Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands (Vintage Contemporaries) Paperback – May 26, 2015
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
When a disastrous meltdown occurs at a Vermont nuclear power plant, forcing people to flee for their lives and face permanent exile from their beloved homes, everyone blames Emily’s parents. Her father was chief engineer, and her mother was the communications director, and they had a reputation for drinking. Terrified, Emily, a bookish, 16-year-old only child, runs away and ends up crashing in the squalid lair of a guy called Poacher, who recruits homeless teens for his drug-and-prostitution ring. But smart Emily, who knowledgeably reveres Emily Dickinson, gets it together once she takes responsibility for a nine-year-old boy on the run from foster care and builds a trash-bag igloo to protect them from the bitter cold. In his sixteenth novel, theversatile Bohjalian (The Light in the Ruins, 2013) has Emily tell her harrowing, tragic story retrospectively, under medical care. If only this well-meant and compelling tale offered more scenes depicting the shocking aftermath of a nuclear disaster to provide an even more arresting and significant context for traumatized yet tough and resilient young Emily’s sad, brave saga. --Donna Seaman --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
“A compelling tale of loss, resilience, and transformation.” —The Boston Globe, “Pick of the Week”
“Suspenseful, provocative, often terrifying yet compassionate. . . . One of the most memorable teenage protagonists in recent fiction.” —The Washington Post
“Heartbreaking. . . . This is an adult novel . . . but readers of any age who love John Green’s novels might find [Emily]’s story, sobering as it is, an awesome one.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Stirring, sensitive. . . . One of the most authentic and distinctive voices since Emma Donoghue's [Room].” —San Francisco Chronicle
“I have a new favorite Chris Bohjalian novel. Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is a book I wish I'd been smart enough to write: a masterpiece of narrative voice.” —Jodi Picoult
“Chris Bohjalian is a master. . . . Emily Shepard is his greatest accomplishment.” —Los Angeles Times
“A chilling and heartbreaking suspense novel.” —USA Today
“Enthralling and indelible.” —People
“Intelligent, rich in detail, filled with full-blooded characters…. Bohjalian at his finest.” —The Seattle Times
“A ‘must read’ book.” —St. Louis Post Dispatch
“Haunting and resonant.” —The Miami Herald
“Emily’s character is written so well and her story so absorbing (this is very much a read-in-one-or-two-sittings type of book) that it is easy to forget you’re actually reading . . . Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands reminds us of our innate need for connection.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“A masterful storyteller . . . Bohjalian hits every note. His characters have depth, his story sings.” —The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
“Bohjalian delivers a thoroughly engrossing and poignant coming-of-age story set against a nightmarish backdrop as real as yesterday’s headlines from Fukushima and Chernobyl. And in Emily he's created a remarkable and complicated teenager . . . [with] a wry, honest voice as distinctive as Holden Caulfield's.” —Associated Press
“Dazzling. . . . A novel for the ages. . . . This is pure beauty in book form.” —The Free-Lance Star (Fredericksburg, VA)
“A potent story of loss, hope, and the overpowering yearning for home.” —The Armenian Weekly
“Rings with poetry and truth.” —Library Journal
“A dystopian nightmare entwined with a wrenching personal crisis . . . The notion of ‘just a life I left’ grows more intense for somebody like Emily Shepard who can’t return and is unsure about how to go forward.” —Burlington Free Press
“[A] brave saga.” —Booklist
“Impressive. . . . [Emily’s] admiration for kindred spirit Emily Dickinson serves to humanize her plight, as does an epiphany in the book’s bittersweet conclusion.” —Publishers Weekly
“Bohjalian once again reveals an uncanny talent for crafting a young female protagonist who is fatally flawed, but nevertheless immensely likable. . . . Resonates with a message of hope, truth and the fragility of life.” —BookPage
“Emily’s voice is a compelling one… and hers is a journey readers will avidly follow.” —Kirkus Reviews
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
For starters, and finishers, there's homeless Emily Shepard - whose parents caused a nuclear disaster and who goes by the pseudonym "Abby Bliss." At 17, Emily has hardly been a remarkable success at life, even before the nuclear blowout, and even though her parents have provided her with the amenities of an upper-middle-class life. But despite being a chronic underachiever, and in ways a "bad" girl, she's smart as a whip, has empathy for other kids, is a survivor, knows when she's made a mistake, and is remarkably savvy when it counts. Some readers might consider Emily unrealistically savvy - okay for a fictional character, perhaps, but hardly true to life. I don't agree with that view, however. She went through some pretty depressing scenarios, which I found amazing - as opposed to my often inadequate, clueless reaction when I see homeless people on the street. Instead, her experiences gave me a new outlook on the homeless, and convinced me there's a lot more to homeless existence than standing on the street corner begging for money. A lot of it bad - very bad. But some of it at least can be cause for contemplation on the "meaning of life," and/or what really matters.
Cameron, Emily's 9-YO compatriot, can tear your heart out, and the way Emily cares for him shows her best side. But she doesn't always show the best judgment. Does that make her human - or the author way over the top in how he depicts her. I'll choose the former. See what you think. I rated another recent Bohjalian book - "A Light in the Ruins" - 4-1/2 stars, and "Close Your Eyes..." cements him in the category of authors automatically to be read without hesitation.
Chris Bohjalian has always been a favorite of mine and once again he does not disappoint in his newest and I think his BEST book yet.
The unthinkable has happened in Vermont -- there's been a nuclear plant meltdown. Both Emily's parents work there and rumor has it that Emily's dad is to blame for this horrible catastrophic event which has killed almost twenty people, Emily's mom and dad included. People are forced to immediately leave their homes and belongings. The lands, rivers, and air surrounding the area are annihilated.
Emily is beside herself -- she has absolutely no family, she is totally and utterly alone during a major world disaster. Also, since her late dad is hated beyond measure, Emily fears she herself is in danger. Instead of going with her classmates and social workers who would help her, Emily takes off for Burlington, Vermont.
When she hits Burlington she hits rock bottom. In order to survive, she turns to stealing, gets involved in drugs, hangs out with some less than desirable people, and does things she never thought she would do all for a few bucks. She sleeps on the streets, crashes on floors, spends her days at the public library trying to stay out of trouble and warm.
Emily tells her story -- and what a story -- in the first person, a mode I love. Her story jumps back and forth, and really has no order or rhyme and reason. But this is how her story should be told! Bohjalian writes with such grace and ease that everything Emily tells us makes perfect sense, and her entire story all falls into place. At times, it is as if Emily is sitting right next to you, barring her soul and spilling her guts, telling what happened to her after that fateful day. She is shrewd, sharp, wise, and brave. She is petrified, alone, and at her wit's end, and let's not forget, she is newly orphaned and is mourning her parents, home, pet dog, her entire life as she knew it.
I absolutely LOVED this book.This book is darkly wonderful. I could hardly set the book down and when I wasn't reading I was thinking about it. It reads so well, is fast paced, action packed, and full of unforgettable characters. Emily Shepard is a tough little cookie, yet only a young teen girl. Her story is one that you will love and not soon forget.
Do not miss out on this fine, well done, exciting book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.