A Different Take on the Calamity Novel

Chris Bohjalian's latest, "Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands" presents the harrowing story of Emily Shephard, a smart teenager obsessed with Emily Dickinson whose biggest problem is a growing concern about her parents' drinking until an accident at a nuclear power plant changes everything. When Emily learns that her father has been blamed for the nuclear meltdown, she runs away to avoid questions. Soon she is homeless, scrounging for shelter and food, and surprising herself with what she is willing to do to survive.

After the catastrophe, the rest of the world returns to a somewhat normal, if damaged, state. People are relocated, and cleanup begins. But Emily's life is completely upended. The transformation from a comfortable but troubled life with her parents and beloved dog to sleeping in an igloo made of garbage bags is alarmingly swift. "Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands" is a captivating tale about loss and survival.

--Jennifer A., Headquarters

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