Customer Reviews for

Secrets of Eden

Average Rating 3.5
( 249 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

knocked my socks off! (and kept me up all night)

Chris Bohjalian's novels never let me down, and this is my favorite since Midwives. It's a great read, with characters I cared about and a twisty plot that kept me turning the pages. I couldn't put it down! And the story stayed with me long after I'd finished reading. L...
Chris Bohjalian's novels never let me down, and this is my favorite since Midwives. It's a great read, with characters I cared about and a twisty plot that kept me turning the pages. I couldn't put it down! And the story stayed with me long after I'd finished reading. Lots to talk about. Perfect for my book group!

posted by greedy_reader on January 7, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

HAD potential

The book "Secrets of Eden" is about two murders in a small town in Vermont, a traumatic story of domestic violence. The plot to the story is intriguing, and yet, the author seemed to fall from grace of delivering. The story begins with the pastor's voice, Stephen Drew. ...
The book "Secrets of Eden" is about two murders in a small town in Vermont, a traumatic story of domestic violence. The plot to the story is intriguing, and yet, the author seemed to fall from grace of delivering. The story begins with the pastor's voice, Stephen Drew. The facts from his perspective is so incredibly boring. The next person's view is that of the state's attorney, Catherine Benincasa. There was so much added in from her life that didn't give anything to the story. Throughout much of the novel, I find this. It's what I call filler, or added words to take up space. This is ypically seen in term papers from students that need to make up so many words. I wouldn't have expected it from a published author. Another thing I find really annoying about these chapters are the added characters without any introductions. I found myself looking back to see if I missed something...like a page. The next point of view comes from an author who suffered the same tragedy, Heather Laurent, who heard of the event and came to town to support the orphaned daughter. The last person to tell her tale is the orphaned daughter, Katie Hayward. Chris Bohjalian, the author, presented her character throughout the book as a stereotypical speaking teen, as in, her language "I, like totally this or that". Than I noticed her teen language fade in her chapters. That confused me a bit as to whose tale I was reading. I read to the end and Bohjalian waited until the last sentence to reveal "the big mystery". That would have been great in novel that would have been written with "edge of your seat" suspense, but in this case, I just wanted to know so I could stop reading this book. I read it to the end, because the plot had such great potential, I kept hoping for that magnitude. It just isn't here.

posted by DodieND on March 3, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    HAD potential

    The book "Secrets of Eden" is about two murders in a small town in Vermont, a traumatic story of domestic violence. The plot to the story is intriguing, and yet, the author seemed to fall from grace of delivering. The story begins with the pastor's voice, Stephen Drew. The facts from his perspective is so incredibly boring. The next person's view is that of the state's attorney, Catherine Benincasa. There was so much added in from her life that didn't give anything to the story. Throughout much of the novel, I find this. It's what I call filler, or added words to take up space. This is ypically seen in term papers from students that need to make up so many words. I wouldn't have expected it from a published author. Another thing I find really annoying about these chapters are the added characters without any introductions. I found myself looking back to see if I missed something...like a page. The next point of view comes from an author who suffered the same tragedy, Heather Laurent, who heard of the event and came to town to support the orphaned daughter. The last person to tell her tale is the orphaned daughter, Katie Hayward. Chris Bohjalian, the author, presented her character throughout the book as a stereotypical speaking teen, as in, her language "I, like totally this or that". Than I noticed her teen language fade in her chapters. That confused me a bit as to whose tale I was reading. I read to the end and Bohjalian waited until the last sentence to reveal "the big mystery". That would have been great in novel that would have been written with "edge of your seat" suspense, but in this case, I just wanted to know so I could stop reading this book. I read it to the end, because the plot had such great potential, I kept hoping for that magnitude. It just isn't here.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Secrets of Eden

    Secrets of Eden was not what I expected. It is written from each character's point of view regarding the murder-suicide of a troubled couple after the woman was baptized that same morning. So we have the minister, who question's his faith, the couple's teenage daughter, the state's attorney who believes it was not a suicide and this author and experts on angels who has a month affair with the minister after the fact and also indentifies with the teenager since her parents had died in a similar circumstance many years earlier.

    The novel draws me in as we learn more about the minister and his thoughts, but lost me when it came to Heather (the angel expert) and I wondered why she was a part of this novel. There was a lot of information regarding the personal lives of each of these individuals that I drifted many times trying to get the end. Although, there was a surprise ending (to me, anyway), I don't think it was worth the time getting to it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    The characteres were so,so, not particularly interesting.

    I did not enjoy this book ad would not recommend to friends.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2010

    complex

    This book has an excellent plot. I find myself having to re-read some of the material. The author is complex and while he is an excellent writer, I find at times to much is put in one sentence and I tend to get confused and have to re-read sentences, I do want to finish the book but am getting discouraged with the writing style.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2010

    What a bore

    I've plowed through it but boy is this a snooze. Each of the characters is simply odious and there is no conceivable way to give a damn who killed either of the victims. The female characters are each highly distasteful, one more insipid than the next. One can't help but wonder if the author is working through something.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    Jury is still out on this author!!

    The only reason I got this book is because I saw the LMN movie with John Stamos as Pastor Drew. I'd always believed that the books are so much better than the movie. There is much more detail here than what was in the movie but I don't think it really added value to the story overall. I'm sort of disappointed so will definitely be wary of another book by Bohjalian.

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