Saturday, August 16, 2014

ARE YOU LISTENING? CLOSE YOUR EYES, HOLD HANDS: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

WELCOME TO BOOKIN' WITH BINGO'S" 
ARE YOU LISTENING? DAY"  
I AM EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE TODAY'S  
AUDIO BOOK CHOICE.....
*******************************************
GIVEAWAY ENDED
CLOSE YOUR EYES,
HOLD HANDS
Read by Grace Blewer 
BY CHRIS BOHJALIAN
  
ABOUT THE AUDIO BOOK:
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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chris Bohjalian is the critically acclaimed author of sixteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Sandcastle Girls, Skeletons at the Feast, The Double Bind, and Midwives. His novel Midwives was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah's Book Club. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages, and three of his novels have become movies (Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers). He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter. 

PRAISE FOR CLOSE YOUR EYES, HOLD HANDS:
“Wrenching... Emily’s voice is a compelling one… and hers is a journey readers will avidly follow.” – Kirkus

“In his sixteenth novel, the versatile Bohjalian has Emily tell her harrowing, tragic story retrospectively . . . [A] brave saga.” – Booklist

"Emily's story is both heartbreaking and frightening . . . The book rings with poetry and truth." – Jeanne Bogino, Library Journal

“Bohjalian’s impressive 16th novel charts the life of a teenage girl after a nuclear disaster . . . Through her first-person narration, readers become intimately familiar with Emily . . . Her admiration for kindred spirit Emily Dickinson serves to humanize her plight, as does an epiphany in the books’ bittersweet conclusion.” – Publishers Weekly

"I have a new favorite Chris Bohjalian novel.  Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is a book I wish I'd been smart enough to write:  a masterpiece of narrative voice, of emotion, and of how – as Emily Dickinson might say – the sparest of words can hold a wealth of pain. If you need any proof that fiction can scare us, move us, and break our hearts simultaneously – look no further." – Jodi Picoult

"Chris Bohjalian is a master of depicting the small moments — the inevitable routines — that follow in the wake of a trauma . . . Emily Shepard is Bohjalian's greatest accomplishment — when you turn the final page you will relish her real-ness and wonder if that twinge of disquiet will ever go away." – Alice Short, The Los Angeles Times 

“Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, Chris Bohjalian's terrific new novel, could serve as a master class on how to write the thinking reader's bestseller. Suspenseful, provocative, often terrifying yet compassionate . . . all while creating one of the most memorable teenage protagonists in recent fiction . . . Moving, hopeful and grounded in the everyday, and as heartbreaking as the inspiration for the novel's title.” – Elizabeth Hand, the Washington Post

SOME OTHER BOOKS BY CHRIS BOHJALIAN:


MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
I fell in love with Chris Bohjalian before I learned to even begin to pronounce his name when I read MIDWIVES. I adored the book and recommended it to all my friends and thrilled as we chose the book and discussed it in my book club. Expounding about how I thought we would not find a better book to discuss for a long time, I had to take those words back when I read THE DOUBLE BIND. The dilemma with that was only one friend had read it and our book club had it far down on the list since we had recently read one of Chris’s other books. For those of you who read THE DOUBLE BIND you know why I was frantic to find people to discuss it with because there were so many questions and possibilities whirling in my mind. Oh, the joy that this author brings to me and to SO many readers is no more diminished from then as it is now with his latest spellbinding, heartfelt narrative CLOSE YOUR EYES, HOLD HANDS.

Emily Shepard is the protagonist who narrates the story of her life in Vermont where she attends a prestigious prep school and comes from a good, upper-class family. When there is a disaster at the nuclear power plant where her father is chief engineer, everything that Emily knew and held dear is transformed without warning. So many people lost so much but probably not as much as Emily. With the connection to her father and the allegations about him, Emily is forced to flee like so many however, she is totally on her own. 

Emily takes on a new identity in order to avoid the connection with her family and the disaster. Now as Abby Bliss, Emily clings to her love of poetry and Emily Dickinson and tries to make a life for herself. Her struggles don’t keep her from watching out for others, as is her nature. She bonds with a young runaway named Cameron as Bohjalian has Emily narrate by alternating between the life she once knew, and the life she is now living following the disaster. How Emily deals with this tragedy and hardship will keep readers turning pages, as always with Chris Bohjalian’s work. 

Does Emily survive? Is she able to go back to find what might be left of her old life? How will Emily Dickinson’s poetry help Emily? What is the possible significance of the title of this book? I hope whether you win this copy I am offering in the giveaway, or not, that you will read CLOSE YOUR EYES, HOLD HANDS. If you aren’t a fan of Chris Bohjalian now, you will be and I recommend after you devour this new title that you go back to his other books…hopefully starting with MIDWIVES and THE DOUBLE BIND.
GIVEAWAY

 THANKS TO RICHARD AND THE FINE FOLKS AT
RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO, I HAVE ONE COPY
OF THIS FASCINATING AUDIO BOOK TO 
GIVE AWAY TO ONE LUCKY WINNER!
  
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMENT
--ALL ENTRIES/COMMENTS MUST BE

 SEPARATE IN ORDER TO COUNT 
AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY
HOW TO ENTER:
+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT CLOSE YOUR EYES, HOLD HANDS THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS AUDIO BOOK

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING ON CHRIS BOHJALIAN'S WEBSITE BY GOING HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE OTHER CURRENT GIVEAWAY YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU CAN COMMENT ON EACH ON SEPARATELY AND GAIN MORE ENTRIES THAT WAY 

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
 6 PM, EST, AUGUST 28
GOOD LUCK!

96 comments:

Patricia said...

The Emily Dickinson component sounds really compelling to me.

patricia dot mariani dot esq at g mail dot com

Margie said...

I'm a fan of this author. This book sounds like an emotional read. I like that it is an audio book. Thanks for the giveaway.
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Steve Capell said...

Needless to say if you adore the book I am sure I would too! Thanks for the opportunity.

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Carol N Wong said...

I have read The Sandcastle Girls that had the underlying story of the Armenian Genocide. I loved the basic story but had wished that he had put more information about the genocide. So I both loved the book and was disappointed. I am eager to see what reaction I have to this one.

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I read through the Q and A section. I was very pleased that he named his favorite Armenian writers. I first learned about the Armenian genocide from my supervisor at work. I am hopeful that I can learn more historical detail from one of those writers.

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holdenj said...

Well, Vermont explains the ice and igloo idea of a structure. Am curious about Emily's strength in this story.
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