1. When I Close My Eyes
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    When I Close My Eyes
    Elizabeth Musser
    Bethany House / 2019 / Trade Paperback
    $9.99 Retail: $15.99 Save 38% ($6.00)
    5 Stars Out Of 5 11 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW234446
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  1. Nashville, TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Moving Story of Forgiveness and Extending Grace
    December 3, 2019
    Suzie
    Nashville, TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I've read two books back to back that deal with the difficult topics of depression and suicide, but only When I close My Eyes had the underlying message of faith and grace, making it the story I would recommend first.

    Elizabeth Musser takes readers on a journey of discovery through the eyes of three different characters. Henry is questioning whether his sins and choices can be forgiven. Paige is searching for answers about her mother and family. And, through flashbacks, Josephine is trying to uncover her memories.

    I adored Paige in this story. She asks hard questions, she stands up for others, and she shows grace when it's most difficult to give. She's the ultimate picture of forgiveness.

    This is one book that is going to stick with me for a long while.

    Disclosure statement:

    I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Heart wrenching
    November 25, 2019
    Floraljoy
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    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 heart wrenching but it was simultaneously poignant and quite beautiful as it explored some deep truths. There was mystery and intrigue surrounding 'The Awful Year' and I wanted to just keep on reading in order to find out how everything would be resolved.

    I felt the author dealt with the issues of depression and PTSD honestly and respectfully. It was especially touching reading in the author's notes about her own struggles with depression and that must be why it felt so real and touching in the novel. Thank you to Ms. Musser for being willing to be so open and transparent in order to shed light on this issue.

    So whilst this book was quite sad and tragic, it was also about hope, grace, forgiveness and mercy. It showed how we have to completely surrender to God's grace and redemptive mercy but when we do there is freedom to truly live in Christ.

    I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Life Changing
    November 23, 2019
    Margie Mijares
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    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 memoriesher 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 her. She doesn't remember having an accident so why can't open her eyes and why does it feel as if she keeps drifting off into darkness. She can hear the voices of her loved ones and struggles to come back to them.

    And then there is Henrydriven by love and desperation, Henry has committed a heinous acthe is frantic, his thoughts scattered. How is he going to help his Libby and their son, Jase, if someone finds out what he did? He struggles with guilt and longs to know if there really is such a thing as grace and forgivenessand if there is, does it extend to someone like him?

    Hannah and Paige are frantic and so worried about their beloved Momma. Will she ever wake up, and if she does, will she ever be the same? The police are asking so many questions and what will they do if they are asked about "the awful year" when so much loss entered their lives? Can they guard their family secrets or will it all come out? They spend hours going through Josephine's fan mailreading emails and letters in an effort to find out who harmed their mother and why.

    Patrick sits beside the love of his life and prays as he wonders who would do this awful thing to Feeny and why? Was it a random act or someone who was angered over something in one of her books? Is now the time to come clean about the secret he has guarded for so many yearseven from his daughters? He wants to be free of the lies and he wants his family together again. This book will hold you captive until you turn the last pagewith two surprise twists at the end.

    When I Close My Eyes is a book that deals with topics that many people do not want to discuss such as; regret, shame, family secrets, depression, and suicide. Elizabeth Musser has done an excellent job of writing this story with care and sensitivity. It is a book that impacted me in a big way and one that I will not soon forget.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and was under no obligation to post a review.
  4. Age: 35-44
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Beautiful, poignant and heartwrenching story about redemption!
    November 23, 2019
    Paty Hinojosa
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    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 funds to pay for his 7 year old son who needs an urgent heart surgery, and Paige, Josephine's teenage daughter who wants to understand her mother's past in order to understand her better and bring some light to her murder attempt.

    This is not your typical romance novel, even if there might be a little bit of sweet and clean love scenes. This story deals with real life issues that we can relate to, maybe through our personal lives and struggles, or that of a family member or dear friend. This story deals with depression, anxiety, trauma, desperation, guilt, but at the same time, it brings a ray of light through a beautiful message of forgiveness (for one self and then for others), of trusting God with your broken soul, and trusting that only Him can bring true healing and good to us, even through our mistakes and weaknesses. And that He NEVER forsakes us. That is a beautiful and sometimes hard truth to acknowledge, when our faith is not strong.

    My heart ached for this two grieving families. Henry was a man that tore at my heart. He was abused by his father and educated in a way that you had to get what you needed at whatever cost. That got him to behold his father's murder after being caught in a thievery. That and dealing with PTSD after being in the military for some years. He's a broken soul, and he acts out of desperation. But the murder he attempted failed and he doesn't know what to do. So he instinctively buys his victim's book, and dwelling in those pages will bring out some truths he was never aware of. Was his failure the providence of God? Is there a chance to redeem himself? But what of his little boy? How can this explain the existence of a loving God?

    And Josephine Her books, though historical, always tug strings and brings light to some difficult issues in history that keep repeating themselves: racism, corruption, hate Her stories are full of God enlightening messages. But if she's struggled with depression for so long, are her beliefs true or just a shell to hide from her fears? What is that big awful secret she's hidden and has still to share? Will she wake up from her coma to help solve and understand so many mysteries and family secrets?

    Paige is innocent and naive, yet she's very observant, and this quality will take her on a journey to not only unraveling family secrets, but also of self discovery and understanding of human nature. But best of all, of God's love above all our failings and human mistakes, if we are willing to let Him in our lives.

    This book addresses depression in a very profound way. The fact that the author struggled with it, even if in a low level, makes her an authority and gives solidness to her story. I loved that the story throws light about how to deal with it, in a human and also in a faithly way. It can help the reader if you are struggling with it, or it can help you understand when someone close to you is dealing with this illness. The need of understanding and empathy in these cases is so so great.

    I loved other side characters, such as Patrick, and Drake. I wish Paige and Drake would get their own love story

    I was mesmerized by the whole story. The mystery element: the intrigue about who ordered Josephine's death, the secrets about "that awful year", the wondering of how these families could be healed and restored, keep you guessing and captivate you until the end. It is definitely love and only LOVE that can restore a broken soul. And, in the most perfect way, the most unconditional LOVE which is God's love.

    Thank you, Elizabeth Musser, for such an inspiring, human and compassionate story!

    I totally recommend it! You will end with a feeling of purpose and hope at the end.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Deeply Moving
    November 21, 2019
    DixieJudy
    When I Close My Eyes by Elizabeth Musser is such a different book. It is a deeply moving book, full of drama with very believable characters. A book that will draw you in from the very first chapter. It deals with serious depression but in a well written way. You cannot always tell what goes on in the heart/life of a person. Even though it seems they are famous and well adjusted, they may be fighting their own demons.This book was emotionally charged, deeply thought provoking and you will find it hard to lay down, and the ending was so surprising and different........ Thank you to Bethany House Publishing and NetGalley for this book. I was under no obligation to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.
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