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Secrets of Eden [sound recording] : a novel
Bohjalian, Chris
Adult Fiction BOHJALI

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Bohjalian (Law of Similars) has built a reputation on his rich characters and immersing readers in diverse subjects-homeopathy, animal rights activism, midwifery-and his latest surely won't disappoint. The morning after her baptism into the Rev. Stephen Drew's Vermont Baptist church, Alice Hayward and her abusive husband are found dead in their home, an apparent murder-suicide. Stephen, the novel's first narrator, is so racked with guilt over his failure to save Alice that he leaves town. Soon, he meets Heather Laurent, the author of a book about angels whose own parents' marriage also ended in tragedy. Stephen's deeply sympathetic narration is challenged by the next two narrators: deputy state attorney Catherine Benincasa, whose suspicions are aroused initially by Stephen's abrupt departure (and then by questions about his relationship with Alice), and Heather, who distances herself from Stephen for similar reasons and risks the trip into her dark past by seeking out Katie, the Haywards' now-orphaned 15-year-old daughter who puts into play the final pieces of the puzzle, setting things up for a touching twist. Fans of Bohjalian's more exotic works will miss learning something new, but this is a masterfully human and compassionate tale. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

While stylistically reminiscent of his earlier best seller, Midwives, Bohjalian's 13th novel is his most splendid accomplishment to date. The story revolves around the apparent murder-suicide of Alice and George Hayward and its toll on the couple's teenage daughter Katie, the lost faith of Rev. Stephen Drew, and the minister's relationship with an author of books about angels. As the narrative takes its turn through a series of voices, Bohjalian wends his way through the reader's mind, toying with perceptions, trust, and doubt. Did George in fact kill himself after strangling his wife? As lives are dissected, relationships are uncovered and their repercussions hypothesized and echoed. Verdict A fantastic choice for book clubs, this novel deals beautifully with controversial topics of domestic abuse, faith, and adultery without resorting to sensationalism. Fans of Jodi Picoult and Anita Shreve will enjoy this breathtaking piece of fiction. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/09; also available in ebook, large print, and unabridged CD editions; a Lifetime TV movie will coincide with the paperback sale.-Ed.]-Julie Kane, Sweet Briar Coll. Lib., VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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