This is a novel I finished a while ago - at least a few months since I read an ARC on Netgalley- and yet I continue to think about it. Bohjalian's latest work my be considered dystopian, but I found it difficult to place it firmly in that camp because of how realistic it felt.
Emily Shepard's father is in charge of the nuclear power plant in a town near their Vermont home. Her mother also works there, and Emily knows her parents jobs to be safe and unremarkable. When the power plant has a meltdown releasing radiation into the environment, life is forever changed. Emily's father may be at fault for the accident, and her parents have both perished in the meltdown. Instead of going where she is told, Emily fears that she will be discovered as the daughter of the man who killed so many others, and takes to the streets.
Emily is homeless, and her narration of the events leading up to this point in her life are honest and a bit heartbreaking. I wanted to believe that Emily's home was happy, yet what she reveals about her parents didn't allow me to believe that everything was wonderful. Bohjalian's development of her parents made them human as he exposes their flaws through Emily's eyes. Although dystopian, the premise for the book is entirely believable, and at one point I even had my map out, looking for the towns Bohjalian references. Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is another winner by Bohjalian, and is another example of his amazing writing skills.