Most of these comments came during the time Out of the Whirlpool existed as a blog. For reviews since publication head over to Amazon.


Didn’t know if I was going to cry or laugh or just be contented

“And now as I sit here in front of the keyboard, I struggle – I can’t seem to find the words that truly convey just how powerful your story really is.

So, I picked up your book on a Thursday night, hesitating at the time because I didn’t think that I could fully commit to reading all of it. When I got to the end of chapter one, there was no turning back. Immediately captivated, I couldn’t stop reading.

Over the next two-and-a-half days, I selfishly only put your book down for necessities – you know, like feeding and caring for that pesky family of mine. Admittedly, I wasn’t going to win mother of the year award (or wife of the year for that matter) that weekend! I was so intrigued – I curiously didn’t know if I was going to cry, or laugh, or just feel contented as each chapter began and ended.

I felt right there alongside you through every step. After I finished the book, I was in this funky state of mind…like when you read a really good book, you become so much a part of it, that when it ends, you’re like, “wait a minute…what just happened…” I find myself reflecting back on certain chapters and stories often. You gave so much of yourself, and with that honesty and courage, you gave us all a gift. Jim’s a lucky man

– and after reading all about him, I suppose he’s a keeper, too! You guys pretty much rock!”

–Pauline Anacki Damery

Thoroughly Enjoyed Your Book!

“I know for sure that yours is the book that kept me at the edge of my  seat! I cried, I laughed, I was filled with joy when you overcame your  obstacles, applauded your successes and certainly was in awe of all  you had accomplished.” –Ruthie Tipps

Your Book

“just finished reading more of your incredible book! you are a compelling author, and more than that, you are one heck of an incredible woman!!! and I’m not even finished with your book!

You were right about fastening my seat belt when I read your book.” –anonymous


Read it straight through without stopping

“Hi Sue,

I read Out of the Whirlpool straight through without stopping. That’s how real it was for me. Sadie being confined for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon reminded me of my mother wanting my first guide Kewpi to stay in my bedroom day and night because of her shedding, only to come out when it was time for her to relieve herself. Your willingness to let go of the anger regarding the terrible treatment you received at Bramley Heath and the staff director at the Tennessee rehab center is my first example of someone applying that principle and not just simply talking about it. Yes, you would probably tell me you are far from perfect, but I have learned that some of the most imperfect people are the ones who strive the most to be the best they can be. I am sure you have read many, many emails about people’s journey with Out of the Whirlpool, and I hope the end result of our experience with this book is each person’s discovery that it deals with every human issue possible, not just those of blindness and the loss of sight. To say that I enjoyed reading Out of the Whirlpool would be too trite. To say that reading this book has defined the path I have chosen to walk during this lifetime is hopefully a better testament of how great a work this really is. Thank you for sharing. Take care.” –Adelle LeJeune

Loved Your Book

“Sue, I just finished reading your memoir. I felt like I was right there beside you for the entire, amazing journey. As a rider, I loved your account of putting the horse on the bit and doing flat work in the indoor arena. You described it perfectly. The fox hunting part was also spot-on. I enjoyed hearing about your dogs and learning what it’s like to work with a Seeing Eye dog. I sobbed when your parents died. (I’m sorry for your loss.) And I’m exhausted from all the hiking, skiing, skating, kayaking, and more hiking! Congratulations on getting the book published. Thanks for the wild ride. Best.” –Kim Holly, Tennessee

We could not put the book down

“My wife and I read Sue Martin’s book in two days. We could not put the book down. Out of the Whirlpool will spin your emotions in many directions especially because it is a true autobiographical story. Sue writes about how she fell to the ultimate rock bottom of despair. Mustering every stitch of strength she could draw, with great difficulty, and true courage, Sue returned to life , returning determined to help others cope with blindness, the very condition that was the result of excruciating depression and the suicide attempt that nearly took her life.

Sue’s message of, if there is life there is hope, is well demonstrated in this book.

Thank you Sue for sharing your story and for writing this book that will save lives.”

–Carson Wood Westbrook, Maine

 So glad you made it out of the whirlpool

Author’s note: This message is from someone I’ve known for years. But she had no idea that my blindness was the result of a suicide attempt.

“A colleague sent me a link to your new website. She just referred to you as “a woman” with whom she’d spoken on the phone. I read the Preface to your story and was captivated. During lunch, I read six more chapters. I had no idea whose life story I was reading. Before I was to get back to work, I browsed the tabs at the top of the web page. the top blog entry caught my attention. I read the entry and suddenly there was a picture of a young and stunningly beautiful Sue Martin! My heart stopped. Over the divider between our desks I asked, who was the woman who wrote this?” She said, “Sue Martin.” –Cathy Trombley Gettle

A Valuable Resource

““Your book is getting better as I go along. I see this book becoming an excellent guide for a newly blind person. You did a great job of presenting the rehab skills the way they should be learned and applied. That, along with the personal adjustment to life as a blind person is very graphic and real.

It is like the reader is blind going through each experience. Even for someone like myself with vast blind rehab experience it gives light to how a newly blind person deals with each hurdle.”

–Stevo Ernst

Loving Your Blog Posts

“You must, must, must write this into a book. I implore you! Just from the bits that I read, you are a super talented writer and you have an incredible story to tell. I’ve always admired you for your spunk, your smarts, and your knowledge – now I have so much more to admire. I want to help in any way I can to make a book into a reality. I’m in awe!

I’m excited to read more! You said that it isn’t just about blindness, rehab, and Seeing Eye Dogs – it is about life and experiences. That’s exactly what I got from it without you even saying anything. I’d say you’re doing a fantastic job putting yourself into words. That isn’t a talent many people have.

I’m so excited for you, this is going to be HUGE!”

–Lara Dolin

Blog comments


“I have to say that from the start I found that your perspective as a woman perhaps as a person who has had vision and lost it has resonated with me. In recent years I have read other books about individuals who are blind and their experiences, and while they obviously approached the experience of blindness from a different perspective by design, I feel they left out something that I could not name until I started reading your blog. Well I guess I can’t really name it still but I find your blog more satisfying reading. I especially liked the inclusion of the part about the bathing and showering.

Both from my own perspective and the cumulative work that I have now done with many other people adjusting to vision loss, I find your story real, refreshing and at times riveting. While I am sure that the telling of your story has had some personal value, I appreciate that you are taking the time to make that story public.

I’ll keep reading. Thanks for sharing your story.” –Anonymous

Today’s episode

“I think that this story so far being in your own voice matters and perhaps you will go to publication.

There is a refreshing purity of this so far.

So the summary comment is that this section meets and exceeds what I thought from the beginning your perspective would add to the genre of blindness literature.”


Additions to the suicide attempt chapter

“It is a thing of beauty. I can picture so many of your readers nodding in sad agreement. They will know they are safe with you on the journey you want to take them on.”

–Patty Newbold

Reading your book

“Over the years, I have battled with depression, and your account of it is extremely accurate. I would write more, but I really want to get back to reading your account of getting out of the whirlpool.” –Anonymous

The account of your suicide attempt

“To date, I have only read ‘ Into the Whirlpool.’ This is the first “blog” I have experienced – but it was an important and necessary introduction (at least for me) to the rest of your story. Thank you for trusting me (your audience) with it.

I honor every step of your journey, Sue, and also trust the perfection of every stepping stone in your journeys’ unfoldment.

There are two things that stand out from this extraordinary, introductory writing. The picture of the lighthouse and the seagull flying towards the morning sun…and the spirit of Johnny’s mother guiding him to “keep trying”. I love these signs or “symbols” and spir itual helpers that are guide posts along our way. Thank you for keeping them IN your story.”


Thank you for your wonderful book

“I have to tell you what a privilege it was to read your book. Your honesty, warmth, and clarity of presentation were outstanding. You have captured one human being’s experience of the rehabilitation process so precisely that I feel like I went through it myself with you. I believe that your book should be required reading for anyone in the field of visual impairment and for anyone losing sight. Thank you for sharing it with the world!” –Anonymous