Thursday, March 4, 2010

18. Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian

Secrets of Eden is a book that I have seen and heard a lot about on the blogosphere. I got it from my library and almost returned it unread. Thankfully I didn't! Secrets of Eden is a powerful, wonderful book and one that I give an A-.

From Amazon:
"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.

While I thought that Secrets of Eden started out slowly, it quickly picked up the pace. I enjoyed the way that Mr. Bohjalian switched voices of the main characters to give the reader a different perspective of the way events were unfolding. It was a chilling story, one that really drives home the point that domestic violence is something that should not be shut behind closed doors. So many people in the little town knew what was going on, but few wanted to get involved or take action. The ending was so surprising that I actually let out a little gasp at the end and sat there thinking about everything for awhile. I am sure that Secrets of Eden will be staying with me for quite awhile.

My reading has gotten pathetic lately. I am working every night so that is taking a big chunk of my time up, plus I have been so tired. It doesn't help that I spent far too many days trying to finish a book that I had absolutely zero interest in and couldn't stand the writing just because I was more than halfway done and I so desperately wanted to finish a book. I won't be making that mistake again. I finally got started on the newest Wendy Corsi Staub, one of my favorite suspense authors, and Saturday is going to be a reading day for me. Happy Reading everyone!


Staci said...

Was this your first Bohjalian? If so be prepared for his other books because there is always a twist at the end that you never saw coming! I am so glad that you enjoyed it and gave it an A-. I hope your Saturday is great and that you get to enjoy your time reading!

Literary Feline said...

I am glad to read that you enjoyed this one Kristie. I don't usually buy books in hardback, but I couldn't help but pick this one up. I hope I can read it before it comes out in paperback! That seems to happen to me all too often these days. LOL

My reading for February was atrocious and I'm hoping May will be better. Perhaps for you too. There's nothing like a bad book too to really slow us down.