“I have never outgrown the pleasures of being read to,” said bestselling author, Chris Bohjalian, in a recent article for the Burlington Free Press. “My sense is that we all have totemic connections with the particular stories that feed our souls. And whether we listen to an audiobook while driving (as I do), or gardening, or exercising, it can transport us from the monotony of the moment. It can make that moment memorable and special and rare.”
And CLOSE YOUR EYES, HOLD HANDS, the latest listen by Bohjalian, is perhaps even more memorable and special to this audiobook-loving author because it is read by his daughter, actress Grace Blewer. Bohjalian told the Boston Globe in a June interview, “The first time [my daughter] started reading my [unfinished] books was probably The Sandcastle Girls in the summer of 2011 when she had just graduated from high school. I loved everything she said, so now she’s joined my wife and my editor at Doubleday, Jenny Jackson, as being a very important [first] reader to me.”
And Grace truly has the perfect voice to bring her father’s work to life on this audio, a heartbreaking adventure that introduces listeners to Emily Shepard, a homeless teen haunted by her past who invents a new identity for herself (inspired by Emily Dickinson) after a cataclysmic event changed her life forever.
Recommended by Booklist as a YA cross-over title for mature readers, CLOSE YOUR EYES, HOLD HANDS has received rave reviews that praise both father and daughter’s impressive work, not to mention, of course, a coveted spot on the July LibraryReads list! Scroll down for photos, an audiobook review, and to listen to a clip of this beautiful new novel that the Washington Post says “could serve as a master class on how to write the thinking reader’s bestseller.”
Studio Snapshot of narrator Grace Blewer (seated) and producer/director Kelly Gildea:
— Chris Bohjalian (@ChrisBohjalian) March 21, 2014
“Grace Blewer, the author’s daughter, gives a heartfelt portrayal of Vermont teenager Emily Shepard…Blewer captures all of Emily’s complexity…There’s no doubt that listeners will know this book shines in the audio format when they hear Blewer singing an Emily Dickinson poem to a popular tune.”—AudioFile
—and passionate library supporter!
Click here to see all of Chris Bohjalian’s audiobooks available from BOT.
Click here to read a Q & A in Library Journal with Chris Bohjalian and Grace Experience.