The motto of Astraea Press is "Where Fiction Meets Virtue." You can be sure any story published here will maintain the highest moral standards. Within this framework, Kay Springsteen delivers a stirring love story full of well-crafted language, vivid imagery, and hope in Heartsight.
Heartsight is the story of Trish, the now single mother of Bella, a delightfully drawn girl with Down Syndrome. Although Bella's father couldn't handle her different needs, she is the center of her mother's life. She quickly captures the heart of Dan, a veteran Marine who was blinded in Afghanistan and has come to the remote Carolina beach to escape. The tension builds nicely as Dan and Trish try to understand the meaning of their feelings for each other, and Bella's father is reintroduced as an uncaring villain who could tear their world apart. But Mother Nature herself provides the culmination of the story in the form of a hurricane the characters must walk directly through in a truly life-and-death chapter. Masterfully switching between the perspectives of the two lovers, Kay Springsteen shows herself to be an experienced writer who cares as much about language as she does about her characters and her happy ending. Using Dan's "handicap" as a new way of experiencing the world, Springsteen creates sensory-intense scenes filled with perfumes, sounds, and textures the reader will not soon forget.
Heartsight doesn't hit you over the head with prescriptive morals and the characters have their doubts about the existence of God. Their lives have given them a realistic degree of uncertainty that makes it all the more rewarding when they make the final decisions of the book. While never crossing the bounds of propriety, the sensual scenes evoke the mixture of heartfelt longing and hesitation in the characters.
Kay recently shared with me the fascinating, roundabout way her inspiration works.