Won’t they find out about The Awful Year. . . ?

There is one story novelist Josephine Bourdillion shirked from writing. And now she may never have a chance. Trapped in her memories, she lies in a coma.

. . . The man who put her there is just as paralyzed. Retired military Henry Hughes failed to complete the kill. What’s more: he failed to receive payment—funds that would ensure surgery for his son.

As detectives investigate disturbing fan letters, a young but not-so-naive Page Bourdillion turns to her mother’s tormented past for answers. How bad could The Awful Year truly be compared to the one they’re all living?

Set against the flaming hills of North Carolina and the peaceful shores of the Mediterranean Sea, When I Close My Eyes tells the story of two families struggling with dysfunction and finding that love is stronger than death.

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY starred review: “Musser delivers a powerful story about mental illness and forgiveness, connecting the culprit and victim of a violent attack through their strong faith…(a) raw portrayal of life with mental illness and the strength of faith to overcome injury…”

Available Now!

Here Elizabeth read Chapter 1.


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“Elizabeth Musser’s beautifully written novels are always unique and inspiring—and this is no exception. Christian novels don’t often feature characters who battle depression—or who are hitmen! Yet Musser breathes life into her characters and makes you care. When I Close My Eyes will keep readers guessing and hoping until the very end. Thoroughly engaging!”

—Lynn Austin, author of Legacy of Mercy

“When I Close My Eyes is an enthralling story about family secrets, regret, and shame. Not only has Elizabeth Musser courageously and insightfully addressed complicated issues of mental illness, but she has done so with compassion and nuance by creating sympathetic characters who are struggling to comprehend grace. This story of redemption is an invitation to travel deeper into the heart of a God who companions us in the darkness and offers us hope. Thank you, Elizabeth, for writing an honest book that will be a comfort to the afflicted and to those who love and long for them.”
—Sharon Garlough Brown, author of the Sensible Shoes series and Shades of Light

“Musser pens an exciting, intriguing story of redemption and truth. When I Close My Eyes flows from scene to scene with her pristine storytelling, enticing the reader from the opening scene to the last.”
—Rachel Hauck, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress and The Memory House

“Elizabeth Musser has penned a unique story—a tender, compassionate, and bittersweet portrayal of mental illness and redeeming grace.”
—Rachel Linden, author of The Enlightenment of Bees

“Elizabeth Musser’s riveting whodunit offers a haunting look at one sympathetic villain and his victim whose lives become entwined when they discover they’re connected by more than one desperate act. When I Close My Eyes is a beautiful novel revealing truth in fiction as it exposes that ‘faith and mental instability aren’t mutually exclusive.’”
—Ann Marie Stewart, author of Christy Award–Winning novel Stars in the Grass

“I have long admired Elizabeth Musser’s stories, but this one takes my admiration to new heights! Through colorful characters and an ever-twisting plot, When I Close My Eyes takes its readers on an unforgettable journey into the meaning of grace. Thanks for sharing your very soul in this one, Elizabeth.”
—Ann Tatlock, novelist, blogger, children’s book author

2 Comments on “When I Close My Eyes

  1. Last month I read ‘When I close my eyes’ (in Dutch). What a marvelous story. So honest about depression, which, yes, also can appear in a christian life. The way you wrote about this, the struggle of Josephine, touched me deeply. Thank you for writing about things (and people!) many christians rather close their eyes and ears for… Jesus did not, and so you don’t. I hope many will read this excellent written story, I hardly could stop reading…


    • Thank you so much, Suzanna, for your message which was a great encouragement to me. I try to put into my novels things that the Lord is teaching me. As you probably saw in the Acknowledgments, I have suffered from depression and feel strongly that we as Christians must understand this illness and offer grace instead of judgment. I appreciate your taking the time to write and encourage me! Tot ziens! Elizabeth


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