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When I Close My Eyes

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Famous author Josephine Bourdillon is in a coma, jumping across memory as her body fights to survive. But those around her are fighting their own battles: Henry Hughes, who agreed to kill her for hire out of desperation, is uncertain how to finish the job now, and her teenage daughter Paige is overwhelmed by fear. Can grace bring them all into the light?
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers (first published January 11th 2018)
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Average rating 4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I want to shout it out to all how much I LOVED this book and how much it is needed and how brave Elizabeth is for writing it! Real life truths portrayed through a fictional story of attempted murder and secrets. God’s Grace is sufficient but many times we don’t believe we are good enough or deserve it. As one who has also suffered from depression off and on my entire life; I highly suggest others to read this book and learn how to accept and help others with various mental illnesses. It ...more
Donna Hines
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, arc
Josephine has a story to tell but it may never be told about the Awful Year.
She's in a coma after being shot and it appears it was a suicide or is it?
Perhaps there's more to this story and it's truly unbelievably scary as depression and mental illness is in the headlines.
Henry Hughes the man who shot her has been arrested but he too has his own story to tell.
As fan letters show a different side and a disturbing past her daughter Paige is now scrambling for answers along with detectives.
Nora St Laurent
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
…”I steadied my Glock, and took aim…In the same moment I heard a voice at the end of the alley call out, “Ms. Bourdillon! You forgot—” and the lady turned as my bullet laced its way silently through the air, so that it hit her on the right side of the head instead of full force in the back, as was my intent. But I saw her fall to the ground, lying in a puddle of blood, as the voice turned into a piercing scream. I disappeared around the corner…..”

I stopped reading at this point and checked to
Paula Shreckhise
When I Close My Eyes by Elizabeth Musser is a captivating and significant story about Josephine Bourdillon who is an author struggling with depression. Yet with her novels, Josephine seeks to impart hope to her readers.
Ms. Musser paints beautiful word pictures of the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina where the Bourdillon’s live: “In the spring the mountains looked green and soft as velvet, but when October came around, the velvet blanket turned into an intricate tapestry of reds and
Randi Sampson
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Faith and mental stability aren't mutually exclusive."

Wow. Can we just go back and read this quote from When I Close My Eyes by Elizabeth Musser again!? This is a message that I think is so very needed in the church today! As a Christian who struggles with mental illness, I know that there can be a true stigma within the Christian community about the issue. We so often hear that sadness or worry are not from God, and that if we only have a stronger faith, we can overcome these issues. That's a
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian, fiction
"When I Close My Eyes" is a Christian fiction with three point-of-view characters: Josephine, an author that struggles with depression, Henry, the assassin that came from an abusive background, and Paige, Josephine's teenage daughter. Since Josephine was in a coma from the assassination attempt, we mainly got her viewpoint through flashbacks of her life from 1968 up to the present.

Josephine wrote impactful novels showing people who dealt with difficult circumstances who found hope through
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There’s so many profound issues cleverly presented in this engrossing novel, the most striking being that of depression and its effects on a family. The subject of depression is portrayed in a very sensitive yet realistic way. Written in the voices of the three main characters, I was at once drawn into their stories. It centers around the attempted murder of a popular Christian author, Josephine, and the search for her assassin. But so many other intricate, yet relatable characters’ stories are ...more
Nov 22, 2019 marked it as to-read
Recommended by Sandy.
Dawn Bouchard
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another outstanding novel by one of my favorite writers (and friends)! One of Elizabeth's many strengths is the characters she creates, and this is one of her best 'creations' yet. From the beginning, I felt like Paige and Henry and Josephine and the others were the friends and neighbors I had grown up with ... so real, genuine, authentic, with personalities and struggles that are familiar. Elizabeth has a way of engaging the reader as a participant rather than just an observer, and it's really ...more
Jeanne Alfveby Crea
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I could not stop reading this book! Thank you Elizabeth Musser for incorporating the seriousness of depression with candor and hope. I think you are so brave for writing this story. The characters are so real, the story line so believable, and the touch of suspense kept me reading into the early hours of the morning. I highly recommend it to all story lovers, anyone needing extra grace, and especially to anyone who suffers from depression, or anyone who loves someone who suffers. Well done.

Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my first novel from Elizabeth Musser and I’m still in awe at her incredible talent to bring a realistic, heart wrenching and poignant tale to life with such beauty and emotion.
The story is narrated through three different point of views. Josephine, a famous writer that has a murder attempt and lies in a coma in the hospital (we get her insights through flashbacks of her life since she was 6 years old), Henry, her assassin, a man with a mental illness who does it out of desperation to get
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had no idea what this book was about when I began reading but it touched me on a deep emotional level. This is a story with many layers and a lot of secrets. As novelist Josephine Bourdilllon lies in a coma in a hospital, much of her life passes through her memories…her thoughts center mostly on her family. She remembers her childhood, her parents, and her sister, Kit. She remembers her husband, Patrick, and their daughters, Hannah and Paige. She cannot quite understand what has happened to ...more
Meagan Myhren-bennett
When I Close My Eyes
By Elizabeth Musser

For years The Awful Year has had power over their family. It was a year when everything changed and since then they have avoided it. But when someone tries to end the life of popular author Josephine Bourdillion's life they may have to face the secrets that have lurked just below the surface.

Henry Hughes never wanted to be a killer-for-hire but he desperately needs the money for his son's surgery. But when everything goes wrong and the woman he was hired to
Caitlin Allen
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Bethany House for the free review copy. All opinions are my own.

This book takes off quickly right in the beginning. An assassination attempt on a famous author is what sets up this story. The unique part is that the assassin has his own sections in the book, helping the reader to understand what made him come to make this decision.

I really liked the alternating views in this book. Henry, the attempted assassin, is humanized. While he did make a bad decision, the author shows why
Nancy Larimer
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"When I Close My Eyes " by Elizabeth Musser is a Christian fiction book. This story deals with important issues like how do people cope physically and emotionally when trauma strikes. and depression. When trauma strikes the patient is faced with lots of emotions like shock, anger , depression. The author describes the characters well and their dilemmas in their lives. The daughters response to the trauma of their Mom is expressed very well. The book is written from the past and then to the ...more
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Heart wrenching:
What an amazing book! It grabbed my attention from the very beginning and I had to hang on for a roller coaster ride of plot twists and emotional angst. I loved the beautiful writing style with deeply describe sentences. Whilst there were different timelines and triple points of view, it still flowed well. The characters were all authentic, facing real life emotions and struggles and I found myself rooting for them all, including the "villian".
The story was rather tragic and
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book from start to finish.
Joesphines story is a heart stopping book that leaves you thinking about this book long afterwared.
I didn't look at the blurb before choosing this book. I just seen the authors name like someone elsed and and I'm pretty sure that some in the future will choose this book for the same reason.
I have to admit I was shocked when I first opened this book and seen what the subject was about.
Elizabeth Musser can really write the best stories! It's clear she
Dennard Teague
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was so excited to open an email notification that I was receiving a galley copy of my childhood friend Elizabeth Musser‘s new book “When I Close My Eyes” to be released in November. As I read the dedication, I was immediately pulled in. On this page, Elizabeth described the mist in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC, and I had, just several hours before, discussed that very mist and it’s beauty with a college friend. And then to my great surprise, the setting of the novel is Asheville. And I was ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Musser is one of my favorites. I have followed her books for almost 20 years when I discovered @The Swan House at the library. I received the "When I Close My Eyes" ebook as a member of her launch team b/c I am IN LOVE WITH HER.

And I'm in love with her b/c of everything that is good about this book: rich characters, thrilling storyline, deep emotion and full, strong Truth that will stay with you and can alter your heart!

This book is a murder mystery, but it's really about mental
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I Close My Eyes by Elizabeth Musser was such a different book for me. I was not expecting this story to be so full of drama and deep.

The story begins with an attempted assassination of a well known and loved writer. While Josephine is in a coma, she relives areas in her life. Her struggle with depression is a main focus of the story. Henry, the would be assassin, himself struggles with PTSD. Finding that he has failed in his mission, he begins to read Josephine’s books and has questions
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh. My. Goodness. This book was emotionally charged, deeply thought provoking, and seriously amazing! I absolutely fell in love with each of these characters as they face tests of faith regarding God’s purpose and plan for their lives. There are realistic struggles with depression and the overwhelming demonstration of forgiveness. I found myself crying more than once over the emotion behind what each character experienced. It was extremely difficult to put the book down, and even when I paused ...more
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Told from the alternating perspectives of Josephine, Henry and Paige, "When I Close My Eyes" tells a story of how the lives of two dysfunctional families intertwine. It also addressed mental health challenges, including depression and suicide.
Henry has tried to murder Josephine because he needs money for his son's heart surgery. As Miz Bourdillon lies in a coma, her daughter Paige must put the pieces together and find the murderer. At the core of the story is the secret of The Awful Year,
Diana Guz
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I Close My Eyes was the first book I read by Elizabeth Musser. I had heard a lot of good things, and now it was time to see for myself. I was drawn into the story from page one, and from there it was difficult to pull myself away. This is one of those novels that keep you up until 3 am, ignoring your exhausted eyes and sleepy brain. I just had to finish it as soon as I could. The best thing about this novel is the variety of characters and settings, which are all connected beautifully. ...more
Hayley Chase
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Musser has been a favorite of mine for years - ever since I discovered The Swan House at the library.

I have adored her books for their openness about mental-illness, as well as for the hope that they bring.

When I Close My Eyes was no exception.

There were some issues that I, personally, had with it. Sometimes it felt far too much like Words Unspoken (another book by Ms. Musser that has been incredibly impactful on my life). Sometimes it felt too repetitive/drawn out. Sometimes it felt
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! It is hard to put into words just how amazing this book is! It kept me up until after 2:00 this morning finishing it. I find it hard to categorize it. When I Close My Eyes is a book of mystery, suspense, family dynamics, secrets, budding love, and mental illness. I was captivated from the opening scene and had difficulty putting it down to actually function in the real world. At its core Elizabeth Musser weaves a story of grace and forgiveness, not just of others but of oneself. She ...more
Another excellent read by Elizabeth Musser and very un-put-downable! It's a puzzle I tried to figure out, and she kept me guessing with all the twists and turns. The book deals with some dense subject matter - but with themes that affect everyone today. Someone in our lives is affected by this, and it may be ourselves, that are going or have gone through mental illness. Our broken lives require healing, forgiveness, and hope. To be able to walk in the light and out of the darkness.

Maureen Timerman
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
What a gift you are about to receive as you turn the pages of this amazing read, tough subject, yes, but keep reading.
As we move along, your mind wants you to tell the character not to friend someone, but they don’t know the facts, and when the facts start to unfold, the hard thing for Christians begins, forgiveness.
We know who commits the crime, but who ordered it, and yes, I guessed wrong, and wrong again, but you will come to love this family, and in the end, I wanted more.
Often swept under
Jennifer K
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story! From the very beginning, I was hooked. I loved how the lives of these characters intersected and affected one another. The writing was touching and real. I found the perspective of an author’s life very interesting. With themes of forgiveness, grace, hope and finding light in the darkness, there is a lesson for everyone. The author’s respect and appreciation of people dealing with depression and PTSD is evident. I think that books discussing these issues are so important ...more
Carol Cambra Smith
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved it and seriously couldn’t put it down because I wanted to know the whole story!! It is such an honest account of how mental illness can occur in the best of times and the worst of times.
Henry reminded me of so many children who I have known; coming from trauma but still hoping for something more. And the author’s story was a realistic account of how secrets never stay hidden.
“God’s Grace is sufficient” could be the title because that was certainly the overriding gift of this book! I
Dorothea Miller
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is vastly different from Elizabeth Musser’s other books. From her after notes, I believe it to be part memoir. As an aspiring writer, my heart broke for Josephine in the novel as it dawned on me that Josephine’s suffering must have also been the author’s suffering.
The book gets a little slow in the middle, but it picks up and I could hardly put it down for the last quarter of the book.
I highly recommend this book. It has a deep message for everyone, but especially for Christians. I
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ELIZABETH MUSSER, an Atlanta native, writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. Elizabeth’s highly acclaimed, best-selling novel, The Swan House, was named one of Amazon’s Top Christian Books of the Year and one of Georgia’s Top Ten Novels of the Past 100 Years. All of Elizabeth’s novels have been translated into multiple languages. Two Destinies, ...more
“Faith and mental stability aren't mutually exclusive.” 0 likes
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