Monday, July 18, 2011

Close Your Eyes - Amanda Eyre Ward - Review AND Giveaway

Amanda Eyre Ward is a new to me author, but Close Your Eyes is her fifth novel. The book opens in 1986. A brother and sister have their idyllic childhood shattered when their mother is murdered....and their father is accused and subsequently convicted of the crime.

It is twenty four years later. The siblings have 'coped' with their loss in different ways. Alex is on his way to Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. Lauren sells real estate and refuses to marry her live in boyfriend - she can't commit to marriage. She is distraught when Alex announces his trip. He is her lifeline and has  always looked after her - she can't lose the only family she has left. But leave he does.

The second part of the book introduces us to Sylvia whose life has been unalterably changed by the events in her life. A life seemingly quite different from Lauren's, but both women have carried the burden of loss the entire lives. Loss on many different levels.

And this is where Ward shines. Her exploration of the themes of love, loss, family, self and redemption are examined through the eyes of the two main protagonists. While both have closed their eyes to what has happened in their lives, their interaction allows each other to slowly reclaim their own lives, open their eyes and go forward.

Murder is the minor player but the major catalyst in this novel. the characters and their lives are the driving force behind this story. Although I had an inkling where things might go, Ward surprised me many times. Lauren and Sylvia are well drawn characters, but so is the secondary cast. Gerry, Lauren's boyfriend stood out for me.
 
This was a different read for me, but one I quite enjoyed. It was a thought provoking exploration of how a random, unplanned act can affect so much and so many.

Read an excerpt of Close Your Eyes.

You can find Amanda Eyre Ward on Facebook  and on Twitter.

Thanks to the generous folks at Random House, I have a copy of Close Your Eyes to giveaway to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment to be entered. Open to US and Canada. Ends Sat. Aug 13/11.

Check out what other bloggers on the TLC tour thought of Close Your Eyes.

43 comments:

Linda said...

This sounds great, although totally unlike what I normally read. Thanks for the giveaway.
lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

It sounds like an interesting and thought provoking book! Thanks!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Tamye said...

Sounds like a good read Luanne. Please enter me into the giveaway. Thanks.

Tamye said...

Here's my e-mail for the earlier comment: tamyemachina@primus.ca

Kay said...

This is a local author for me and I'm looking forward to reading her new book. No need to enter me in the drawing.

debbie said...

This sounds really good, I would love to read it.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

traveler said...

Intriguing book. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

Fascinating book which would be enjoyable. Thanks for this giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

This sounds really interesting. It sounds a lot like things I've read recently in terms of adult exploration of emotions.

PoCoKat said...

Sounds like a really interesting book.

littleone AT shaw DOt ca

Anonymous said...

I love her books.
gardnerad@juno.com

Margaret said...

I am interested in the giveaway! Sounds too good to pass up! Thanks!

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

Tiffany Drew said...

I have read and enjoyed one of her other books and have been looking forward to getting my hands on the rest, so I would love to give this a read :) Thank you!

jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

bermudaonion said...

This sounds rather sad, but good. It's amazing how much loss can affect you, especially when you're young. Please enter me. kathy(at)bermudaonion.net

Carol N Wong said...

After that experience it is easy to understand why the main character didn't want to commit to marriage.

Please enter me in this giveaway.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Martha Lawson said...

Sounds really good! Enter me please.

follow on gfc

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

AmandaSue said...

I love her other books, hope this one is as good!

unforgetable_dreamer_always (at) hotmail (dot) com

The Dowell Family said...

Would love to read this book!
Megandowell3@yahoo.com

Maureen said...

It looks like a unique story.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Darlene said...

Please enter me in the draw!

I'm subscribed by email, and my email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

Thanks for the giveaway!

ChristyJan said...

This does sound like a thought provoking read. Please enter me

hawkes(at)citlink.net

Mona said...

Thanks for the giveaway :)
Sometimes I'm in the mood for a serious thought-provoking read.

monagargATyahooDOTcom

nfmgirl said...

This sounds great! Please count me in. Thank you!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Julie said...

I liked your review, and I definitely now want to read this book! Thanks so much for the great review and the awesome giveaway:)

jwitt33 at live dot com

Nancy said...

Sounds like an interesting read! I love to discover "new to me" authors!

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Pat L. said...

Sounds good - patoct at yahoo dot com.

Judy H said...

Ohh, I would love to read this.

headlessfowl at gmail dot com

heathertlc said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks for being on the tour! I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

Laura Kay said...

I'd love to read this!!!

Laura Kay
anovelreview(at)yahoo(dot)com
www.anovelreview.blogspot.com

Amy said...

This book sounds fascinating and I thinkWard's approach is unique and creative!

Thank you for another great giveaway!

Aimala127(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I love mystery and suspense books. Would love to win a copy.

Anonymous said...

didnt realize I needed my email.
lovesthemets@yahoo.com

Would love to win this book.

Thanks.
Karen T.

L. Eleana Johnson said...

Hi, please enter me for this giveaway. Another great read for the summer will be awesome!!

Carol W. said...

You've piques my interest. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

chipotlecraving(at)gmail(dot)com

Crystal said...

I'm intrigued by this book and would love to win it. Thanks!

crystalfulcher(at)ec.rr.com

Molly said...

Please enter me in the giveaway.

Kimmy R said...

I can't wait to read this book! Saw it in People magazine today!

Theresa N. said...

I'd like to read this book.
Theressa N
weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

UnderCoverMuslimah said...

Id love to have a copy of this book! Please :)

Helen L. said...

Another great giveaway. thank you.

gmapeony at yahoo dot com

Sherman said...

I enjoyed "Sleep Toward Heaven" the best of all her books and betting this one will be just as good.

bricksiam@yahoo.com

lag123 said...

This one is on my wish list!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

i love good characterization !
thanks for including this giveaway-
blstef1 at mts dot net