Love For A Deaf Rebel: Schizophrenia on Bowen Island
by Derrick King
Provenance Press

"Think of it this way: ASL is a silent movie. English is an unillustrated book."

This factual account is of the author's love and marriage with a deaf person. They met in Vancouver when Pearl was among the two-hundred-thousand "deafies" in Canada whose language is American Sign Language (ASL). King's early attraction was a mixture of admiration and empathy. Pearl bravely lived on her own. They wrote on napkins, and he learned sign language. However, early in their relationship, she taught King the sign for revenge. Should he be concerned about this rebel?

The book vividly details their motorcycle adventure to Acapulco and decision to move to Bowen Island with commutes to Vancouver by boat and bus. They became farmers, renting a barn, land, and water access. A dishonest contractor meant significant house repairs and delayed Pearl's desire for marriage and babies. Did this explain how she went from loving King to accusing him to the police?

This poignant love story is well-written in three parts: their meeting, love, and lost trust. The other characters in the memoir are real people but with their names changed. King's book also becomes a platform for facts about the life of deaf people. For example, Pearl could read lips and speak, though "hearies" seldom understood. Her mother supported the Elks' oral development fund, wanting her to fit into the hearing world.

The narrative also delves into other issues beyond deafness the relationship encountered, such as schizophrenia, blindness, and diabetes. The final chapter focuses on Pearl's background. For instance, her loving family liked King but hid facts about schizophrenia. Additionally, the author's father warned of difficult childhoods that resulted from handicaps. Those interested in the stress that disabilities can often place on relationships may wish to read this candid firsthand account.

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