Start reading Secrets of Eden: A Novel on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Add Audible Narration
Secrets of Eden: A Novel Narrated by Kathe Mazur $31.93 $8.49
Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available
 

Secrets of Eden: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Chris Bohjalian
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $3.01 (20%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Audible Narration

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $8.49 when you buy the Kindle book.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $11.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $13.18  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $0.00 Free with Audible trial
Audio, CD --  
Unknown Binding --  
Things You Won't Say
After police officer Mike's partner is seriously injured in the line of duty, some of Mike's wife's worst fears begin to be realized. Learn more about the book | Read more about the author Sarah Pekkanen

Book Description

NOW A LIFETIME TV MOVIE STARRING JOHN STAMOS

From the bestselling author of The Double Bind, Midwives, and Skeletons at the Feast comes a novel of shattered faith, intimate secrets, and the delicate nature of sacrifice.

"There," says Alice Hayward to Reverend Stephen Drew, just after her baptism, and just before going home to the husband who will kill her that evening and then shoot himself. Drew, tortured by the cryptic finality of that short utterance, feels his faith in God slipping away and is saved from despair only by a meeting with Heather Laurent, the author of wildly successful, inspirational books about . . . angels. 

Heather survived a childhood that culminated in her own parents' murder-suicide, so she identifies deeply with Alice’s daughter, Katie, offering herself as a mentor to the girl and a shoulder for Stephen – who flees the pulpit to be with Heather and see if there is anything to be salvaged from the spiritual wreckage around him.
But then the State's Attorney begins to suspect that Alice's husband may not have killed himself. . .and finds out that Alice had secrets only her minister knew.

Secrets of Eden is both a haunting literary thriller and a deeply evocative testament to the inner complexities that mark all of our lives.  Once again Chris Bohjalian has given us a riveting page-turner in which nothing is precisely what it seems.  As one character remarks, “Believe no one.  Trust no one.  Assume all of our stories are suspect.”



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Bohjalian skillfully intertwines different narrators and their conflicting perspectives on the same events to build tension and suspense. While the critics agreed that each voice is distinct, they did not consider the narrators equally convincing--particularly Reverend Drew (too detached and self-centered) and Catherine (too clichéd as the tough-as-nails attorney). Additionally, the Washington Post found Bohjalian's portrait of domestic violence somewhat flat and formulaic. Others, however, thought he tackled the subject with compassion and tact, and nearly all cited Heather's memories of her parents' marriage as some of the novel's most harrowing passages. Overall, Secrets of Eden is the enjoyable thrilleresque novel that readers have come to expect from Bohjalian.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1547 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (January 28, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SXN7LQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,330 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
(210)
3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
132 of 139 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a Good One full of small town secrets! January 26, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The title alone of Chris Bohjalian's latest book: The Secrets of Eden, drew me in, and never let go. Having read all of this author's books, I can say without a doubt that Bohjalian is one of those talented authors, who can expertly write about controversial subject matters and family issues while keeping the reader hanging on and anxiously turning the pages,

Secrets of Eden takes place in the small town of Haverill, Vermont. The story is told through the perspectives of four central characters. From the very first pages the reader gets a feel of what is going on in the mind of Reverend Stephen Drew of the local Baptist Church......

(p.3) "On those sorts of Sundays, whenever someone would stand and ask for prayers for something relatively minor -- a promotion, traveling mercies, a broken leg that would surely mend --I would find myself thinking as I stood in the pulpit, 'Get a spine, you bloody ingrate! Buck Up! That lady behind you is about to lose her husband to pancreatic cancer, and you're whining about your difficult boss? Oh please! -- I never said that sort of thing aloud, but I think it is only because I'm from a particularly mild mannered suburb of New York City, and so my family has to be drunk, to be cutting. I did love my congregation, but I also knew that I had an inordinate number of whiners."

And, while all small towns have their secrets, no one including the Rev. Drew, was prepared for what would happen on the very day he baptized one of his own parishioners. On the very day that Alice Hayward came to be baptized in Brookner's pond, she along with her husband George would be found dead. The Haywards, along with their teenage daughter Katie were prominent members of the community.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "We never outgrow those small, wounded things we were." January 26, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Bohjalian has written a provocative novel of faith and angels, murder and abuse in a bucolic Haverill, Vermont. In alternating chapters, each character reveals his perspective of the local murder-suicide of George and Alice Hayward, as the author explores humanity's tendencies to proffer judgments in the face of tragedy. For Reverend Stephen Drew, the murder-suicide engenders a crisis of faith. Alice was his parishioner, her fifteen-year-old daughter, Katie, a former member of the church's youth group. In fact, Stephen baptized Alice Hayward the morning of her death, Alice's only cryptic comment after her full immersion in the water, "there". Now Stephen is left to ponder the significance of that single word.

Heather Laurent, author of two best-selling books about the existence of angels, is drawn to the tragedy, to Stephen and to Katie, because of her personal history. Angels have had a profound influence on Heather's daily existence; in fact, the appearance of an angel has saved her from a suicide attempt. It is only natural, then, that Heather should find herself at the rectory with Rev. Drew, and through him to Katie, Alice's daughter. The immediate spark between minister and author is undeniable, he of dwindling faith, she full of grace. But reality is seldom as it appears, Heather ultimately facing yet another test of her soul: "I had allowed my mortal judgment to cloud my celestial instincts."

When forensics evidence indicates murder, States Attorney Catherine Benincasa is not inclined toward existential discussions of faith or the beneficence of angels. Hers is a world of cold, hard facts and the facts point to one particular suspect.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This one is a miss April 12, 2010
Format:Hardcover
I loved "Midwives" by this author but this book is a miss for Bohjalian. I did not connect with any of the characters as they were poorly developed. The best part of the book was the first one narrated by Stephen Drew, the minister. With the introduction of Heather Laurent, the angel expert, the book just got weird. To rehash the same chain of events in each part became redundant and boring. And to include Heather's troubled past and strange sister added nothing to the book. The final part by Katie, the daughter of the murdered parents, was overdone with Katie's speculations about her mother's death. And Katie did not come across as a realistic teenager.
Was this review helpful to you?
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another entertaining novel from this author January 29, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Brief summary and review, no spoilers.

The story starts out just after the deaths of George and Alice Hayward, in an apparent murder/suicide. The location is a small town in Vermont, where many knew that Alice was an abused wife.

The story is broken up into several sections, each narrated by a different person. We hear from the town pastor, who harbors a guilty secret. We hear from a woman who writes books about angels, who becomes involved because her own parents killed themselves in a murder/suicide. We hear from law enforcement, and from family members, including Katie, the only child of the Haywards who is rightfully traumatized by her parents death.

What's nice about this technique of multiple narrators, is that we get a Rashomon like effect - each narrator tells their perspective of the facts, and it is only at the end when we know the complete truth, and how some of what we were told was wrong.

This story is not only a mystery, but also an informative look at spousal battery and alcoholism, and their effect on family members. In fact, we see how addiction and abuse affect can often hinder our ability to make social and personal connections later on in life.

Recommended. If you have enjoyed Chris Bohjalian books in the past, such as Midwives or The Double Bind, you will probably enjoy this.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a surprise
I am a psychotherapist. I am on vacation and downloaded this book from the library so I would have plenty to read, and because I've read a couple of other books by this author and... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Margarita
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 1 of 5 Books to Impress an Old Soul
First up,
Secrets of Eden will give you three gems you didn't have before.

One, a story that is both unforgettable in scope, and also fulfilling in its tiny... Read more
Published 13 days ago by the Goddess and the Bear
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it. I find Bohjalian incredibly adept at writing ...
Enjoyed it. I find Bohjalian incredibly adept at writing stories of many different kinds in different settings, none of them resembling some of his other novels. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Ronald M. Michail
4.0 out of 5 stars Twisted and Dark
Wow..twisted and dark. Did not see that coming! Good read for a dark day. Not a light read. Definitely worth reading!
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
This book held my interest from beginning to end. I'm not sure what all I can say without ruining anything in the book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Becky
5.0 out of 5 stars Angel or Devil or Somewhere in Between
I've read many of Bohjalian's novels and enjoyed every one. This new had a bit more fluff than most (angel-fluff), but it was easy to skim over to get to the meat of the story.
Published 2 months ago by Karen K. James
2.0 out of 5 stars Interestingly constructed, but predictable
While this novel starts out as an intriguing exploration of a minister's crisis of faith, it soon becomes a rather long and ponderous whodunit. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alyson
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
I really liked the book. As with all of this author's books, interesting characters, great writing and some witty and humor in the worst of circumstances. Read more
Published 2 months ago by S lynn
3.0 out of 5 stars unlikeable characters
Okay story. Some of the main characters weren't very likeable at all & I didn't really care what happened to them.
Published 3 months ago by tricia
1.0 out of 5 stars Something unsavoury
There's something unsavoury about this novel. The author's portrayal of domestic violence is about as insightful as that of a tabloid columnist; he badly needs a good editor, and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by urszulat
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Lincoln, Vermont's Chris Bohjalian is the author of 17 books, including ten New York Times bestsellers. His work has been translated into roughly 30 languages and three times become movies.

The paperback of his most recent novel, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, will be published this May.

His books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Hartford Courant, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Bookpage, and Salon.

His awards include the ANCA Freedom Award for his work educating Americans about the Armenian Genocide; the ANCA Arts and Letters Award for The Sandcastle Girls, as well as the Saint Mesrob Mashdots Medal; the New England Society Book Award for The Night Strangers; the New England Book Award; Russia's Soglasie (Concord) Award for The Sandcastle Girls; a Boston Public Library Literary Light; a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Trans-Sister Radio; and the Anahid Literary Award. His novel, Midwives, was a number one New York Times bestseller, a selection of Oprah's Book Club, and a New England Booksellers Association Discovery pick. He is a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Reader's Digest, and the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. He has been a weekly columnist in Vermont for the Burlington Free Press since February 1992.

Chris graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Amherst College, and lives in Vermont with his wife, the photographer Victoria Blewer. Their daughter, Grace Experience, is a young actor in New York City. Among the audiobooks she has narrated is Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

Topic From this Discussion
Secrets of Eden Be the first to reply
Have something you'd like to share about this product?
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for Similar Items by Category