Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

  • by Chris Bohjalian
  • Narrated by Grace Blewer
  • 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A heartbreaking, wildly inventive, and moving novel narrated by a teenage runaway, from the best-selling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls.
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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What the Critics Say

"Emily's story is both heartbreaking and frightening.... The book rings with poetry and truth." (Jeanne Bogino, Library Journal)
"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, of emotion, and of how - as Emily Dickinson might say - the sparest of words can hold a wealth of pain. If you need any proof that fiction can scare us, move us, and break our hearts simultaneously - look no further." (Jodi Picoult)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Overall a good book, but poorly narrated

I was very caught up by the story of this young girl. However, his daughter, Grace's, narration was flat and uninflected, clearly showed a lack of ability to read with character. A professional narrator or actor would have made the story even more riveting.
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- Cecilia

Man writes as teenage girl.

How can an "older" man write like a teenage girl? Chris Bohjalian did a fantastic job of doing just that. I picked out this book because I have read many other books by Chris Bohjalian and have liked every one of them. This one was quite different from his other books and I wasn't sure I would like it in the beginning when it was in the voice of a teenage girl, with teen language. The character development was superb and heart-wrenching. Interesting that Bohjalian's daughter is the narrator for this audio-book.
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- Ray Stewart

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2014
  • Publisher: Random House Audio