Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Freebie: Close Your Eyes by Amanda Eyre Ward

Congratulations to Mary Jane Nealon, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: Tales of the New World by Sabina Murray.

This week's book giveaway is Close Your Eyes, the latest novel to roll off the keyboard of one of my favorite contemporary authors: Amanda Eyre Ward.  Like her previous novels Sleep Toward Heaven, How to Be Lost and Forgive Me, Ward sinks the reader deep into domestic drama from the first moment we meet six-year-old Lauren and her eight-year-old brother Alex as they spend a summer night in their tree house.  Ward excels at creating engaging characters who are quirky, occasionally funny, and nearly always on the brink of tragedy.  I'll let the publisher's blurb explain what's going on in Close Your Eyes:
      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.
Justin Cronin (The Passage) said Close Your Eyes is "electrifying, a literary whodunit of the first order—breathless and disturbing and hopeful and true. You won't be able to look away. People will be talking about this book."

If you want to start talking about Close Your Eyes, all you have to do is answer this question to be entered in the drawing for a chance to win a copy of the book:

What happened in 1989 in Larchmont, New York which influenced the writing of Close Your Eyes?  (You can find the answer by visiting Ward's website.)

Email your answer to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Please e-mail me the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Nov. 10--at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on Nov. 11.

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