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.
Close Your Eyes really focuses on how much one senseless tragedy can immensely alter the lives of everyone involved. While Lauren was only eight years old when her mother was murdered and her father was convicted in his wife’s death, the repercussions have lasted a lifetime for her. Essentially orphaned, Lauren grew to depend on her brother Alex well into adulthood.
Lauren has dealt with believing her father didn’t love her mother enough to not harm her by never letting anyone get close enough to take care of her, except for her brother. Even Lauren’s long time boyfriend Gerry, who has proposed marriage several times and proved his devotion to her no matter how many times she runs from him, sticks with her through her panic attacks and sometimes crazy behavior. She refuses any contact with her father through the years, even though he has always maintained his innocence.
Her older brother Alex, however, has always believed their father didn’t murder their beloved mother. He has even started investigating the crime on his own and has kept in constant contact with their father over the years. But he decides to travel abroad for work, leaving Lauren behind and she doesn’t deal well with being alone.
When Alex disappears, she is forced to finally look back at the past to determine if her version of events is the true version or has her father been innocent all along?
The story of Sylvia is told alternately with that of Lauren. Sylvia has a hand in the entire situation, but I don’t want to spoil the book by hinting at any of it.
Amanda Eyre Ward spins a heartbreaking, touching tale of broken, lost women trying to make sense of a world that was turned upside down due to tragic circumstances beyond their control. The unfolding murder mystery and the circumstances surrounding the relationships between the main characters unfolds with great depth and believability. I was brought to tears at times while reading this novel. I give this book a five.