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One Foot in Eden: A Novel Paperback – January 3, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“A classic tale of passion and tragedy. Each voice rings as true as the sound of an ax in the cold early morning air.” ―Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls
“Equal parts vintage crime novel and Southern Gothic, full of aching ambivalence and hard compromises, and rounded off by bad faith and bad choices, One Foot in Eden is a veritable garden of earthly disquiet.” ―Los Angeles Times
“Ruggedly beautiful...Reading Rash's tale is like listening to a plaintive mountain ballad about a time and place long vanished: the lyrics are sweet and mournful, wistful and dark. And, oh, does One Foot in Eden linger!” ―The Charlotte Observer
“Rash's characters have a heroic quality as they struggle to fill the empty spaces in their hearts. They also have a poetic intensity.” ―The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“One Foot In Eden is a story of wild, almost primitive force and yet it is neatly and ingeniously put together. Ron Rash knows to the core the ways of those who yearn for what is just beyond their grasp. Here is a lasting experience.” ―Fred Chappell, Poet Laureate of North Carolina
“Ron Rash writes like a prince!” ―Pat Conroy
“One Foot in Eden is a forceful but never forced narrative. Rash moves his tragedy along with great authority, revealing motives that build to the complexity of each character as well as our fascination with them and the outcome of their lives. It is a finely polished novel.” ―The Columbia State
“If you are a fan of writers such as Robert Morgan, Lee Smith and Fred Chappell, you'll be pleased to know they liked this novel and wrote glowing jacket notes. And no wonder: One Foot In Eden could have been written by any of these authors....Save yourself a nice stretch of time for this book. Once you start it, you will find it extremely hard to put down.” ―The Anderson Independent
“In this fine, passionate work, Rash combines a murder mystery with the occasion of the flooding of a South Carolina Appalachian valley by Carolina power. The story of One Foot In Eden is simple, elemental. The conclusion has the force and inevitability of real tragedy...a tragedy that occurs in the ancient, brooding mountains of the Southern Appalachians.” ―Don Noble, Alabama Public Radio
Top Customer Reviews
The story is told by the main characters, each taking their place on center stage and relating the story through their eyes. But they don't tell the same story. The story changes in new hues and tints as each character puts a new and different interpretation on the tale. Each character in turn advances the story as well. What a great way to tell a story.
And by the way, the ending is fitting and makes you want to pick up another Rash story....but there arent any.......YET.
The setting is as startlingly real as in Rash's poems of Apalachia. The characters and language are authentic, and the author manages to nail all five of the narrative voices that reveal each layer of the story.
ONE FOOT IN EDEN is a fine accomplishment by a man who has already established himself in another genre. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
I'm not going to summarize this book as it's been done here already, but I definitely, definitely recommend it. Mr. Rash has a way of telling this story that makes you feel like your right there in the Appalachia's. And the ending, when the Deputy is out on the lake, looking down into the crystal clear water, I felt like I myself was seeing everything he saw...and I was just as creeped out as he was by it.
You can't help but love a book that stirs up so many different feelings when reading it, and that's just what this one does. I've put Mr. Rash's second novel 'Saints at the River' on my wish list, and won't let it sit there nearly as long as this book did. I'm just so glad I finally read this.
For a first novel, this is a wonderful effort. The story explores a "murder mystery" through five different first-person narrators. This drives the narrative and the suspense of the story, of the who, the why, and the how. But the center of the story is the unfolding and never-ending effects of living with life choices, and chance--and how both can haunt lives for years. The language is at once simple and poetic; the voices are plain but deep and well crafted. (Mr. Rash is also a poet, and that side of him is evident on every page of this novel.)
There were a few story loopholes that didn't sit well with me. But the force of the narrative and Mr. Rash's skills as a storyteller and poet overpowered these in the end.
Highly recommended for such an engaging and well-plotted story, use of narrative and language, all packed into 214 pages.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is my first book by Ron Rash, and wow. He is a wonderfully gifted writer. He really knows how to build a story and pull you in, always keeping your interest. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Courtney
In a small Appalachian town, local sheriff, Will Alexander, has a murder to solve, whose suspects have been known to him since his childhood. Read morePublished 18 days ago by claire ford fullerton
I'm not someone who typically reads books for fun, but I really enjoyed reading this book. I had to read it for a class and I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Sherwood
Ron Rash is an Appalachian maestro. This book involves a murder presented from a number of viewpoints. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kevin F. Tasker
A well done tale in five parts and set mostly in 1952 South Carolina near the NC state line. Advertised as southern gothic, I guess I'll accept that label. Read morePublished 7 months ago by BrokenArrow