Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian

“There!” says Alice Hayward to Reverend Stephen Drew, after her baptism and before she goes home to be killed by her husband George, who then goes on to kill himself, leaving 15 year old Katie an orphan.  Stephen is puzzled by Alice’s cryptic response to her baptism in light of the event that ensued and suffers from a crisis of faith.

Enter, Heather Laurent, a famous author with books about angels.  She is drawn to Stephen and wants to try to help him with his crisis. Having suffered a childhood that mirrors Katie Hayward, she also tries to counsel her and help her through the mayhem in her life.

But then, the state’s attorney figures out that George Hayward may not have killed himself and that Alice was hiding secrets that only her Reverend knew…

The book is narrated in turn by Stephen Drew, the State’s Attorney, Heather Laurent and Katie Hayward.  Bohjalian does an excellent job of fine-tuning the story, it is almost as if he is turning a die each time the narrator changes and we see the story from a different facet. Even though I figured out “who did it” halfway through the book, there were still surprises at the end.  Really enjoyed it!

4 Stars (Rated PG-13; for some mild sex and a couple of F-bombs)

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