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Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

A Novel

Chris Bohjalian

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

A heartbreaking, wildly inventive, and moving novel narrated by a teenage runaway, from the bestselling 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.

Publishers Weekly Review

May 12, 2014 – Bohjalian’s (The Light in the Ruins) impressive 16th novel charts the life of a teenage girl undone after a nuclear disaster. Already troubled, rebellious Emily Shepard becomes orphaned and homeless after the meltdown of Reddington’s nuclear power plant in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Wandering aimlessly, she finds refuge in a local shelter with Cameron, a nine-year-old boy she soon finds herself protecting. Emily is banished once she’s pegged as the daughter of heavy-drinking parents both employed (and held responsible by surviving townsfolk) at the power plant where the meltdown occurred. Frequent flashbacks to her days at school and the youth shelter show her surrounded by influential miscreants, self-abusing “cutters,” and drug takers like friends Andrea and Camille. Stealing and shoplifting through neighboring towns in order to survive the frigid New England winter becomes an often harrowing ordeal for Emily and Cameron as she attempts to figure out her next move. Through her first-person narration, readers become intimately familiar with Emily (and Cameron), as she grapples with the frustrating life of a misunderstood homeless youth on the run. Emily continually surprises herself with her newfound maternal instincts for Cameron and how difficult it is to survive life on the streets. Her admiration for kindred spirit Emily Dickinson serves to humanize her plight, as does an epiphany in the book’s bittersweet conclusion.

Customer Reviews

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

Don't buy it! I really wish I hadn't!

Close your eyes, Hold hands

Such a good book, humorous and heart wrenching. Could not put it down.

Love it!!

Awesome is the word that immediately came to mind when I finished Close Your Eyes Hold Hands. Chris Bohjalian's writing as he describes Emily's live after a nuclear reactor meltdown forces her to leave her home is remarkable. He captured her pain,isolation and despair perfectly. Emily is a remarkable character and above all a survivorThis is the 6th of Chris' books I've read and he never disappoints

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands
View In iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Jul 08, 2014
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book was designed for an iOS device and some features may not work as intended with a mouse or trackpad. To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later.

Customer Ratings