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The Secrets of Eden

Secrets of Eden - Chris Bohjalian

By: Chris Bohjalian

Narrators: Mark Bramhall, Susan Denaker, Rebecca Lowman, Kathe Mazur 


Publisher:  Random House Audio

Pub Date: 2/10/2010

Format:  Audio

My Rating:  5 Stars 

The Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian, is a compelling yet haunting exploration into domestic violence. Told from four different profound voices--a town shaken by a tragedy of one woman. Secrets. What could have been done to prevent such a violent action?

Set in Vermont, Alice Hayward is being baptized by her minister Stephen Drew; however, this was the beginning of the end for Alice. She would be murdered shortly thereafter, before her new spiritual life could begin.

George, a controlling, violent husband, and father. An alcoholic. A daughter, who lives in the midst of seeing her mother beaten constantly and a father who has two sides. Good and evil. Mostly evil.

Stephen, the minister is haunted by Alice’s death. What could he have done to save her life. Now he feels his own faith slipping away. He meets Heather, the author of inspirational books about angels. She also has a story of violence with her own parents and becomes a welcome support for both Alice’s daughter and Stephen.

When Stephen and Alice are found murdered, at first everyone thought Stephen killed her then committed suicide. A murder suicide. Could someone else have killed the husband after he murdered his wife?

We also hear from Katie, now fifteen year old orphan---her thoughts about her mom, dad, Heather, and Stephen. The bullying from her dad, and the wife beating. The deputy state attorney Catherine, is suspicious when the minister leaves town and his close connection to Alice. .

A riveting literary murder mystery thriller! I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Mark Bramhall, Susan Denaker, Rebecca Lowman, Kathe Mazur, delivering a suspenseful performance for each respective voice.

You are hooked from the first page to the last, hanging on every word. Each character brings something different to the story, as it moves forward. Ordinary people, faced with extraordinary circumstances. I liked how the book was broken up into four parts which made it easy to follow via audio.

Heather is charismatic, Stephen is cynical, Alice is complex with many secrets, and Katie is torn---A realistic account of abuse and domestic violence, and how it effects all the lives involved. Bohjalian delves into the profound mysteries of human existence in all his books I have read thus far--each book is unique.

So excited about Christ Bohjalian's books (I have only newly discovered this extraordinary author--a blend of literary and contemporary).

I am quickly making my way through his back list via audio, playing catch up. I fell in love with The Double Bind first (ahhh), Midwives, The Law of Similars (this past week) and now Secrets of Eden . I have purchased the remaining ones on audible; however, before I begin,I am jumping to:

The most anticipated upcoming release: THE GUEST ROOM.Christmas came early-- just received the best gift......an advanced reading copy from NetGalley (approval happy dance)!

My second Christmas unexpected gift came from Chris Bohjalian, a short story: Nothing Very Bad Could Happen to You There. What a great idea and a lovely gift! I wish more authors would do this type of promo. Really creates interest for the upcoming new release. A prologue to the novel--The Guest Room about Alexandra, the woman at the center of the novel, with a special note about the book from the author.
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I am dropping all my other scheduled books to get to The Guest Room. Dying to see what goes down and how . . . in the meantime folks, read all his books...spellbinding!

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1465414570