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The Legacy of Eden Paperback – January 24, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 365 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Original edition (January 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778329550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778329558
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,446,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'It would be fallacy as much as cliche to describe Ms Davy as a star of the future - as The Legacy of Eden shows, she is a talent who is already very much here.' - We Love This Book 'A haunting tale, beautifully written. An impressive debut' - Sarah Winman, bestselling author of When God Was a Rabbit 'Totally gripping - this is a seriously impressive debut'- Lindsay Frankel, Red Magazine 'Combine Daphne DuMaurier with Jane Smiley, and you'll get The Legacy of Eden. This dark tale of a golden farm family is a wonderfully Gothic read.' -- Jenna Blum, bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers. 'A host of vibrant characters - both good and bad - litter this richly woven tapestry of emotion and imagination. An accomplished debut novel.' - Star magazine. 'A novel with a gothic feel that is full of fascinating detail and a great sense of place and one that I can't recommend highly enough. It is wonderfully plotted and paced and a complete pleasure to read.' Daily Mail --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Nelle Davy was raised in London, England, in an Afro-Caribbean household. She is an undergraduate of Warwick University and has a master's degree from Trinity College Dublin in creative writing. She is married and still lives in London, where she works in publishing. The Legacy of Eden is her first novel.

Customer Reviews

It is so beautiful in person and it really depicts the story well.
alicia
Upon further reading, the book became no less interesting, but it did get darker.
Confessions of a Y.A. and N.A. Book Addict
Many books have this kind of character, but OVER-THE-TOP is the watchword here.
Tanya Blake

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H. Rieseck VINE VOICE on February 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
This was a book like I haven't read before; it sort of defies being placed in a distinct genre category for me - part historical, part family saga, and part gothic drama. We learn about each generation of the family on the Aurelia farm - her Grandfather and his siblings, her Father and his siblings, and then finally Meredith and her sisters. You get some historical references to World War II, the Vietnam War, hippies - but really you learn what life was like in small farming communities.

The first couple of chapters were a little slow going for me, mostly because you are quickly swept into the family history and I had a hard time discerning who was who and also who was telling the story. We are basically following Meredith through her memories and what she knows of her family's rise and ultimate downfall.

As each generation is fleshed out we really get to see more and more of the cracks and problems within the family - each of them has some epic problems. You can start to see how things could go wrong over time but the author really leaves you hanging as to what ultimately brought the family to its lowest until the final chapters.

After I got through the first couple of chapters the story took off for me and raced at a breakneck pace until the very end. You will find yourself wrapped up in the characters and not wanting to put the book down because you just have to know what they did next. While this wasn't a typical type of read for me, I enjoyed it immensely
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tanya Blake on July 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a book written by a born-and-bred Londoner about a multi-generational dysfunctional family in Iowa, and truly, she did not do it well.
The main problem with this book for me is that it is so ridiculously MELODRAMATIC. I counted five face-"slappings" or more violent whamo-o's to the face, and then I quit counting; it seemed that every dysfunctional encounter between the characters ended with one, as if the author could not conceive of another way to express violent emotion....
Except, of course, to make almost every character some sort of WAY over-the-top villain.... the kind that would, yes, appear in an old-time melodrama where the audience entertains itself by booing and hissing them. The main characters are a greedy, manipulative adulteress, two or three unpleasant drunks, a woman who enjoys kinky sex with multiple partners, a girl who runs away instead of helping her sister (to whom something very unpleasant is happening),child abandoners, a wife torturer, a rapist, various haters, schemers, manipulators. Of the characters we might call "good," mostly they just stand by and watch the villains emote and chew the scenery, just like Pearl Pureheart in a melodrama. Many books have this kind of character, but OVER-THE-TOP is the watchword here. If any of these villainous characters had mustaches, you can bet they were twirling them, even if the author does not report it.
Another problem is that the setting never comes alive. The farm, Aurelia, is supposed to be the centerpiece of the book, but we get no sense of it at all as a piece of land... We meet the family, ad nauseam, but there is absolutely no idea of how the farm is run -- where are the farm hands, the scanning for rain,the hard work, irrigation, planting, harvest, livestock?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By misplaced cajun on February 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Meredith Pincetti left home for college and never turned back. Now, the last heir to her family's estate has passed away and none of the remaining Hathaway descendants wants anything to do with the property. Meredith reluctantly answers the call and travels back to Iowa to pick up the last of her parent's possessions. On the way, she recalls the horrible truths revealed to her about her family. In truth, the Hathaway's reign lasted only three generations, prompted by the cunning efforts of Meredith's grandmother, Lavinia.

THE LEGACY OF EDEN unravels in a way that leaves the reader expecting terrible things around every corner. In truth, the revelations aren't all that horrifying until the very end. I'd say that the author uses a sort of southern grace in presenting the things that happen to the Hathaways, but I know the author's not technically southern. Still, the story is reminiscent of that of a great southern plantation family and their downfall, even if it does take place in Iowa.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Whitmore VINE VOICE on August 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The Legacy of Eden reminds of the great mini-series that used to air on TV in the 80s or a two-part movie on Lifetime. The story takes place between the present and the past. The story is told from Meredith Pancetti's point of view. The last of the Hathaway's has died and she must go to Aurelia, the family farm, to finalize the selling of it. Aurelia holds bad memories for most of the Hathways and family secrets. Told from first person POV, the story jumps between Meredith's present day voice and the past, 3rd person POV.

The Hathaways history starts off with scandal. The grandmother, Lavinia, had an affair with Meredith's grandfather, Cal, while she was still married to another man. As the plot progresses, we are privy to the life-changing incidents that shaped the Hathaway family. There's drama, deceit, secrets and lies but nothing that I found earth shattering. I found that as I read The Legacy of Eden, I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. There were hints throughout that there were big secrets in the family; shameful secrets. When the secrets were revealed - and not in an outright, obvious way - I felt a little let down. I expected something that would make my jaw drop and instead, my reaction was "that's all?" Granted, the secrets are nothing to sneeze at but because I had built up this story to be something that would rival The Thornbirds, I felt that the family secrets didn't rock my world.

I also felt disconnected to the story and to Meredith. It could be due to the fact that Meredith is disconnected as a narrator. She left Aurelia and never looked back. She had no relationship with her two sisters. Meredith is pretty much alone. I felt no sympathy for Meredith especially when her and Ava confront each other.
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