Book review of Close Your Pretty Eyes by Sally Nichols

close-eyes-1of2You have 15 minutes to write a review of Sally Nicholl’s book, ‘Close Your Pretty Eyes’.

What?! I can’t do that. I can’t do it. It’s impossible. How do you do justice to such a cracking read in 15 minutes?

Under 15 now. Get on with it.

I love Sally Nicholl’s books. This is the third I’ve read. On Equipping for Ministry at Woodbrooke, I was looking for something I thought a little lighter from Swarthmore lectures and the rest. My eyes lit on her first book, ‘Ways to Live Forever’ and I loved every word of it, despite it dealing with the death of a child with cancer. She does wring your heart out with her words. ‘So, not that easy a read, then?’ They’re page turners. What I like is that I quickly read 50 pages at a sitting. I never do that these days.

‘Close Your Pretty Eyes’ is a ghost story. It deals with domestic abuse of children, neglect, the attempt of the social services to support the child, the efforts and dedication of social workers, the different experiences of foster carers. It’s quite a mountain to climb. The central character is Olivia, a small child, who develops ways to survive, which are not helpful to building relationships. Liz, her social worker and a constant, is a support. You ask yourself, what would I do? How would I cope? If I were in Olivia’s shoes. In the foster carer’s and their family’s shoes?

By the time I finished this book, my eyes were fully open. God bless, Olivia, wherever you are today. I hope you made it. And God bless all those carers too. And I look forward to my next Sally Nicholl’s book (all of which I’ve donated after reading to our Local Meeting library), whenever it falls into my lap. They’re that kind of book. She’s that kind of author.

‘Time up!’ No, two minutes to spare…close-eyes-2of-2

‘Time up now!’


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