The Sign for Home, Blair Fell

A light blue book cover with a man wearing glasses walking a guide dog, you see a partial view of a woman walking ahead of him.

“Sorrow has edges. The pain will end.”

Wow, okay, this will be a challenging book to review because there is such a roller coaster of emotions involved in reading this. I started the book endeared to Arlo and his struggle, but I quickly grew enraged. I loathe, absolutely loathe, when people use religion to justify their hateful actions towards others. Unfortunately, Arlo’s situation is not uncommon, and while The Sign for Home might be a tough read at times, I feel it’s a must-read.

Arlo is insightful. While he doesn’t have the standard English words to communicate, that doesn’t mean the words he uses don’t carry weight. I highlighted so many things that he said or thought. He’s very funny, and I loved how he related to Cyril and Hanne. The cast in this one is comfortably small, but I adored the positive influences in Arlo’s life. Brother Birch, well, that’s another story, and I don’t want to fill this review with rage.

I learned so much reading this, such as how lacking America’s ADA laws are, how poorly the laws are enforced, and how easily they are taken advantage of. I learned how easy it is to let a DeafBlind person fall by the wayside. Arlo’s pain, living a life with no friends, and hours spent in silence is utterly heartbreaking.

“But you are lonely. You have not been touched in a long time.”

I learned the absolute awesomeness of Protactile ASL and how every parent and caregiver should communicate this way. It should be the standard. Standard ASL should be taught in schools because people suffer needlessly in a world of silence because so many people don’t know ASL.

I appreciate the author had so much experience to draw from in writing this book and still thanked several people for helping him write such an important and moving read. I feel Arlo will stay with me for a long time. Thank you, Atria Books, for sending this along!

The Sign for Home is available on Amazon, Bookshop, and B&N.

About the Book:
When Arlo Dilly learns the girl he thought was lost forever might still be out there, he takes it as a sign and embarks on a life-changing journey to find his great love—and his freedom.

Arlo Dilly is young, handsome and eager to meet the right girl. He also happens to be DeafBlind, a Jehovah’s Witness, and under the strict guardianship of his controlling uncle. His chances of finding someone to love seem slim to none.

And yet, it happened once before: many years ago, at a boarding school for the Deaf, Arlo met the love of his life—a mysterious girl with onyx eyes and beautifully expressive hands which told him the most amazing stories. But tragedy struck, and their love was lost forever.

Or so Arlo thought.

After years trying to heal his broken heart, Arlo is assigned a college writing assignment which unlocks buried memories of his past. Soon he wonders if the hearing people he was supposed to trust have been lying to him all along, and if his lost love might be found again.

No longer willing to accept what others tell him, Arlo convinces a small band of misfit friends to set off on a journey to learn the truth. After all, who better to bring on this quest than his gay interpreter and wildly inappropriate Belgian best friend? Despite the many forces working against him, Arlo will stop at nothing to find the girl who got away and experience all of life’s joyful possibilities.

Read and like this review on Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub.


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