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Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris…
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Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

by Chris Bohjalian

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Description
Emily Shepard is 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 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. Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So Emily takes off on her own, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer's apartment, and inventing a new identity for herself. 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 -- and so she comes up with the only plan that she can.

This story was mostly about Emily living on the streets, making bad choices as a runaway teenager and wasting her life, despite many people trying to help her. If the author’s point was that some people can’t be helped, it didn’t quite ring true to me as Emily was rather resourceful and resilient throughout the story. I’ve read a number of Bohjalian’s books and liked them but I didn’t enjoy this one. ( )
  gaylebutz | Oct 12, 2017 |
This beautiful, tragic, heart-wrenching book tells the story of Emily, a teen who finds herself orphaned and homeless following a nuclear meltdown at the plant where her parents worked. Fearing that she will be blamed for the mistakes of her father, Emily runs away, assumes a new name, and struggles to survive on the streets. We sit helplessly by as she is faced with drugs, prostitution, and self-harm in her struggle between survival and self-loathing. A great supporting cast of equally tragic figures enter Emily's life along her journey and help change its course. This book will touch your heart and open your eyes to the world of troubled teens and tough choices.

Bettina P. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
Chris Bohjalian has written a heartbreaking story in “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands”. Emily Shepherd's world has collapsed after the nuclear power plant where both her parents work experiences a meltdown. People die (including her parents), homes and families are torn apart and the finger pointing begins. And who better to blame than people who are no longer around to defend themselves? Emily runs away from the temporary evacuation site and finds herself living on the street.

As has been the case in a number of his other books (Midwives, for example), Bohjolian writes convincingly in the voice of a teenaged girl. The book is written as if it is Emily's journal - the people who help her along the way and those whom she befriends and helps are well fleshed out; she speaks of the perils of living on the street and the tricks used to enable a person to survive that experience.

I really liked this book (I am a fan of this author). Bohjolian puts a sentence together beautifully. He tells a believable story. Emily Shepard is a character you can care about. ( )
  EvelynBernard | May 8, 2017 |
I was in turn put off and fascinated by this character but the story grew in a way that was addictive and heart-wrenching. Couldn't put it down. ( )
  ShannonY | Apr 5, 2017 |
I've been sitting here deciding what kind of rating I want to give this title. I usually know instantly upon completing a book what I think of it, but for some reason I'm struggling with this one. I like this author, and I found I had no trouble reading this book, my problem is I'm not sure I really liked it very much.
It has a bit of a dystopian feel about it, but it seems kind of a half hearted effort, and he doesn't really commit to that genre, but instead focuses most of the story on homelessness and how Emily Shephard, our main character, has to live to survive. It's a disturbing story of a 16 year old girl, with some mental health issues, turning tricks, taking drugs and living rough. Really sad and dark.



( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
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For Jenny Jackson
And Khatchig Mouradian:
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For Grace Experience: Voice
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I built an igloo against the cold out of black plastic bags filled with wet leaves.
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Book description
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 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. (ARC)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307917452, Audio CD)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Living in an igloo of ice and trash bags half a year after a cataclysmic nuclear disaster, Emily, convinced that she will be hated as the daughter of the drunken father who caused the meltdown, assumes a fictional identity while protecting a homeless boy.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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