About the Book:
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.
I'm usually a big fan of Nicole Baart's writing, and while I won't say this book disappointed me, I will say it is my least favorite of those I've read. Baart noted that the book took her over ten years to write; she started it and then life (including other books) got in the way. Perhaps her writing style has changed through the years; perhaps the story didn't grab me the way her other books did; all I know is that while Sleeping in Eden is a good book, it is not the extraordinary book Baart is capable of writing.
Sleeping in Eden is a two-threaded book. One thread, that of Lucas, takes place in the present day. Lucas is trying to learn who the young woman found in the barn is. Meg's thread is set ten years ago. In the end, they come together. The only question to resolve is how.
One thing I really liked was Lucas' choice near the end of the book to crawl in bed with his wife and hold her, even though she said she didn't want that. He made the choice to love her, he made the choice to reach out and risk rejection.
The book is published by Howard Books which publishes faith-based books. However, this is not your typical Christian novel. There are no long prayers, no salvation scene, no calls for conversion. The people are definitely not too good to be true. They don't find God and live happily ever after. Other than dealing with fidelity and love in marriage I can't think of anything particularly Christian about the book.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via Edelweiss. Grade: B.