Close Your Eyes: A Novel Paperback – 14 August 2012
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“I absolutely loved this beautiful, haunting story of a woman who learns to come to terms with a dark, deep family secret.”—Tatiana de Rosnay, New York Times bestselling author of Sarah’s Key
“Amanda Eyre Ward puts another jewel in her crown as the reigning doyenne of ‘dark secrets’ literary fiction.”—The Dallas Morning News
“Electrifying . . . breathless and disturbing and hopeful.”—Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage
“A captivating story of loss, forgiveness and ultimate redemption.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Character-rich, psychologically probing.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune
Winner of the August Elle Book Prize
About the Author
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- Publisher : Ballantine Books (14 August 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0345494490
- ISBN-13 : 978-0345494498
- Item Weight : 213 g
- Dimensions : 13.46 x 1.52 x 20.32 cm
- Country of Origin : USA
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from other countries
Lauren and Alex lose their parents when Lauren is six and Alex is eight in a most unexpected way: their mother is murdered while they sleep in their tree house. The only person suspected, and ultimately convicted, is their father.
Their father is Egyptian. This alone brings prejudice into their lives. When he is convicted of the murder, the children move in with their worn-out grandparents and after a year when the gravestone is set on their mother's grave, they are expected to stop grieving, to cope with getting on with their lives. Alex becomes a doctor, a Harvard grad. Lauren goes to University of Texas, becomes a real estate agent, and lands in a relationship with the spacey though sweet Gerry. Gerry runs the Mr. Cheapskate blog and youtube show, and living with him is somewhat funny, somewhat painful.
Alex is everything that keeps Lauren grounded. He chooses to become part of Doctors Without Borders, and when he does, Lauren begins to unravel with increasing panic attacks. She cannot live this way, with no one but the feckless Gerry in her life.
I was thrown off pace as Part II opened with new characters, Sylvia and Victoria. Not to worry, for soon Ward brings our interest to their stories of poverty and privilege respectively in New York. We are lured into a new circle of doubt.
The ending of this book surprises and satisfies. This is another compelling read by Amanda Eyre Ward. There are many beautiful passages and memorable scenes. I won't put in any spoilers here, but if you read, read with a highlighter! Ward's style captures the moment in fresh new imagery.
If you love complex characters, vivid imagery, and dark, haunting secrets, Close Your Eyes will not disappoint. The book is Austin, Texas-based author Amanda Eyre Ward's fifth. I've been a fan since her first novel, Sleep Toward Heaven, was released in 2003.
On her website, Ward shares that the idea behind Close Your Eyes began to form in 1989 after terror struck near her sleepy, idyllic hometown: a husband and wife had been stabbed to death in their own bedroom one New Year's Eve. The crime went unsolved for nearly five years until a local teenage boy confessed to the killings. During his trial, he cited no concrete memories of the incident, blaming his actions on an alcoholic stupor.
In the author's own words, "I thought about the murder from time to time, trying to understand how a stranger had broken the spell of Rye, smashed through the safety we had all thought money could buy ... I wanted not only to understand what happened ... but also to create a world where this wrong was righted, and a broken town was sewn back together."
Close Your Eyes begins with a neighborhood celebration ruined by senseless tragedy. Six-year old Lauren and eight-year old Alex Mahdian wake up to discover their mother has been murdered; the brother and sister soon find out their father is the prime suspect.
When the children's father is convicted of the murder, Lauren and Alex move in with their grandparents. Years later, Alex goes to Harvard and becomes a physician, while Lauren pursues a career as a real estate agent. When Alex volunteers for a Doctors without Borders assignment in Iraq, Lauren's tenuous coping mechanisms splinter apart. While attempting to ignore her incarcerated father's existence, she avoids commitment to her long-time boyfriend, and spirals into greater depths of anxiety, anger, and grief over her family's tragedy.
Ward introduces two new characters, Sylvia and Victoria, in Part 2. Though it isn't apparent at first, the girls are linked to Lauren and Alex's lives in unimaginable ways. With deft expertise, Ward weaves the four lives together throughout the rest of the story, sewing together bits of connection with every chapter of this complicated, heart wrenching novel of loss and redemption.
For more on Amanda Eyre Ward, visit her website, <...>.
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Random House (July 26, 2011)