Fiction Close your eyes

Published on August 2nd, 2012


Close Your Eyes by Ewan Morrison

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Blurb: In 1981 a mother abandoned her child and drove into the night, never to return. Her disappearance was reported in the press as a fatal road accident. Her body was never found. Thirty years later, Rowan has a child of her own. Afflicted by post-natal depression, she is convinced that she’ll hurt her daughter unless she unpicks the mystery of her past, buried deep within a commune in the remote highlands of Scotland. Leaving her young family and life in London, she returns to her childhood home to find a failed utopia shrouded in secrecy. And there, with a looming cult leader, among the rites and rituals, the sacraments and ceremonies, is a single postcard dated a week after her mother’s death. As she draws ever closer to the truth about her mother, she fears she might lose even herself. (Jonathan Cape, 2012)

Jane Housham, The Guardian

“Morrison’s novel acts as a primer for pronouns. Quite explicitly, he explores the language of I, you, she and we, testing the impossibly complex structures that underpin those simple words … Intense and brilliantly sustained, this is a powerful, moving exploration of New Age life.”

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Pat Kane, The Independent

“Morrison is … a generous and wide-ranging dyspeptic. His novels have been steadily sharpening their dissection of the creative classes on these islands. He delights in their elaborate pratfalls of self-delusion and misapplied competence, slipping around on a permanent grease of sexual desire. So it’s not just formless hippies that get it in the neck in Close Your Eyes, but the all-too-calibrated yuppies too. Rowan’s husband, Josh, is a deliciously sketched prig – a PR man intoning baby manuals.”

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Corinne Jones, The Observer

 Morrison inhabits his female characters with impressive skill, and his sharp portrayal of the commune’s evolution from hippy enclave to capitalist self-help business makes what is a potentially depressing novel a riveting read.

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Janet Christie, The Scotsman

“One of the successes of the book is Morrison’s convincing use of a female narrator. He writes about breastfeeding and motherhood in a completely natural way and the reader forgets the author is male. Yet Rowan is not just a woman, she is everyman, any­one who has struggled with depression, disappointment, abandonment and disillusion.”

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Emma Hagestadt, The Independent

“A fearsome read, it latches on and won’t let go.”

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Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times

“Suffering from postnatal depression, Rowan flees her new, middle-class life and returns to Ithaca, her childhood home, which has been transformed into a new-age centre, filled with casualties of modernity in search of spiritual enlightenment, resulting in an insightful tale of a brave new world revisited.”

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