Every other weekend since their parents divorce Hope and Eden wait for their dad to pick them up. Only this weekend, he’s forgotten, and their world changes when a stranger lures them into his truck.

More than twenty years later, Hope is that classic New York failure: a playwright with only one play produced long ago, newly evicted from an illegal sublet, working a humiliating temp job. Eden has long since distanced herself from her family, and no one seems to know where she is. When the man who abducted them is up for parole, the sisters might be able to offer testimony to keep him jailed. Hope sets out to find her sister—and to find herself—and it becomes the journey of a lifetime, taking her from hippie communes to cities across the country. Suspenseful and moving, Eden asks: how much do our pasts define us, and what price do we pay if we break free?

Our Review

After reading Eden by Andrea Kleine I can see why so many people have been talking about it and why I had heard enough about it for it to be added to my Best Books of July 2018 list. It is by no means an easy read as it deals with sensitive issues but Kleine does so in a thoughtful way. It is very cleverly written and it is easy to see why everyone is talking about it.

Every other weekend since their parents divorce Hope and Eden wait for their dad to pick them up. Only this weekend he’s forgotten, and their world changes when a stranger lures them into his truck.

More than 20 years later Hope is a failed playwright, newly evicted from her sublet apartment and is working as a temp yet again. Then her mother dies, and she is contacted by a DA informing her that the stranger is up for parole. This prompts her to try and find the estranged Eden but what if she doesn’t want to be found?  

“It was so embarrassing to take the bus, but it was doubly embarrassing to hand the driver a coupon that had been cut out of the back of a Cheerios box.”

When Hope’s parents first divorced when she was 10 and she and her half sister Eden were picked up by their reluctant father until he discovers the coupons meaning he no longer has to make the ninety minute drive. If their dad isn’t there when they arrive they wait inside the station.

On this particular occasion, their father didn’t arrive, but Eden refused to call their dad and he still hadn’t arrived when it began to get dark.

“The whole thing played out like the script they read you in school about how you shouldn’t get into a stranger’s car, even if he offers you icecream, even if he says he’s a friend of your dads. Larry probably sensed this, because he said, ‘I met you before but you were really little. You probably don’t remember. It was at a birthday party for you,’ he pointed to Eden, ‘when you were just a baby,’ he said to me.”

Eden believes him and convinces Hope to climb in the back of his van with her, Hope is wary but listens to her older sister.

At thirty- five she finds out Larry is up for parole and she goes to find Eden who had withdrawn from her family after the incident.

Hope’s ex girlfriend can’t understand why she wants to search for Eden and doesn’t think highly of the actions of Hope’s parents whilst she was growing up.

“I think you and Eden were a burden to your parents because you were a burden to their identities. It’s like they had children before they knew who they were or what they wanted. Before they even thought about whether they wanted children or not. “

The attitudes of the parents in Eden frequently shocked and horrified me and often made me feel angry.

Eden was a very sad book and there was something intensely vulnerable about Hope throughout the book, a part of her that was stuck in that moment of her childhood.

Eden was a highly emotive read and one I would recommend.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

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