The Spoils of Eden

The Spoils of Eden

3.7 7
by Linda Chaikin

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Can love survive when dreams divide?

Rafe Easton rescued an abandoned baby from certain death on a forbidden island. Now that courageous act could cost him his pending marriage and his reputation.

The Hawaii of 1891 is not untamed as it was when the first missionaries arrived, but the dangers haven't disappeared. Power, wealth, and ambition still drive


Can love survive when dreams divide?

Rafe Easton rescued an abandoned baby from certain death on a forbidden island. Now that courageous act could cost him his pending marriage and his reputation.

The Hawaii of 1891 is not untamed as it was when the first missionaries arrived, but the dangers haven't disappeared. Power, wealth, and ambition still drive the affairs of the island life, and Rafe Easton is poised to win big on all three--except for one thing. The woman he loves is walking away from their promise of life together on account of a baby boy . . . and the forsaken people of the island he came from.

For her part, Eden Derrington must choose between her father's lifelong dream of curing leprosy, and a life of privilege with the man she's loved since childhood. Will Rafe wait for her while she serves alongside her father? And what if she herself falls victim to the dreaded disease that took her mother many years ago?

Set against the backdrop of tropical paradise, revolutionary intrigue, hidden motives, and deadly secrets, The Spoils of Eden sheds light on Hawaii's colonial era and the men and women whose sacrifices yielded such unexpected results.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Prolific author Chaikin (For Whom the Stars Shine) begins the Dawn of Hawaii trilogy with this novel, set in 1880s Hawaii, when the island group still had a queen and talk of annexation to the United States was a hot political potato. Leprosy is another relevant historical fact. The leper colony on the island of Molokai is where the mother of nurse Eden Derrington lives and also where baby Kip was found by his prospective adoptive father, Rafe Easton, a Clark Gable–like coffee plantation owner who is Eden's fiancé. Eden is at least as interested in helping her father, Jerome, research a cure for leprosy as she is in marrying Rafe, who doesn't want her to risk her health helping her father chase a phantom. Chaikin uses a big canvas strewn with beautiful details from Hawaii's landscape; she has also researched Hawaiian history. Her intricate plotting compensates for some clumsy writing and lack of depth in a few of the supporting characters. But fans of historicals and epics will like this new evangelical Christian take on what James Michener did so memorably for the state. (May)

Product Details

Moody Publishers
Publication date:
The Dawn of Hawaii Series
Product dimensions:
8.36(w) x 11.32(h) x 0.91(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Spoils of Eden

By Linda Lee Chaikin

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2010 Linda Chaikin
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8024-3749-5

Chapter One

The Board's Decision

Honolulu, Hawaii June 1891

Sunlight filtered through leafy palms as Eden Derrington walked the path to Kalihi Hospital. Birdsong filled the trees while crimson and lime hummingbirds fed among deep-throated flowers. Nearby, the white sand glistened as waves gently stroked the shore. Small ivory clouds moved lazily across the powder-blue sky ... though an ominous sense of trouble shadowed the tropical morning. While appreciating the beauty around her, Eden considered the darkness that lay ahead.

Somewhere ahead a bird shrieked in unexpected fright, reminding her of the presence of evil. Once, in an even more glorious garden than the tropics, evil had brought spiritual and physical ruin to its inhabitants.

As Eden visualized Satan entering Paradise as a serpent, she quickened her pace through a dusky grove of palms and came into the sunlight. Father God, how beautiful that garden must have been! For even now, with the curse of thorns, thistles, death, and decay, the beauty of Your creation still remains.

Later that morning at Kalihi Hospital, Eden slipped unseen from the Hawaii Board of Health meeting and quickened her steps down the hall. She could hear the doctors' muffled voices in continued discussion as she approached the sunny waiting room near the front of the hospital. Wearing an ankle-length, gray cotton dress overlaid with a traditional nurse's white pinafore emblazoned with a red cross, she stepped outdoors and hurried down the steps. In her bag were official documents, signed by the Board, and she was determined to present them at Hawaiiana Plantation as the Board had charged her.

Eden's dark, winged brows came together. The two influential doctors who had arrived late for the meeting worried her. Entering somewhat distracted, they soon realized their colleagues had already decided the matter at hand. At first they seemed amenable to the majority decision, but looking toward her, they'd hesitated. The younger doctor had drummed his fingers on the desk with disapproval, while the older gentleman kept sliding his spectacles up and down the narrow bridge of his nose.

Eden had the distinct impression the esteemed doctors thought her too young. If they had only known she'd once been engaged to the man the Board was making an inquiry about, they certainly would not have entrusted her with this task.

The tropic sun now blazed from a clear sky. She breathed in the fresh trade wind that kept the kingly palms swaying. It cooled her face and ruffled her wavy dark hair, partially pinned up off her neck in Victorian fashion and graced with a perky white nurse's cap.

Hurrying past the familiar shrubs of massive red and yellow hibiscus, her senses were filled with the heady fragrance given off by the clusters of pink flowers on the jacaranda trees. Insects buzzed and tiny finches twittered from the branches. Together they wove a chorus of praise to their Creator.

The hospital's flower bed, ablaze with color, reminded her of a Fourth of July celebration in the States. No, she scolded herself. Don't even think about independence right now. Was there not enough to concern her already without more discord between her and Rare Easton, the ambitious young man she'd so recently been engaged to marry?

The issue of independence hovered in her mind. Grandfather Ainsworth Derrington was soon to return from Washington D.C. Upon his arrival she would be called to account for her continued support of the Hawaiian queen. Grandfather was a firm annexationist, and joining other prominent sugar growers in Hawaii, he had been meeting with sympathetic members of the U.S. Senate hoping to garner support for making the Hawaiian islands a territory of the United States. Cousin Zachary Derrington, who ran Great-aunt Nora's newspaper, the Derrington Gazette, had been castigated in public for writing in favor of Queen Liliuokalani.

What if that incident were only the beginning? Where the discord would end was anyone's guess. Matters were coming to a climax, and it wasn't likely to end without bloodshed. Already there were wounded hearts, broken friendships ... and broken romances. She glanced at the empty ring finger of her left hand.

Nearing the road she paused, lifting a hand to shield her view. Yes, he was there. Ling Li, the Chinese driver of a horse-drawn hackney, was parked beneath some palms, waiting. Ling was a well-known driver who catered to the Kalihi staff. Eden always tipped him well, knowing there were ten youngsters in his family hut at Kea Lani, the Derrington family sugar plantation. Today, however, she was going to Hawaiiana Plantation to meet with Rafe Easton about Kip, the baby boy he was planning to adopt.

As she approached Ling's hackney, a voice called out. "Eden, wait!"

Recognizing the voice of Lana Stanhope, the chief nurse in the leprosy research department-and also her aunt-she tensed, suspecting the worst. The two influential doctors must have changed the Board's decision. Distressed, she clutched her bag and turned.

Aunt Lana had arrived from San Francisco some months ago, after resigning her head teaching post on tropical diseases at the nursing school where Eden had graduated. When Lana, after much prayer and heart searching, accepted the position of working with Dr. Bolton in his quest to control the spread of leprosy in the islands, Eden had greeted the decision with joyous satisfaction. For, while her aunt would be working with Dr. Bolton, Eden, hired as her assistant, would be furthering her own knowledge as well.

Matters were coming together so well, Eden had thought at the time, until the man she loved, Rafe Easton, threw down the gauntlet in frustration. Was she to become his beloved wife and mother of their children, or risk her life as a nurse in the infamous Molokai leper colony?

Eden was dismayed. She had quietly planned during her nursing studies to work at her father's side when he returned from his world travels researching a cure for leprosy. Her beloved father, Dr. Jerome Derrington, was on extended leave from his staff position at Kalihi. The Hawaiian king, Kalakaua, had generously sponsored her father's travels, but after Kalakaua's death, the sponsorship revenue had dried up. Now the king's sister, Liliuokalani, was on the throne, though it was doubtful news of this had reached Dr. Jerome.

Rafe was right about one thing-she could not fulfill the roles of two women. Rafe was not a doctor, and he would not be living on Molokai. His ambitions lay elsewhere. She knew she should either follow his lead in marriage or remain single, and so she and Rafe had mutually agreed to end their engagement. A smile graced her lips as she remembered that warm, romantic evening when they'd walked the sands of Waikiki and he'd placed the diamond ring on her finger. The fact that it no longer sparkled there pained her. Confused at times, Eden struggled with her heart, and with her faith. A day did not go by without her asking God for guidance. There were times when she could not sleep at night for fear of losing the one man she had loved and wanted since she was a young girl. And there the conflict stood, unyielding; and while they knew of their love for one another, the emotional tension between them remained.

Eden's emotions churned as Aunt Lana hurried down the hospital steps. She should be the one to meet with Rafe over the Board's decision. If she could not show her concern now, he might become convinced that her professed feelings for him were shallow. She must not allow him to believe that!

Lana Stanhope, now in her thirties, had remained unmarried after a bitter disappointment with Dr. Bolton many years earlier. Eden believed, or at least hoped, that the old love between them had not truly perished amid the struggles of life and might still emerge like a seed during springtime thaw. Perhaps she was a sentimentalist. Perhaps she wanted to believe this of Lana and Dr. Bolton because they alerted her to what might be awaiting her and Rafe. She longed for happy endings, but knew enough Scripture to know there can be no happy endings apart from yielding to God's greater purposes. One could not sow seeds of willfulness and expect a harvest of purpose and peace. She also knew that a decision to obey God did not always bring a bountiful harvest in this short life, but sometimes awaited that hour when believers were rewarded at the bema seat of Christ.

Lana hurried toward her, carrying a small parcel. She was a tall, willowy woman, with thick honey-colored hair rolled up at the back of her neck. As she approached, Eden sympathetically noticed lines of fatigue at the corners of her hazel eyes.

"What a morning," Lana moaned, pushing strands of hair back into place. "My mind's in a whirl. This humidity is wilting me." She thrust the small parcel, tied with string, into Eden's hand.

"Since you're going to Hawaiiana, bring this to Great-aunt Nora, will you? It's her prescription from Dr. Bolton. She'll be at Rafe's, visiting with his mother."

Eden stared at the parcel, then cast a glance toward the hospital. "Great-aunt Nora's prescription? That's all?"

"Yes. That's all-for the moment. After you left, there was some discussion as to whether it was appropriate for you to represent them. Dr. Bolton won them over, however reluctantly. Eden, I don't like the situation you're facing. It might be wiser if I go as the Board's representative. Rafe Easton will be angry about what's happened and it's best if you're not associated with it."

"Lana, please don't. We've already been over this. I've explained to both you and Dr. Bolton how I must be the one to see Rafe about Kip. If I don't go to explain, he'll believe I don't care. I need to handle this." Though Eden kept her voice professionally calm, there was no way to fool Lana about her feelings for Rafe. The matter at hand was tearing her in two, and Lana knew only too well the signs of an injured heart-since she herself had carried one for years.

"I won't let them down," Eden assured her. She tightened one hand into a fist behind her back. They believed she lacked the professional fortitude to send a baby to the leper colony. Were they right? Could I really send Kip back to the leper colony?

"Of course you won't let us down," Lana said. "Dr. Bolton made it clear to them that you can be trusted. After all, if you're willing to work with your father when he returns from India, you surely have the courage to follow through on this."

Eden felt a prick. Her aunt's boast might not be as correct as they both hoped.

When her father returned, Lana had said. More like if her father returned!

Her heart thumped with emotion. Yes, he would return to Honolulu, just as she had always believed he would. How she had longed for and cherished those few letters he had sent from faraway places. Upon his return, she wanted Dr. Jerome Derrington to become in actuality what he was to her genetically. A father. Her father!

"You know, don't you, that Rafe will insist on knowing who informed the Board that Kip came from the Molokai leper colony?" Eden said.

Lana shook her head with frustration. "I know. But you saw the message that arrived for Dr. Bolton. We both did."

Yes, and she'd written the words down. Even so, Rafe would not let the matter end there. Of that Eden was certain.

When Rafe's merchant ship, the Minoa, had anchored in Honolulu last year after a two-year voyage to French Guiana, few knew there was something even more valuable than prized pineapple slips on board. A baby boy. Rafe had kept Kip alive by instructing the cook to prepare a canteen with the thumb from a leather glove tied at the opening, with a hole poked through it, so the baby could drink milk supplied by the ship's goat. Once safe in Honolulu Rafe had allowed a story to circulate that baby Kip was his nephew.

At the time, Eden had been distraught over the new child and could not accept Rafe's explanation. Later, asking for her avowed silence, Rafe secretly informed her Kip came from Molokai. Rafe had put in there to rendezvous with her father. Her father did not arrive for the meeting, however; a baby did. It was left abandoned on the beach.

Unable to walk away and leave the baby to the incoming tide, Rafe checked him all over for leprosy, saw no visible signs, and brought him aboard his vessel. Now Kip was like a son, and Rafe planned to adopt him. Yet, Kip posed a risk, and she must be the one to deliver the Board's decision that Kip must be returned to ... a fate so heartbreaking she could not bear the thought.

"All right then, Eden," Lana was saying. "The matter about Rafe and Kip is in your hands. And remember," she added, tapping the parcel, "make certain your great-aunt takes her prescription this time. The directions are inside. It's just the regular dosages at morning and bedtime."

One of the nurses came out from the hospital and called for Lana, saying that Dr. Bolton needed to see her. As her aunt hurried back to her duties, Eden walked to the hackney that would bring her to Hawaiiana ... and her meeting with Rafe Easton.

* * *

Ling Li and his ramshackle hackney sat waiting by a line of coconut palms. Of slight build, and wearing a straw-colored tunic and knee-pants, he climbed down from the driver's seat as Eden approached and offered her a cheerful grin and several short bows. His sing-song greeting seemed as cheerful to Eden's ears as the trill of the tropical birds. He knew many of the hospital staff from driving them around Honolulu.

For months she'd been planting seeds of Scripture in his mind, offering prayers that Ling would come to trust the only One who could save his precious soul. So far, her seed-sowing had not borne fruit.

"You have happy day, Miss Eden," was his usual pleasant greeting.

"Thank you, Ling. Please bring me to the mission church. From there I'll walk to Hawaiiana."

Eden lifted the hem of her gray dress from around her high-button shoes and stepped up into the hackney. As she sank onto the sagging, horsehair-upholstered seat, the old sway-backed horse moved slowly down the street in the direction of Pearl River.

Above the clocking of horse hooves she began her conversation with a few scriptural truths. She had grown attached to the good-humored old man and was anxious about his soul. Ling would merely grin and taunt her with his light-hearted dismissals. "Woman preaching. Woman preaching no good."

"Then when will you come to the mission church to hear Ambrose teach the men?" she asked. "They meet in his hut each Monday night at seven. He tells them many important things from God. Don't you want to know what they are?"

Eden smiled at the old man when he rubbed his nose. "No food there," he said, his eyes twinkling. "Noelani not cook like wife."

Noelani, Ambrose's wife, was a hapa-haole. Her father had been a Yankee whaler out of New Bedford, and her mother claimed a relationship with a royal cousin, though that could never be proven.

Eden knew that Ling Li was teasing her about Noelani's cooking, for she was known as a most excellent cook, and on Monday nights she served the most delicious coconut cake in the islands.

"You fib, Ling Li. You come on Monday. And how are all your children? Are they and your wife well?"

He wrinkled his brow, shaking his head. "Mother of Ling Li's sons is well. Youngest son, he not well."

Eden came alert. "What's wrong with number seven son?"

"Number seven son have bad pain in head, and he hot with fever. Sick since he go to Rat Alley."

Rat Alley, the area in Honolulu where the Chinese sugar cane workers lived, packed together in lean-to shacks, had rats in abundance. They came from the wharf's shipping business and had the potential to spread sicknesses from all ports of the world.

Eden tensed at this news. "Where is he now? I will come see him. Bring me to him."

Ling Li shook his head. "Can no do, Miss Eden. He go to Rat Alley to be with Great-uncle Woo. Woo good doctor. Great-uncle take care for number seven son. He have ancient medicine from Shanghai." He added slyly, "Much older than haole medicine."

"Nevertheless, I should look at him too. Maybe the haole medicine can help your son get well. You bring your son to Kea Lani this afternoon."


Excerpted from The Spoils of Eden by Linda Lee Chaikin Copyright © 2010 by Linda Chaikin. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

LINDA LEE CHAIKIN has written over thirty top selling books, including The Silk House series and For Whom the Stars Shine, a finalist for the prestigious Christy Award. Two of her novels have been awarded the Silver Angel Award for excellence. Linda is a graduate of Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and taught neighborhood Bible classes for many years. She and her husband make their home in Northern California where her favorite recreations are reading and taking vacations where the wind blows through lonely deserts and ghost towns.

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The Spoils of Eden 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ibjoy1953 More than 1 year ago
My Thoughts The Spoils of Eden¿by Linda Lee Chaikin The Dawn of Hawaii Series¿..Book One Rafe Easton and Eden Derrington have been in love since a very early age, and Rafe would love to get married soon, but Eden wants to wait because has her heart set on helping her father search for a cure for leprosy. And Eden¿s mother living away from the family because she has leprosy is the reason for Eden wanting to find the cure. In the meantime Rafe rescues an abandoned baby from the leper¿s island in Hawaii and is determined to adopt him, raising the baby as his own child. That is if the Drs in Hawaii don¿t take him first, because the threat of leprosy is a danger to all. And so the drama of life between Rafe and Eden begins. As Eden works with her dad and Rafe strives to do whatever possible to make sure no one touches his new son, what will happen to their relationship? The early 1900 Hawaiian setting of this story was very interesting and the author¿s research and detailed writing makes the story seem real. We as readers will know the people, the islands, weather, as well and live on the islands when we finish this series of books. As we read the journey of these complex characters and a plot that is detailed in developing as well, we find these books are not a fast read, but I enjoyed this writing technique though because the characters seemed to cling to me more, and I got to know them in a more personal way. I am really looking forward to the other books in this series. This is my first book by Linda Lee Chaikin, and I¿m glad I found a new favorite author! This book way generously provided to me by Moody Publishing. I was not obligated to write a positive review of this book. The review, and opinions in the book are completely mine.
Heather Phillips More than 1 year ago
This story was very scattered and felt like I was starting in the middle of series.
Chickfilady More than 1 year ago
Problems in Paradise? Eden Derrington lives in Hawaii during the time of kings and queens. Her well-to do- family owns several plantations and is very successful in the sugar cane business. Her fiance Rafe Easton is an ambitious man...ready to branch out and try new ventures, something called a pineapple. With all of this, why is Eden set on working in a colony of lepers? Eden dreams, prays, and patiently waits for the return of her father, Dr. Jerome Derrington. Dr. Jerome has been traveling and researching abroad for nearly thirty years. He is desperately seeking a cure for leprosy. As much as Eden love's her fiance Rafe, her first commitment is to the father she knows only through letters. And to discovering the truth about her mother. Author Chaikin does a wonderful job of describing the political tension in Hawaii during the 1890's. Her descriptions of the islands are breathtaking. My only concern was the ending....after wading through almost 300 pages, the ending to the novel came very abruptly and wrapped up too neatly. There were unanswered questions left in my mind. Overall though for historical fiction, this is a must read.
EdgyReader More than 1 year ago
If you long to get away from your everyday life and travel to a lush, tropical, paradise but can't afford it, I urge you to pick up this book! Ms. Chaikin has an amazing talent to weave words in such a way as to make you feel as though you are truly walking the shores of Hawaii, listening to the waves crashing on the white beaches, hearing the exotic birds twittering all around, smelling the gardenias and other fragrant flowers, and feeling the kiss of wind on your face. Rich in the history of 1891 Hawaii, Ms. Chaikin has also created deep, interesting and believable characters. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the members of the Derrington and Easton families. I fell in love with some and loathed others, all the while cheering for the hero and heroine, Eden and Rafe, to admit their love for one another and ride off into the sunset together. But troubles abound, as well as treachery, greed, and intrigue. My heart broke more than once for Eden and her father as they struggled to find a cure for the Leprosy that stole Eden's mother from them. All together, a moving exotic drama that I guarantee will sweep you away to another place and time and leave you anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!
sunflowermommie More than 1 year ago
This unique piece of historical fiction is set in Hawaii in the late 1800's and one of the main topics covered in this book is the leper colony on the island of Molokai. My knowledge of Hawaii and leprosy was extremely limited at the start of this novel, but the author provided excellent historical background for the characters to play out their story. Eden is driven by her passion to work alongside her father and Rafe patiently waits for his love, but for how long, as the author weaves this compelling story through it's many twists and turns. I was just a wee bit frustrated by the ending, but only because this is, "The Dawn of Hawaii Series," and the story is not over. I need to know how the story ties everything together so I will be purchasing the rest of the books in the series as it becomes available. I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Moody Publishers via Christian Work at Home Moms.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1891, the Hawaiian Board of Health at Kalihi Leper Hospital sends nurse Eden Derrington to the coffee plantation owned by her fiancé Rafe Easton. This is not a social call, as someone informed the Hawaiian Board of Heath that the baby Kip was a resident of the Kalawo leper colony before Rafe found him. Eden is to pick up and bring Kip back to the colony where he will be quarantined as the law forbids the adoption of leper offspring. Still Rafe wants to adopt Kip and he and his fiancée argue heatedly over the infant and her work involving lepers. They end their engagement and she goes to assists her research scientist father Jerome who at Kalawo runs a clinic while seeking a medical cure for the disease. Showing moxie by writing about Hawaii after James Michener's epic, Linda Lee Chaikin's first Dawn of Hawaii saga provides readers with a deep look at the archipelago less than a decade before the kingdom joins the United States. The story line is driven by the lead couple whose disagreement over her work with lepers threatens their relationship. Although the key support cast is never developed beyond thin role representation in conjunction with either of the two prime players, readers will relish this fine inspirational historical. Harriet Klausner