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"There," says Alice Hayward to Reverend Stephen Drew, just after her baptism, and just before going home to the husband who will kill her that evening and then shoot himself. Drew, tortured by the cryptic finality of that short utterance, feels his faith in God slipping away and is saved from despair only by a meeting with Heather Laurent, the author of wildly successful, inspirational books about ...angels.
Heather survived a childhood that culminated in her own parents' murder-suicide, so she identifies deeply with Alice's daughter, Katie, offering herself as a mentor to the girl and a shoulder for Stephen - who flees the pulpit to be with Heather and see if there is anything to be salvaged from the spiritual wreckage around him.
But then the State's Attorney begins to suspect that Alice's husband may not have killed himself...and finds out that Alice had secrets only her minister knew.
Secrets of Eden is both a haunting literary thriller and a deeply evocative testament to the inner complexities that mark all of our lives. Once again Chris Bohjalian has given us a riveting novel in which nothing is precisely what it seems. As one character remarks, "Believe no one. Trust no one. Assume all of our stories are suspect."
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kristi Warriner on 04-06-10
Good beginning Good end. Stupid Middle..
This book is told from four different view points. The first character and the last character would make for a compelling novella. The middle two characters are unlikeable and strident. It's almost as if a different and inferior author took on the two middle characters. I confess I don't even get the subplot obsession with angels. Skip it.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Marion on 08-26-10
Not worth it
I've read or listened to other books by Chris Bohjalian and have enjoyed them. I didn't like any of the characters in this book and found its structure contrived and its narration annoying. I stopped listening about half way through. (I admit I grabbed a copy from the shelf at the Big National Book Store in my neighborhood and read the ending just to confirm it was going where I suspected. It was.) I don't recommend this book. Save your money and your credits and your ears.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful