The San Francisco Chronicle – Review of Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian

Late in Chris Bohjalian’s stirring, sensitive novel “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands,” teenage narrator Emily Shepard describes the “poetry of a nuclear disaster.” She finds alliteration in “rads and roentgens and rems” and captures the rhyming “iums” of words like cesium and strontium and, of course, plutonium. And then she vaporizes it all. “Unfortunately, whenever I write those words down I instantly recall the dead cows and the dead moose and the dead birds,” she says, “and the poems in my head turn to steam.”

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