Secrets of Eden

By Chris Bohjalian
(Crown, Hardcover, 9780307394972, 384pp.)

Publication Date: February 2, 2010

List Price: $25.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the February 2010 Indie Next List
“On the same day as her baptism by the Rev. Stephen Drew, Alice Hayward is murdered by her alcoholic husband, who then kills himself. The true facts of this story are subtly and gradually revealed from the perspective of four characters, including the district attorney who suspects George was murdered. The beauty of this novel is in the way the true facts are revealed and in Bohjalian's understanding of the flaws in the human condition. What really happened that night? Read and find out. This will be a fantastic book group read.”
-- Carol Katsoulis, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL


Description

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.” 




About the Author

CHRIS BOHJALIAN is the critically acclaimed author of twelve novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Skeletons at the Feast, The Double Bind, and Midwives. His novel, Midwives, was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah’s Book Club. His work has been translated into more than 25 languages and twice became movies (Midwives and Past the Bleachers). He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter.

Visit him at www.ChrisBohjalian.com or on Facebook.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Re-read the quotes that open the book. One is from a leading voice of Enlightenment rationalism, the other from the Bible. Samuel Johnson speaks about loss and sorrow; the quote from Genesis is about the bonds of marriage. What did you think of this unique pairing when you began reading? Now that you’ve finished Secrets of Eden, how do these quotes help shape your understanding of the story? 

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