Happy Release Day, Chris Bohjalian!

close your eyes

Chris Bohjalian has published more than fifteen books, and he’s also written a forward for a 2013 translation of Les Misérables and an introduction for a 2001 Modern Library Classics edition of Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe. I think it’s fair to call him prolific. He has a 2013 release called The Light in the Ruins that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time now, since I have considerable affection for World War II novels. He’s also coming to Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh on July 23rd, which sounds like something I need to take advantage of. Today, his newest novel, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, is available for purchase.

Here is what Doubleday has to say about Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands:

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 girl living in an igloo made of garbage bags in Burlington. Nearly a year ago, a power plant in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont had a 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 leave 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 house, inventing a new identity for herself, and befriending a young homeless kid named Cameron. But Emily 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.

You can read an excerpt for free on Bohjalian’s website.