Title: Close Your Eyes
Author: Amanda Eyre Ward
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Random House
Rating: 4 out of 5
When she was six years old, Lauren Mahdian spent the night in her treehouse, along with her eight year old brother Alex. While they were out there, Lauren’s mother was murdered and her father was accused of the crime. Over the years, Lauren has come to accept that her father killed her mother, but Alex has never given up searching for the truth. When Alex goes to Iraq to work with Doctors Without Borders and Lauren is left alone, she begins to wonder if there is more to her mother’s death than she thought.
Close Your Eyes is a thrilling suspense novel that will keep readers guessing from beginning to end. It focuses on two different women – first there is Lauren, who is a bit of a mess when the book begins. She is completely dependent on her brother, Alex, and when he decides to leave, she begins to have panic attacks. Though she has her boyfriend, Gerry, Lauren feels completely alone in the world. It’s only as she begins to work through her memories and open up to the possibility that her father may not be guilty of her mother’s murder that she begins to have more control over her life and emotions.
Halfway through the book, it shifts gears completely, and I’ll admit I found this transition very jarring. All of a sudden, the reader is introduced to a new character, Sylvia, who is traveling in search of her childhood friend, Victoria. However, the unease wore off as I became more interested in Sylvia and how she was connected to Lauren. While I could say more on this subject, I won’t because the novel is short and I found it rewarding to know as little as possible going in.
Ward does an exceptional job bringing these two storylines together for a satisfying conclusion. She keeps the suspense heightened throughout the book, such that readers will be eager to read this book in one sitting in order to discover the truth. Ward’s prose is beautiful as she describes the characters and their difficult emotions. Lauren’s search for the truth sets her on a path towards a place of peace with herself and the past, and it’s a wonderfully written and gripping journey.