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Publisher 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.

Fiction & Literature
July 8
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

Arianalynnlox ,


Honestly picked up this book expecting it to be heart warming. It wasn't, but that didn't make it disappointing. This author definitely has a unique style of writing. I loved every last word of this book. I could not put it down. It's a must read, but do not expect a happy ending.

tracylynn0715 ,

Great book!

I read the ebook from my library, but it is such a good read, that it's worth paying for! I love the author's writing style. There's both humor & sadness & even though the it's told in the voice of a 17-year old, it's a great book for people of all ages! I highly recommend this book, & plan on trying more books by this author!

Mel almu79 ,

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

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