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.
Close Your Eyes is a powerful novel, exploring the eternal bonds of maternal love. Evoking the spirit of the 60s and 70s in its gentle, lyrical passion, it tells the secret history of a revolutionary social experiment, and, with unflinching honesty, depicts the impacts, both good and bad, that it had on its children.
Recommend this book
Add your recommendation
Only registered users can recommend books. Please use the buttons below to either create a new account, or sign-in to an existing account.
The whole of Close Your Eyes is an admirable and intimate wrestling with the damages incurred by trying to heal, as Adorno once called modernity, 'a damaged life'...anyone wanting to read a wise, emotionally literate gauge of the burdens - and blarney - of alternative living should buy it immediately. - Independent
In Close Your Eyes, Ewan Morrison carries off the compelling second-person voice brilliantly...the novel is beautifully set to a soundtrack of Rowan’s childhood. - Times Literary Supplement
An insightful tale of a brave new world revisited. - Sunday Times
Beautiful. Haunting. If Ewan Morrison was a woman, Close Your Eyes would be destined for the Orange Prize shortlist. -
A brave, sensitive, painful novel, Close Your Eyes is an alternative history of the last forty years, an exploration of the damage idealistic, well-intentioned parents can do to their children, and a reminder that it is sometimes the people who are absent who really fill our lives. -
Told with impressive skill...a riveting read. - Observer
Close Your Eyes is an astonishing book... It takes us right to the heart of the turbulent social changes that defined our last quarter century and it is a revealing, honest,searing novel about mothers and children, about what it means to be part of a family. The story, the writing, the moral intelligence: all of it is a knock out. -
Morrison is unsparing in the emotional ordeal he inflicts on both his protagonist and the reader, but his novel is always acutely and convincingly observed. It’s a telling and powerful study of the intersection between the political and personal (4 stars). - Metro
Fantastic…skillfully done… A rivetingly, well-told tale (4 stars). - The Skinny
Morrison's most accomplished book yet...a complex, thought-provoking and deeply ambitious book, and one that Morrison, now an exceedingly versatile writer, pulls off triumphantly. - Glasgow Herald
Highlights include the page-turning pleasure of a well-turned plot, Morrison’s skilful crafting of character and dialogue and his confident handling of stylistic techniques. - Scotland on Sunday
A novel that deals with post-natal depression that is both sensitive and unflinchingly honest, Morrison's story explores the bond and limits of motherhood. - Stylist
Morally complex, emotionally resonant – Close Your Eyes is a fine, fine piece of work. - Big Issue
Mesmerising. Disturbing. Outstanding. Written with exquisite emotional perception, this is a tour de force from Morrison – the kind of book which comes along rarely but lingers in the mind long after the last page is turned. - Daily Record
Often the sense of impending disaster makes you sick with nervous tension. At other times, Morrison creates calm from the most unlikely circumstances. In a book that is somewhere between Esther Freud’s Hideous Kinky and Jez Butterworth’s play Jerusalem, Morrison creates something both uncomfortable and beautiful to read. - We Love This Book
This week we’re devouring Ewan Morrison’s new novel. - Herald Magazine