It’s difficult to feel comforted during a devastating time when you have no one to hold your hand. Emily Shepard is a young aspiring writer and poet, a lover of Emily Dickinson, her dog, and even her drunken parents. Emily’s parents were killed when a nuclear plant in Vermont experienced a meltdown. Rumors sparked that her father in particular was at fault for the meltdown, the radioactivity, the evacuation, and the nineteen casualties that the meltdown caused. Aware of the hatred towards her parents and afraid for her own life, Emily runs off to Burlington where she survives by any means necessary.
Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is a twisted and jarring tale that will fill your entire heart with the best kind of sadness and sorrow. Perfectly written fiction tends to do that do a reader, it makes them feel something that they have never felt before. Emily’s grief affected my sleep, her friendship with nine-year-old homeless boy, Cameron, gave me hope and her on-and-off relationship with an X-ACTO knife pierced my soul. Chris Bohjalian painted guilt, love, and sadness with an array of brushes, shining light onto the most basic human need — the need for one another.
If you’re looking for an intense page-turner that will leave you unable to sleep at night, this Random House title is exactly what you need. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!