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1 Stars Out Of 5
The product has no redeeming value, in my opinion.
July 16, 2013
How disappointing! I'm surprised that this book is offered at CBD. Yes, there is profanity, giving the "bird" by a fourteen- year-old girl and fornication; but, I expected redemption -- someone turning to the Bible and Christ for salvation. The book is very well written, but it seems to involve social service issues instead of the Christian message to young people-even in a vague way. A very depressing book. I read to be uplifted. I average reading several books a week and feel that I have wasted the money on this book. What a waste of the author's talent!
Nicole Baart in her new book, "Sleeping In Eden" published by Howard Books takes us into the lives of Lucas Hudson, Meg Painter and Dylan Reid
From the back cover: She knew what he wrote . . .
One little word that made her feel both cheated and beloved.
One word that changed everything.
On a chilly morning in the Northwest Iowa town of Blackhawk, Dr. Lucas Hudson is filling in for the vacationing coroner on a seemingly open-and-shut suicide case. His own life is crumbling around him, but when he unearths the body of a woman buried in the barn floor beneath the hanging corpse, he realizes this terrible discovery could change everything. . . .
Years before Lucas ever set foot in Blackhawk, Meg Painter met Dylan Reid. It was the summer before high school and the two quickly became inseparable. Although Meg's older neighbor, Jess, was the safe choice, she couldn't let go of Dylan no matter how hard she tried.
Caught in a web of jealousy and deceit that spiraled out of control, Meg's choices in the past ultimately collide with Lucas's discovery in the present, weaving together a taut story of unspoken secrets and the raw, complex passions of innocence lost.
"Sleeping In Eden" starts with what looks like a suicide and Lucas is called to act as coroner because the town's coroner is on vacation. And then they find the body that had been buried years ago. That is when the two stories begin. Ms. Baart does a wonderful job of giving us believable characters that come alive on the pages but she also brings the two stories together in a very touching manner. Ms. Baart has given us a murder mystery but she has also provided us with a family in pain, foster parenting, young romance and dangerous choices and secrets. There is some profanity in "Sleeping In Eden" you should be aware of that. Other than that Ms. Baart has given us a wonderful book that is very touching.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Alternating chapters tell two seemingly different stories about Dr. Lucas Hudson and his wife, Jenna whose marriage is falling apart; and Meg Painter, a young girl experiencing difficulty choosing between two fellows. Toward the end of the book, the stories converge and mysteries are solved. The chapters are short, and pages seem to quickly turn. There were times when I wanted to skip the next chapter so as to continue reading one story or the other, but I resisted and read as the author intended.
My favorite scene is between Lucas and Jenna, when they finally talk.
This novel contains some profanity and indicates sex scenes between an unmarried couple.
Reading Group Guide included.
Thank you to Anne Staszalek at Authors On The Web and Howard Books for my copy.
When Jim Sparks is found hanging in his barn, Dr Lucas Hudson is called in to act as coroner. It's pretty clear that Sparks has committed suicide, but the discovery of a human skeleton buried in the floor of the barn is unexpected. Is it Angela, Jim's daughter, who disappeared eight years ago? Lucas finds an inscribed ring on the barn floor and decides to keep it as a peace offering for his wife, Jenna. Their marriage has been slowly failing since Angela disappeared, and he hopes the ring will provide some closure and help restore their broken relationship.
Meg Painter and Dylan Reid are high school students in Sutton. She's intelligent, athletic and popular; he's the guy from the wrong side of the tracks, but they are best friends until all-American neighbour Jess starts dating Meg, and she doesn't understand her feelings.
The two stories run side by side, although it isn't initially apparent how or when they will link. And both stories were equally intriguing, because I knew there had to be a link, and when I realised what it was_ well, I didn't see that coming. Maybe I should have, but I didn't. The second half of the novel is bittersweet, as you can see where the story is going yet it's like a runaway train: there is nothing that can be done to change the inevitable.
Nicole Baart writes gritty stories with characters making difficult decisions, and Sleeping in Eden is no exception. She evokes strong emotion, not through melodrama but by placing her characters in situations that just could happen and where there is no easy or obvious choice. Her writing is beautiful, evoking images and emotions in just a few well-chosen words.
It's not typical Christian fiction, even though it's published by Howard Books, Christian imprint. There are a couple of swear words and Lucas makes a morally questionable decision in keeping the ring. There are a few unanswered questions, and a couple of characters whose stories aren't finished. Despite this, Sleeping in Eden is a poignant tale of love and hope, beautifully written and a story that will be remembered. Recommended.
Thanks to Howard Books and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.