Close Your Eyes
By Amanda Eyre Ward
(Random House, Hardcover, 9780345494481, 272pp.)
Publication Date: July 26, 2011
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In Close Your Eyes, the author of the bestselling How to Be Lost spins another mesmerizing tale of buried family secrets.
For most of her life, Lauren Mahdian has been certain of two things: that her mother is dead, and that her father is a murderer.
Before the horrific tragedy, Lauren led a sheltered life in a wealthy corner of America, in a town outside Manhattan on the banks of Long Island Sound, a haven of luxurious homes, manicured lawns, and seemingly perfect families. Here Lauren and her older brother, Alex, thought they were safe.
But one morning, six-year-old Lauren and eight-year-old Alex awoke after a night spent in their tree house to discover their mother’s body and their beloved father arrested for the murder.
Years later, Lauren is surrounded by uncertainty. Her one constant is Alex, always her protector, still trying to understand the unraveling of his idyllic childhood. But Lauren feels even more alone when Alex reveals that he’s been in contact over the years with their imprisoned father—and that he believes he and his sister have yet to learn the full story of their mother’s death.
Then Alex disappears.
As Lauren is forced to peek under the floorboards of her carefully constructed memories, she comes to question the version of her history that she has clung to so fiercely. Lauren’s search for the truth about what happened on that fateful night so many years ago is a riveting tale that will keep readers feverishly turning pages.
Amanda Eyre Ward is the author of Sleep Toward Heaven, How to Be Lost, and Forgive Me, as well as a collection of short stories, Love Stories in This Town. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family.
Advance praise for Close Your Eyes
“With the deft hand of an assured storyteller, Amanda Eyre Ward has concocted a dark yet tender tale about two grown siblings struggling to forge normal lives in the wake of an unimaginably shattering crisis: the conviction of their father for the murder of their mother. It is a tale of twists, turns, secrets, and surprises—all the more engaging for its finely drawn characters. Ward understands just how our flaws betray us and how redemption always comes at a price—yet her deep empathy makes this, ultimately, a story about the power of trust in the people we love.”—Julia Glass, author of The Widower’s Tale
“Close Your Eyes doesn’t hook you as much as it spins a delicate but powerful web around you. Amanda Eyre Ward goes straight to the heart of her complex, nuanced characters, and with empathy and insight she lays them bare. As a reader, you’re powerless against the elegance of her prose and the emotional honesty of her story. You’ll close the cover on this book, but you won’t forget it.”—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Fragile
“Amanda Eyre Ward has given us a book that is both beautifully wrought and intensely gripping. I was transfixed by this story of a woman haunted by loss but making her brave, difficult way toward truth.”—Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Belong to Me
“Close Your Eyes is electrifying, a literary whodunit of the first order—breathless and disturbing and hopeful and true. You won’t be able to look away. People will be talking about this book.”—Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage
“I absolutely loved this beautiful, haunting story of a woman who learns to come to terms with a dark, deep family secret. This is the kind of book that hooks you right in, brings tears to your eyes, and ends on a note of shining hope. Lauren Mahdian will feel like your sister, your best friend.”—Tatiana de Rosnay, author of Sarah's Key and A Secret Kept
“Close Your Eyes is a wonder. Amanda Eyre Ward has given us finely spun mystery with complex, absorbing characters and lovely prose. A true literary page-turner in the best sense of the word.”—Katie Crouch, author of Girls in Trucks
“Close Your Eyes is a pitch-perfect exploration of what happens when grief meets guilt and anger in a dark alley—or, in this case, a bright Austin suburb. It’s lonely and compelling and strangely lovely. Amanda Eyre Ward got it just right.”
—Kelly Braffet, author of Last Seen Leaving