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Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

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Customer Review Snapshot

4 out of 5 stars
44 total reviews
5 stars
19
4 stars
11
3 stars
10
2 stars
3
1 star
1
Most helpful positive review
Great story of a teen girl's life after running away from home. Her drunken father was responsible for a nuclear plant meltdown in which her parents were killed, property destroyed, and many were exposed to radiation. She spent her life on the streets, in shelters, and homeless. The story is read by the author's daughter who does an excellent job.

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A heartbreaking, wildly inventive, and moving novel narrated by a teenage runaway, from the bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls . A Washington Post , St. Louis Post-Dispatch , and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Best Book of the Year Emily Shepard is on the run; the nuclear plant where her father worked has suffered a cataclysmic meltdown, and all fingers point to him. Now, orphaned, homeless, and certain that she's a pariah, Emily's taken to hiding out on the frigid streets of Burlington, Vermont, creating a new identity inspired by her favorite poet, Emily Dickinson. Then she meets Cameron. Nine years old and with a string of foster families behind him, he sparks something in Emily, and she protects him with a fierceness she didn't know she possessed. But when an emergency threatens the fledgling home she's created, Emily realizes that she can't hide forever.

A heartbreaking, wildly inventive, and moving novel narrated by a teenage runaway, from the bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls.

A Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Best Book of the Year

Emily Shepard is on the run; the nuclear plant where her father worked has suffered a cataclysmic meltdown, and all fingers point to him. Now, orphaned, homeless, and certain that she’s a pariah, Emily’s taken to hiding out on the frigid streets of Burlington, Vermont, creating a new identity inspired by her favorite poet, Emily Dickinson. 

Then she meets Cameron. Nine years old and with a string of foster families behind him, he sparks something in Emily, and she protects him with a fierceness she didn’t know she possessed. But when an emergency threatens the fledgling home she’s created, Emily realizes that she can’t hide forever.

Specifications

Series Title
Vintage Contemporaries
Publisher
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
288
Author
Chris Bohjalian
ISBN-13
9780307743930
Publication Date
May, 2015
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.00 x 5.30 x 0.90 Inches
ISBN-10
0307743934

Customer Reviews

5 stars
19
4 stars
11
3 stars
10
2 stars
3
1 star
1
Most helpful positive review
Great story of a teen ...
Great story of a teen girl's life after running away from home. Her drunken father was responsible for a nuclear plant meltdown in which her parents were killed, property destroyed, and many were exposed to radiation. She spent her life on the streets, in shelters, and homeless. The story is read by the author's daughter who does an excellent job.
Most helpful negative review
I am not enamored by t...
I am not enamored by the writing of Chris Bohjalian, and this is my second attempt. This installation is a quasi-science fiction attempt, which leaves me feeling empty. The main characters is not likeable, and thus rests the story. First, I am not a fan of the science fiction genre, and therefore, I started off on the wrong track. The story starts very slowly, and seems to go nowhere.
Most helpful positive review
Great story of a teen ...
Great story of a teen girl's life after running away from home. Her drunken father was responsible for a nuclear plant meltdown in which her parents were killed, property destroyed, and many were exposed to radiation. She spent her life on the streets, in shelters, and homeless. The story is read by the author's daughter who does an excellent job.
Most helpful negative review
I am not enamored by t...
I am not enamored by the writing of Chris Bohjalian, and this is my second attempt. This installation is a quasi-science fiction attempt, which leaves me feeling empty. The main characters is not likeable, and thus rests the story. First, I am not a fan of the science fiction genre, and therefore, I started off on the wrong track. The story starts very slowly, and seems to go nowhere.
1-5 of 44 reviews

Great story of a teen ...

Great story of a teen girl's life after running away from home. Her drunken father was responsible for a nuclear plant meltdown in which her parents were killed, property destroyed, and many were exposed to radiation. She spent her life on the streets, in shelters, and homeless. The story is read by the author's daughter who does an excellent job.

eading two great books...

eading two great books back to back leaves me hoping that the next read will continue to be just as wonderful. Emily is by all standards a brat. She receives much from her parents, and she gives little or nothing in return. Except, of course, a nasty, bad mouth attitude that doesn't quit. She does not apply herself in school, though teachers note to her parents that she has untapped potential that she simply refuses to take the time to tap into. An only child of a father who is the chief engineer of a local nuclear power plant, and a mother who is the public relations expert in dealing with local media regarding the benefits and safety of nuclear power, Emily doesn't give a second thought to her parent's vocations. And then, one day, it all comes explosively to an end. Uncommon heavy rainfalls in the far northern part of Vermont lead to the fact that the power plant built in the 1960's with then state-of-the art engineering, now flooded the areas of the plant that would have saved it from a nuclear catastrophe. When the power is lost, engineers struggled to work by flashlight to find the switch that may have averted the meltdown of the radioactive core. Struggling under the tremendous pressure of time, and needing clear thought, those in the plant try as best as they can to avert the meltdown. The author writes very convincingly of what happens when all chaos breaks loose in a small town whose residents are unprepared for the worse. Emily is at the local prestigious prep school when all children are quickly bused out of the area. Making a quick decision not to go on the bus with others, but to stay behind to find her parents leads to a long, sad journey. Unfortunately, Emily soon learned that both parents were killed in the explosion. And, since the town needs someone to blame, her father is the one who is, in his death, angrily held accountable. Hearing incredibly, unfair blasphemy about her father, she feels that the town will soon hold her as the scapegoat of the tragic accident. Emily makes another mistake, and she runs. Stealing a bike from a neighborhood friend, she peddles her way through the backed up traffic. Not thinking of where she will go, or how she will live and support herself, her only thought is to get away. Scared, penniless and parentless, she doesn't seek help, but gets out as fast as she can. The core of the book focuses on her poor decisions as she becomes homeless, abuses drugs and runs with a wild group. The issue of homelessness is covered quite accurately. It is obvious that Bohjalian did a lot of research on this national problem of what happens to those who have no where to go and no safety net to help them. While I own many of this author's books, this is the first I've read. I will be sure to read more. Five well deserved stars

Emily is telling her s...

Emily is telling her story in only a way that a seventeen year old girl can tell. It is, at times, a bit random and very Double Bind (ish). The title of the book, too, seems a bit random and confusing until it is revealed. And, boy oh boy, when it was revealed, it took my breath away. A quote from the book (w/o giving anything away), "It seems to me that if you didn't know the context of those words, they were kind of pretty." I had the opportunity to meet Chris this past summer at a book reading for The Sandcastle Girls at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters. I was in such a state of excitement that I found myself as giddy as any teenage schoolgirl with a crush. Thank you for that, Chris!I highly recommend this book and many thanks to Doubleday and Edelweiss for giving me the opportunity to read this. Expected publication for this bad boy is July, 2014 and I will be buying this for my bookshelf.

It was a quick read bu...

It was a quick read but one I won't forget. Emily's world is difficult, to put it mildly, but her strength is amazing. It was so easy to dive right in and live it along with her, even through the worst parts. I never would have guessed where the title came from, and when it was revealed was a truly sad moment. The thing that I'm most awed by is Mr. Bohjalian's ability to take the reader to a whole new place that we ( and he) have never been before. He never fails to pull the rug out from under me when I least expect it, and that's what I really enjoy about reading.

Close Your Eyes, Hold ...

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian was as wonderful as I expected it to be. I never cease to be amazed by Bohjalian's ability to speak in any voice, any gender, and any time frame. He did not disappoint. Emily Shepard Emily is 16 years old, and she and her friends are at school and midway through a normal day. Or so they thought.What they at first think is an emergency evacuation drill turns out to be a real emergency when the nuclear power plant where both of Emily's parents work has a meltdown situation occur. Emily's father is responsible for the plant and its safe production of energy. Unfortunately, he and her mother both drink, and have been seen to be inebriated in the past by friends and neighbors. The general consensus is that the event has been caused by the drunken carelessness of her father. This is the situation she faces. Not only has she lost her home and most likely her dog in terrifying circumstances, since they lived in what has become the exclusion zone, but her father is being blamed. When she realizes what is happening she first tries to go home and save her dog, but is turned back again and again. She finally has to abandon the attempt and hope that someone else will rescue him. She has fled from the evacuation of the students, determined to make her own way. From the moment they realized what was happening, she began to hear the murmurs of blame for her father. Finding it difficult to endure hearing the things that are being said about her father, she changes her name, and tries to become as invisible as possible. The book is about the months following the meltdown, and the ways that Emily finds to survive. First completely alone, and then meeting up with young people in similar and even worse situations than her own, she finds a strength and determination she never realized that she had. At one point she finds a young boy who has has fled his foster family and is trying to live on the streets, as she herself is doing. She takes him under her wing, and things become even more difficult. Emily is determined that they will both be safe and find a way to make a life. Of course, things do not always go as hoped or planned, as is evidenced by the meltdown itself. She is tested on many fronts, over and over again. I felt like I couldn't read fast enough, as I wanted to learn how the story would end. This book is another hit for Bohjalian. His subject matter is always fresh and the pace of his stories is perfect. For me 4 stars means the book was very hard to put down, and this was a solid 4 star book.

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Electrode, Comp-812500714, DC-prod-az-southcentralus-16, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.0, SHA-4c05261de7b7524702d8d137579365498522abc0, CID-b4450032-765-16de8294757eb2, Generated: Sun, 20 Oct 2019 07:54:42 GMT