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Posted June 8, 2011
Eden Lake is a finely crafted debut novel that draws you in with but a few words. The pace catapults you forward and the imagery can stop you in your track with its beauty. The voice of this narrative resounds and by capturing such specifics of the human condition Jane Roper has found an underlying universal thread that weaves us together. This novel is one of the reasons why every serious reader should investigate independent presses. To say it bluntly, this story rocks. By the author of The Excess Road-Joshua JonesWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 8, 2011
Eden Lake starts is the story of three young adults who must return to their recently deceased father's summer camp in Maine. In doing so, our three protagonists, Abe, Jude (Judy) and Eric, must grapple with the past and all the complications of whom they've become. Eden Lake does a fabulous job of using a very specific lens- that of a small summer camp in Maine founded by idealists (essentially a summerland)- to examine "big picture" ideas that affect us all, ideas like love, career, family and loyalty, and what the past and future mean to us. But it is not a political scree, it's a story told in old-fashioned, loving detail. These people have to make hard decisions in the wake of their father's death. Jane Roper does a great job of nailing the time and place of this story. As I read, I never doubted her rendition of the state of Maine during summer complete with wilderness, beaches, diner-shacks and mosquitos. And she nails the late 90's too, those wild days of the dotcom boom and the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. But what really makes Eden Lake shine is the author's crisp narrative tone that can engage tragedy and comedy, anger and love all on the same page and the author's skill at handling (and blending) the giant ensemble cast that the novel brings with it. The secondary cast that, in fact, is as interesting, and entertaining as our heroes. Finally, as a fan of Tom Wolfe, I would like to say that maybe "you can't go home again", but Eden Lake shows us that we CAN go to summer camp again.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.