Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands – by Chris Bohjalian – independent book review – Fiction

As a fan of other Bohjalian books, I started out lukewarm on this one. It’s about a fabricated but disastrous nuclear plant accident in Vermont, told through the eyes of a teenage, Emily-Dickinson-obsessed girl poet, whose father was chief engineer at the plant. Awarded four stars on Goodreads.

closeyoureyesInitially I found the nuclear accident a bit preposterous but as I continued reading, I soon got past that. The book becomes much more a story about a homeless teenager and the dark side of how these young people survive, forced to make difficult and dangerous decisions on a daily basis about sex, drugs, trust, and intimacy.

Chris Bohjalian achieves a feat I have seldom found in male-written books with female protagonists — and that is, he has created a completely believable, stream-of-consciousness voice, that sounds like any teenage girl’s diary you might read.

Chris Bohjalian

And the more I read, the more I became invested in this girl’s welfare and fretted about what would happen to her. So, my advice is to stick with this one, if you find yourself tempted to drop it.

More about Chris Bohjalian.

You may also be interested in my reviews of other books by Bohjalian:

Hour of the Witch

The Guest Room

The Light in the Ruins

The Sleepwalker

The Sandcastle Girls