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Eden Close Paperback – April 1, 1998

94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her notable fiction debut (her most recent nonfiction book is Women Together, Women Alone ) Shreve sensitively explores the coming-of-age and later redemption of her hero, events separated by nearly 20 years. A recently divorced New York advertising executive in his mid-30s, Andrew returns to the home of his youth in upstate New York to bury his widowed mother. In the dilapidated house next door live Eden Close and her mother Edith. The novel opens with Andrew dreaming of the night he was awakened by screams from the Closes' house, an incident well remembered: "The man next door was murdered when I was seventeen. His daughter was raped." Blinded by the same gun that killed her father, Eden endures an hermetic existence, zealously guarded by her mother. She and Andrew had been best friends before puberty complicated their relationship, and now Andrew, looking to the past for clues to his future, reconnects with Eden. Readers will have guessed the secret of Eden and her mother long before the story's putative climax, when it is revealed to Andrew and others. Shreve's evocative prose and elegiac voice, and her faithful attention to her likable hero's emotions render him believable and give this romance a weight superior to most in the genre. Film rights to Disney/Hollywood Pictures.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

For Andrew and Eden, it's a modern adaptation of paradise lost and then regained. As next-door neighbors, "best buddies," and then awkward adolescents, Eden and Andy find solace in each other's company until a tragic event occurs as Andy prepares to leave their small home town and heads off to college. The awful accident drives them apart, but then inadvertently draws them together again some 15 years later. Their relationship is rekindled when Andy returns home to attend his mother's funeral. Rather than close the chapter, Andy cautiously explores the remains of his past while trying to solve the mystery that envelops the woman he has always loved. Flashbacks add to this sensitive exploration as Shreve's characters struggle to obtain the ever elusive happy ending.
- Heidi Schwartz, "Business Interiors," Red Bank, N.J.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Harvest Book
  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1st edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156005891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156005890
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,234,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anita Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts (just outside Boston), the eldest of three daughters. Early literary influences include having read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton when she was a junior in high school (a short novel she still claims as one of her favorites) and everything Eugene O'Neill ever wrote while she was a senior (to which she attributes a somewhat dark streak in her own work). After graduating from Tufts University, she taught high school for a number of years in and around Boston. In the middle of her last year, she quit (something that, as a parent, she finds appalling now) to start writing. "I had this panicky sensation that it was now or never."

Joking that she could wallpaper her bathroom with rejections from magazines for her short stories ("I really could have," she says), she published her early work in literary journals. One of these stories, "Past the Island, Drifting," won an O. Henry prize. Despite this accolade, she quickly learned that one couldn't make a living writing short fiction. Switching to journalism, Shreve traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, where she lived for three years, working as a journalist for an African magazine. One of her novels, The Last Time They Met, contains bits and pieces from her time in Africa.

Returning to the United States, Shreve was a writer and editor for a number of magazines in New York. Later, when she began her family, she turned to freelancing, publishing in the New York Times Magazine, New York magazine and dozens of others. In 1989, she published her first novel, Eden Close. Since then she has written 14 other novels, among them The Weight of Water, The Pilot's Wife, The Last Time They Met, A Wedding in December, Body Surfing, Testimony,and A Change in Altitude.

In 1998, Shreve received the PEN/L. L. Winship Award and the New England Book Award for fiction. In 1999, she received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey, and The Pilot's Wife became the 25th selection of Oprah's Book Club and an international bestseller. In April 2002, CBS aired the film version of The Pilot's Wife, starring Christine Lahti, and in fall 2002, The Weight of Water, starring Elizabeth Hurley and Sean Penn, was released in movie theaters.

Still in love with the novel form, Shreve writes only in that genre. "The best analogy I can give to describe writing for me is daydreaming," she says. "A certain amount of craft is brought to bear, but the experience feels very dreamlike."

Shreve is married to a man she met when she was 13. She has two children and three stepchildren, and in the last eight years has made tuition payments to seven colleges and universities.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Marla Shatkin on April 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Eden Close is one of Anita Shreve's best. The story has a slow, meandering quality with an undercurrent of mystery. As is often true with Ms. Shreve's books, the reader suspects that things may go a bit awry, or take an unsuspected turn, as one approaches the end of the story--and Eden Close is no exception. As a result, I find that I often put her books down for a bit when I get to the last ten or so pages, at least for a couple of hours if not for a day, both because I don't want to finish the book (which has been a good read) and because I like to ponder just what will happen before finding out exactly what does. If you haven't read anything by Shreve, this is a great one to start with; if you have, you'll truly enjoy this one!
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on December 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The first book I read by Anita Shreve was Where or When. The year was 1993 and I came across this book while browsing at the library. I remember thinking when I closed this book that this title was the book, which deserved all the praise or at least sales that Bridges of Madison County was receiving at the time. I thought the book Where or When better written in comparison to Bridges and that Eden Close had a more intriguing plot as well as a chilling outcome. After reading Where or When I went back and read Shreve's earlier books, Eden Close, Strange Fits of Passion and then Resistance. I remember thinking that Anita Shreve was one of the most overlooked new writers of that time. Then a woman named Oprah selected Shreve's book The Pilot's Wife for her television book group and overnight, one of my favorite authors became a household name. And her succeeding books, Fortune's Rock, The Weight of Water, The Last Time We Met and her latest title Sea Glass continue to illustrate why Shreve's books are such rich reading experiences.
Now that I have read all of this author's books at least once I gave some thought to rereading some of her books. But it wasn't until one of my online book groups selected Close, Shreve's first novel, that I actually picked up this book and began reading it for the second time. I did wonder what I would think about a book I read close to ten years ago and one that I remembered enjoying so much that I always recommended it to others looking for a good book. I am happy to say that my second reading of the book Eden Close if anything has improved with age. The plot of this book, the characters and descriptive passages glued me to my seat once again.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By rebelmomof2 VINE VOICE on June 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
I really enjoy Anita Shreve's books and this book is no exception. It is a quick read and a thought-provoking little book ~~ one that I couldn't put down after picking it up.
Andrew returns home to ready the house for sale after his mother died, only to embark on a personal journey to rediscover love with his oldest childhood friend, who lives next door ~~ Eden. Haunted by the incidents that had happened to Eden during her teen years ~~ the summer before Andrew left home for college ~~ Andrew begins to investigate what had really happened that summer. And to his surprise, the answers weren't what he expected.
It is a quick read ~~ perfect for a hot summery day of reading. I recommend this book ~~ it's just as good as Shreve's later books and it will haunt you for a while after you put the book down. It's a rare glimpse inside of a man's soul and mind as he explores the possibilities of love again.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Karen Bierman Hirsh VINE VOICE on August 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
Like all of Anita Shreve's works that I have read thus far Eden Close has kept me on the edge of my seat. It was a thoroughly entertaining and engrossing novel, Eden Close was a story that really pulled me in.
While I guessed what the "Secret" was early on, it did not matter at all to the enjoyment of the novel. Full of twists and turns, what really makes this novel incredible, as well as all of Anita's other works, is her character development and her unique style of writing. She really makes you feel as though you know these people and you begin to care what happens to them.
If you pick this one up - you won't want to put it down. Also try Pilot's Wife and The Weight of Water.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amy Dunlap on September 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Don't get me wrong--I loved the Weight of Water. But this one? Yes, I guessed the "secret" about twenty seconds in. But what really kills the book is the crashing symbolism (the thunderstorm crashing down just as the climax approaches....he wants to run away, but his car won't start, maybe because he doesn't REALLY want to go! etc.) and Andy's incredibly irritating condescension towards Eden. Not to mention the fact he fell in love with her based on what? No conversations, nothing but their past as TEENAGERS. Whatever!
One flash of promise, though--the friend TJ. He could've easily fallen into a stereotype, what with his "Andy-boys" and "I work out, don't you?", but he showed more insight and depth than that. I would've added 1/2 a star to the rating for him, except Amazon doesn't accept decimals, and 2 stars is too generous for what is essentially a gothic nightmare of a novel. I'm so glad I didn't read this one first, or I probably never would have tried Shreve again!
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