Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Review: The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy

The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy
Publisher: MIRABooks
Publish Date: January 24, 2012
Paperback, 400 pages 
Fiction, Fiction, Family Saga
 ISBN: 978-0778329558

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
My Review:
The Legacy of Eden is a very interesting book.  Told through the generations of one family, it's the story of secrets and eventually overcoming those secrets.  It's one of those reads you can't really put down because you wonder what you will find out next.  It's like talking to the best town gossip and getting all the good details about that one family.  It's all in here laid out for the reader.  The good, the bad and the really ugly.  It's a tale of how a family can look so great on the outside yet have such secrets on the inside.

I enjoyed the book, as much as you can say you enjoy this kind of book.  You never like to say you enjoy anyone's pain, even fictional characters', but it's a book that really grabs you, reels you in and keeps you interested until the last page.  Learning about Lavinia, her marriage and her life is fascinating and then learning how her decisions affect the rest of the generations is just eye-opening.  The Legacy of Eden is told mainly through the point-of-view of Meredith who is Lavinia's granddaughter who happened to be around when Lavinia's health was failing and heard many of Lavinia's secrets straight from her.  As the story moves forward, Meredith unravels more and more of the story of the family members of Aurelia and what leads up to what the reader knows was the final breaking moment for the family.  And while the reader is never quite sure what that moment was, they do have a good idea.

Meredith is also seeking a redemption from her sisters in the book and she's looking for some kind of connection as well.  I felt sorry for her most of the book.  She's an interesting character that made some mistakes that she is paying for, but through the book I still felt for her.  I felt Ms. Davy created an interesting character in her, but Lavinia really steals the show in the novel. 

This isn't a novel you speed through, it's one you read and absorb.  It's a tale of family struggle, it's a tale of one woman who would go to almost any length to get what she wanted.  It's almost frightening.  You want to look away but you can't.  Ms. Davy manages to create a story that captivates you and won't let you go even when you finish reading the book. 

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

About the Book:
"To understand what it meant to be a Hathaway, you'd first have to see Aurelia."

For generations, Aurelia was the crowning glory of more than three thousand acres of Iowa farmland and golden cornfields. The estate was a monument to matriarch Lavinia Hathaway's dream to elevate the family name - no matter what relative or stranger she had to destroy in the process. It was a desperation that wrought the downfall of the Hathaways - and the once prosperous farm.

Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died - alone. None of the surviving members of the Hathaway family want anything to do with the farm, the land, or the memories.

Especially Meredith Pincetti. Now living in New York City, for seventeen years Lavinia's youngest grandchild has tried to forget everything about her family and her past. But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith is again thrust into conflict with the legacy that destroyed her family's once-great name. Back at Aurelia, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway family... and her own part in their mottled history.

"Our farm was like the world when people still thought it was flat. And when you left it, it was as if you had simply sailed too far and fallen off the surface into the void."

About the Author (from her website): 
Nelle was originally born in St George’s Grenada under the name Janelle (which she always hated and immediately shortened when she went to University). She moved to London when she was nine months old because her grandfather was English and her parents supposedly wanted a better life. She got a scholarship to Sir William Perkins School for girls where she had a wonderful English teacher Mrs. Wells who encouraged her constantly in her love for books. She went to Warwick University to study English with Creative Writing where after swearing she would never marry, she met her future husband. She did a masters in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin and then moved back to London in 2007 where she almost immediately began working in publishing. After working at Pan Macmillan she moved to work at a literary agency while also writing and pursuing a career as a novelist on the side.

She is 27 years old and The Legacy of Eden is her first novel. She has finished writing a second novel based on the civil rights movement in Louisiana in 1963. She still lives in London with her husband and still works full time in publishing.

So far, she has not had a meltdown…


FTC Information: I received this book through Meryl L. Moss Media Relations for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.


Giselle said...

Great review I saw an guest post with this author on another blog and i've been seeing this book everywhere since. It sounds really good and one that stands out.

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Oregon retirement community said...

You have my full trust. Your words are believable.

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