Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands Summary and Reviews

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

by Chris Bohjalian

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian X
Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2014
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless teen living in an igloo made of ice and trash bags filled with frozen leaves. Half a year earlier, a nuclear plant in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom had experienced a cataclysmic meltdown, and both of Emily's parents were killed.

Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault. Was he drunk when it happened? Thousands of people are forced to flee their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So instead of following the social workers and her classmates after the meltdown, Emily takes off on her own for Burlington, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer's apartment, and inventing a new identity for herself -- an identity inspired by her favorite poet, Emily Dickinson.

When Emily befriends a young homeless boy named Cameron, she protects him with a ferocity she didn't know she had. But she still can't outrun her past, can't escape her grief, can't hide forever - and so she comes up with the only plan that she can. 

A story of loss, adventure, and the search for friendship in the wake of catastrophe, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is one of Chris Bohjalian's finest novels to date - breathtaking, wise, and utterly transporting.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Her admiration for kindred spirit Emily Dickinson serves to humanize her plight, as does an epiphany in the books' bittersweet conclusion." – Publishers Weekly

"In his sixteenth novel, the versatile Bohjalian has Emily tell her harrowing, tragic story retrospectively... [A] brave saga." – Booklist

"Wrenching... Emily's voice is a compelling one… and hers is a journey readers will avidly follow." – Kirkus

"Emily's story is both heartbreaking and frightening... The book rings with poetry and truth." – Library Journal

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Author Information

Chris Bohjalian Author Biography

Chris Bohjalian is the author of twenty books, including The Guest Room; Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands; The Sandcastle Girls; Skeletons at the Feast; The Double Bind; and Midwives which was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah's Book Club. Chris's work has been translated into more than thirty languages, and three novels have become movies (Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers). Chris lives in Vermont and can be found at www.chrisbohjalian.com or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Litsy, and Goodreads.

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Name Pronunciation
Chris Bohjalian: bo-jail-yen

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