upmarket fiction. What’s upmarket fiction? Commercial, literary fiction. Is commercial fiction a sell out? No, it’s sellable fiction. There’s a difference. It’s the sort of fiction people actually read. Literary fiction aspires more toward art than entertainment, but when it’s combined with commercial fiction, we call it upmarket fiction which in turn means book club fiction. What’s The Blind Affect? Upmarket fiction. No, we’re not going to go through all of that again.
No, but really, what does The Blind Affect mean? It’s an artful description explaining the affect one feels upon learning of the impact their action had on a person, place, thing, or event. It’s the emotional and intellectual response to discovering how far-reaching your influence was.
If you’re looking for a book that will keep your interest and excite conversation in your book club, this is the book for you. Why? Because it offers everything a book club wants to get excited about but rarely finds. Diversity, inclusion and equality are at the heart of this character-driven story. While difficult and heart-breaking lessons await Jonah, Severn and Darnell in their own lives, a shared event along a similar timeline intimately links all three despite their glaring differences. Caught in the gravity of the event, purpose presents itself and their shared blind affect validates the notion that no act goes unacknowledged.
For better or worse, we’ve all more than one blind affect to experience before we make our exit, and if we’re lucky we’ll get to hear about them, and if we’re really lucky, we’ll hear that our action made a positive difference in someone’s life.
Book clubs, unite! The Blind Affect is your ticket to a lot of pretty serious trigger warnings. Discover how three lives that travel in opposing circles could find a common, localized event that would change their lives forever and give birth to the phrase, The Blind Affect.