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Close Your Eyes: A Novel by [Ward, Amanda Eyre]
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Close Your Eyes: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

A Letter from Author Amanda Eyre Ward
I grew up in Rye, New York, a small town outside of New York City. In 1988, I was sixteen years old. I smoked cigarettes in my room, thinking Trident gum would mask the scent. I made a fake ID and laminated it at the library, then used the ID to visit bars in nearby towns: Bumper’s, Streets, Tammany Hall.

On January 1, 1989, my friends and I woke up, heads pounding, in the living room of a stranger’s apartment in Manhattan. We walked to Grand Central and rode the Stamford local back to Rye. By mid-day, we heard that during the midnight hours of New Year’s Eve, there had been a murder in Larchmont, a neighboring town.

An Indian couple, both doctors, had been stabbed to death in their bedroom, throats slashed, their bodies mutilated. It seemed impossible that something like this could happen in the suburbs. Fear travelled silently along the Boston Post Road, past Baskin Robbins and the Smoke Shop, to Dogwood Lane, where I lived with my family in a stunningly beautiful home. To me, the message was clear: danger was everywhere.

The murder was not solved. Four-and-a-half years went by. My parents split up, and I went to college. I thought about the murder from time to time, trying to understand how a stranger had broken the spell of Rye, smashed through the safety we had all thought money could buy.

In 1993, we found out that the murderer was one of us, a teenage boy, a local. The son of a bank president. He had been blind drunk, he told a room full of people at an AA meeting. He was afraid he may have broken a door pane, entered his childhood home, where his family no longer lived, taken a knife from a kitchen drawer, and savagely attacked the strangers sleeping in his parents’ bedroom. He later said he didn’t remember anything about it. He had been in an alcoholic blackout, but now he had nightmares.

At his trial, a psychiatrist said, "Probably the most typical behavior during a blackout is finding the way home....It's almost as if he were going back in time and eliminating the people that he sought to blame for all his problems back when he was seven years old."

He is now in jail.

The story of the New Year’s Eve murder has always stayed with me, and eventually evolved into Close Your Eyes. I think, in writing the book, I wanted not only to understand what happened to a boy who was one of us, what made him into a murderer, but also to create a world where this wrong was righted, and a broken town was sewn back together. I wanted to imagine a town that was loving and safe, a place that might never have existed in real life.


Advance praise for Close Your Eyes
“With the deft hand of an assured storyteller, Amanda Eyre Ward has concocted a dark yet tender tale about two grown siblings struggling to forge normal lives in the wake of an unimaginably shattering crisis: the conviction of their father for the murder of their mother. It is a tale of twists, turns, secrets, and surprises—all the more engaging for its finely drawn characters. Ward understands just how our flaws betray us and how redemption always comes at a price—yet her deep empathy makes this, ultimately, a story about the power of trust in the people we love.”—Julia Glass, author of The Widower’s Tale

Close Your Eyes doesn’t hook you as much as it spins a delicate but powerful web around you. Amanda Eyre Ward goes straight to the heart of her complex, nuanced characters, and with empathy and insight she lays them bare. As a reader, you’re powerless against the elegance of her prose and the emotional honesty of her story. You’ll close the cover on this book, but you won’t forget it.”—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Fragile
“Amanda Eyre Ward has given us a book that is both beautifully wrought and intensely gripping. I was transfixed by this story of a woman haunted by loss but making her brave, difficult way toward truth.”—Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Belong to Me
Close Your Eyes is electrifying, a literary whodunit of the first order—breathless and disturbing and hopeful and true. You won’t be able to look away. People will be talking about this book.”—Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage

“I absolutely loved this beautiful, haunting story of a woman who learns to come to terms with a dark, de...

Product Details

  • File Size: 3129 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (July 26, 2011)
  • Publication Date: July 26, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J4WLQ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,161 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amanda Eyre Ward's works delight, impress, and encourage me. Her "Sleep Towards Heaven" is one of my top-ten favorite books. This new title, "Close Your Eyes," is equally emotionally addictive.
Lauren and Alex lose their parents when Lauren is six and Alex is eight in a most unexpected way: their mother is murdered while they sleep in their tree house. The only person suspected, and ultimately convicted, is their father.

Their father is Egyptian. This alone brings prejudice into their lives. When he is convicted of the murder, the children move in with their worn-out grandparents and after a year when the gravestone is set on their mother's grave, they are expected to stop grieving, to cope with getting on with their lives. Alex becomes a doctor, a Harvard grad. Lauren goes to University of Texas, becomes a real estate agent, and lands in a relationship with the spacey though sweet Gerry. Gerry runs the Mr. Cheapskate blog and youtube show, and living with him is somewhat funny, somewhat painful.

Alex is everything that keeps Lauren grounded. He chooses to become part of Doctors Without Borders, and when he does, Lauren begins to unravel with increasing panic attacks. She cannot live this way, with no one but the feckless Gerry in her life.

I was thrown off pace as Part II opened with new characters, Sylvia and Victoria. Not to worry, for soon Ward brings our interest to their stories of poverty and privilege respectively in New York. We are lured into a new circle of doubt.

The ending of this book surprises and satisfies. This is another compelling read by Amanda Eyre Ward. There are many beautiful passages and memorable scenes. I won't put in any spoilers here, but if you read, read with a highlighter! Ward's style captures the moment in fresh new imagery.
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Format: Hardcover
When Lauren Mahdian is six years old, her father murders her mother. She remembers very little about that night, but her older brother Alex has always maintained their father is innocent.

Close Your Eyes is a gripping thriller from beginning to end. What sets it apart from other thrillers, however, is the lack of imminent danger. It is a character-driven thriller, and I could not put it down. I was drawn into Lauren's world; she now lives in Austin with her boyfriend and works as a real estate agent, but she still struggles with her memories (or lack thereof) of the evening of her mother's death. I won't share much more because this short novel is best experienced by reading it not reading about it.

Close Your Eyes captivated me from beginning to end. I read it in a single day and thoroughly enjoyed the story. It's a testament to the strength of Ward's story and writing that even after the mystery became clear, the novel still had momentum.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is a moving and suspenseful book here. It does have some minor mistakes, i think, like a weapon tbat is in pieces at the crime scene but also in the ocean. Endings a bit too pat. Untied threads. Perfect boyfriend. Etc. yet it is a moving story. And the author has real affection for austin texas tho she sees the rough edges So she conveys a wonderful sense of place. Tho not as imprtant a book as The Same Sky it is a terrific mystery story. I couldn't put it down.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I picked up this book after viewing it at a local book store and not having read the flap inside. I'm almost happy I didn't view a synpopsis because I really enjoyed this book and it was definitely a page turner that I just couldn't bring myself to put down. I'm looking forward to more of Ward's work in the future!
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Format: Hardcover
The story of the murder of a 46 year old mother as her 2 children, 8 year old Alex and his 6 year old sister Lauren slept outdoors in a treehouse on the property of their beloved New York home doesn't live up to its potential. Alex and Lauren's father is spending life in prison for their mother's murder in spite of indefinite proof that it was he who killed her. We follow the broken lives of Alex and Lauren as they navigate their way. Now in their thirties, they suffer from the trauma of this horrific past event as well as a lack of closure. Alex believes in his father's innocence while Lauren thinks him guilty and has cut off all contact. By the end of part one Alex, who has joined Doctor's Without Borders and has left the country, disappears. The story suddenly and abruptly switches over to a new central character, Sylvia, whose connection to Alex and Lauren is slowly revealed along with Sylvia's best friend Victoria, a severely troubled drug addict whose life is unraveling. The meeting at the end of the book between Lauren and Sylvia was nonsensical in that Lauren seemed to be unaware of who Sylvia was though she should have been. The story does offer resolution in the end but by the time all was revealed, it felt completely anticlimatic. Even the connections between the characters felt weak and unresolved. Also Lauren's bout with the symptoms of what can only be described as post traumatic stress disorder were ridiculously poofed away as soon as the mysteries of her life were worked out.

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Format: Hardcover
Wow. I have very little time for reading these days as a working mom, but I couldn't wait to get into bed every night to tear into Close Your Eyes. While it usually takes me weeks to finish a book, this one was done in days. I couldn't wait to solve the mystery, to find out what happens next, but at the same time I didn't want it to end. It's been a long time since I have been so attached to the characters in a novel; when they are depicted so carefully that you feel as though they are your friends, your neighbors, or yourself. Ward does it again - taking a dark and despairing subject matter and making it utterly enjoyable to read. My only complaint is that it was over too soon!
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