July 8, 2014
Dear Friends Who Read and Readers Who are Friends,
As Heather O’Rourke said in “Poltergeist,” that classic multiplex confection from 1982, “They’re here.”
In this case, of course, I mean books.
Or, to be very precise, my new book.
Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands. . .
Thank you all so much for your patience – and for your faith in what words and reading and books can mean to the soul.
All the best,
PS: Here’s what the first reviews said this past weekend. I’m thrilled – and grateful.
“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
“A chilling and heartbreaking suspense novel for readers who like the poetry of Emily Dickinson. That may sound like a literary mash-up — the 19th-centrury belle of Amherst, Mass., meets a 21st-century nuclear meltdown — but Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is ambitious and poignant thanks to the voice of its teen narrator. . .It’s a novel about survival and the power of literature and poetry.”
— Bob MInzesheimer, USA Today
“A ‘must read’ book. . .a brilliant story of a young woman living an unexpected life, making difficult decisions and dealing with an ugly aftermath.”
— Amanda St. Amand, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Heartbreaking. . .scrupulously realistic. . .Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is a novel for adults. . .but readers of any age who love John Green’s novels might also find Shepard’s story, sobering as it is, an awesome one.”
— Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“A thoroughly engrossing and poignant coming-of-age story set against a nightmarish backdrop as real as yesterday’s headlines from Fukushima and Chernobyl. . .A wry, honest voice as distinctive as Holden Caulfield’s.”
— Ann Levin, the Associated Press
“A masterful storyteller. . .Bohjalian hits every note. His characters have depth, his story sings. It’s a book that works well for either teens or adults.”
— Beth Colvin, The New Orleans Advocate
“A potent story of loss, hope, and the overpowering yearning for home — even if home has turned into a pile of radioactive materials, bittersweet memories, and an aging dog.”
— Nanore Barsoumian, The Armenian Weekly
“A story that feels like it could be ripped out of the headlines. . .Bohjalian’s regular readers will find the same masterful storytelling they have come to expect, and the realistic and captivating narrator may attract a a new audience just graduating from the ranks of teen fiction.”
— Brighid Moret, Communities Digital News
“A dystopian nightmare entwined with a wrenching personal crisis. . .The notion of ‘just a life’ grows more intense for somebody like Emily Shepard who can’t return and is unsure about how to go forward.”
— Susan Green, The Burlington Free Press
“Chris Bohjalian thrives on dread. . .the ever-present feeling that something is or is about to be terribly wrong.”
— Zach Despart, Addison County Independent