Melanie, a beautiful young Peace Corps volunteer, is murdered one October night in the Kingdom of Tonga. For young American Charlotte Thornton, the killing sets off an unnerving cascade of questions. Charlotte can't help but wonder if she'll be able to survive and work in the tense postmurder atmosphere.
She plunges into her job as a public relations officer for a Tongan noble. But during her off hours, she drinks too much at the Coconut Club and awkwardly tries to adapt her sexually bold inclinations to Polynesian customs. After getting thrown out of a party for cavorting naked with Melanie's ex-lover, she retreats-embarrassed, depressed, and haunted by Melanie's death-to her Tongan family. She then falls in love with Gabriel Bonner, a married Peace Corps psychologist.
When Gabriel abruptly leaves and an earthquake rocks the area, Charlotte's life seems as if it is about to collapse. How will she navigate her way through this tropical ordeal, night blind and 9,000 miles away from home?
"Night Blind gets under your skin and won't go away, like an old lover returned when you least expect it The events of this book are so painful and so vivid, so picturesque and so lasting, and its purpose so anti-nostalgic that it almost does the opposite, makes you never want to leave, reminding you of the huge cost of growing up." -Phil Weiss, author of American Taboo
Jan Worth is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Polynesia, she has been a newspaper reporter, social worker, and longtime writing teacher at the University of Michigan-Flint. Worth and her husband commute between Michigan and Los Angeles. Visit www.janworth.com.