Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CLOSE YOUR EYES by Amanda Eyre Ward

Alex and Lauren are siblings whose father is in prison for killing their mother when they were children.  Alex has steadfastly believed in his father's innocence, while Lauren is resigned to the fact that their father is a murderer.  Lauren's boyfriend Gerry is ready to marry, but Lauren has commitment issues because of her family history.  Now Alex is on his way to Iraq for Doctors Without Borders, and Lauren has become unglued.   When Alex goes missing after an explosion, she becomes even more unstable but makes a feeble effort to take up where Alex left off in his quest to exonerate their father.  Lauren discovers that a jade earring, traced to a woman name Pauline Hall, was found at the scene, but there were no signs of forced entry, and no one else was there.  Then the narrative changes to that of Sylvia Hall, Pauline's daughter, fathered by Alex and Lauren's father.  Sylvia knows about her two half siblings, but Alex and Lauren are totally unaware of Sylvia's existence.  The book is mainly about the two women's struggles to come to terms with their pasts.  Lauren, a real estate agent in Austin, certainly has a shot at overcoming her anxieties, especially with support from Gerry.  Meanwhile, Sylvia is unwed and pregnant and hoping to reconnect with her childhood pal, Victoria, whose life is now a total shambles.  Lauren and Sylvia, though, have more in common than just the same biological father.  Both grew up without him, and both lose their mothers at a young age as well.  It doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to figure this one out, but how the author goes about unveiling the truth is the real draw here.  As they say, the truth can set you free, and it certainly frees the struggling characters in this book.

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