Saturday, August 2, 2014

Book Review: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

Do you ever instantly love a movie or book just a little more because it takes place somewhere you're familiar with? I've always loved thing set in Boston because I'm able to relate to it just a little more, but it's a lot rarer to find a book set in Burlington, VT. Chris Bojalian's latest novel Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands takes place largely in the very "city" (I think of it more as a town) I've been living in and that makes it hit a lot closer to home.

This book really blew me away. It's a work of fiction, telling the story of a 16 year old named Emily who lives a charmed life in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. All that changes when a nuclear plant blows up, causing the whole kingdom to evacuate, but her parents are responsible and she is left alone. She becomes a runaway and lives on her own in Burlington, until she befriends a small child. The story is told slightly out of order but not in a way to confuse you. Bojalian really details Burlington so well you can imagine it even if you don't live there. The specific mention of many locations really allowed me to further empathize with the story.

Emily's voice is very compelling and although her story is tragic, she never gives up hope. Although a nuclear power plant exploding in Vermont is entirely fictional, it makes you think what might happen if you were left completely alone in the world with no one to turn to. I kept wanting to read until her story was resolved and I was never bored throughout the novel. I'm always a fan of first-person narration because it really helps me connect to the character and get inside their mind, and it works perfectly for Emily. Ultimately, this is a story of survival and while the end wasn't quite what I expected, it doesn't end in tragedy and offers hope for the young heroine.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone in Burlington because you'll love it simply for the identification of our city, but even if you're from somewhere else, it's a great read that enthralls and captures you. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like such an amazing book! Thank you for sharing it! x