Invisible Eden: A Story of Love and Murder on Cape Cod

Invisible Eden: A Story of Love and Murder on Cape Cod

by Maria Flook
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Overview

Invisible Eden: A Story of Love and Murder on Cape Cod by Maria Flook

A literary investigation by "one of the most powerful American writers at work today" [Annie Proulx] of a story that riveted the nation: how an accomplished, world-traveled fashion writer who had retreated to a simpler life as a single mother on Cape Cod became the victim of a brutal, still-unsolved murder.
On the surface, Christa Worthington’s life had the appearance of privilege and comfort. She was the granddaughter of prominent New Yorkers. Her sparkling journalism earned the fashion world’s respect. But she had turned her back on a glamorous career and begun living in the remote Cape Cod town where she had summered as a child. When she was found murdered in Truro, Massachusetts, just after New Year’s Day in 2002, her toddler daughter clinging to her side, her violent death brought to the surface the many unspoken mysteries of her life.
Invisible Eden is the deeply felt story of a career woman's attempt to start over and reinvent her life away from the fashion circles of New York and Paris only to have an out-of-wedlock child with a local fisherman, forge a life as a single mother, and meet a violent end. Brilliantly portraying Christa’s hunger for belonging and her struggle for survival as a first-time mother, Flook searingly evokes her search for a safe haven, her many tumultuous relationships, and the evidence linking family, strangers, lovers, suspects, and innocents to the tragedy that both shocked a seaside town on Cape Cod and horrified the nation. Flook intricately maps Christa's charged life before her death and follows the first year of the murder investigation with the help of the district attorney who is inan election battle even as he searches for the killer. At the same time, Invisible Eden captures the Cape's haunted landscape, class stratifications, and never-ending battles between its weathy summer residents and its hardscrabble working families who together form a backdrop for a powerful chronicle of love and murder. An edgy and compelling portrait of a woman's tragic journey, Invisible Eden is a mesmerizing true story.

Author Biography:

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786260089
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 01/08/2004
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 640
Product dimensions: 5.74(w) x 8.36(h) x 1.35(d)

About the Author

The recipient of an NEA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize, MARIA FLOOK is the author of  My Sister Life, The Story of My Sister's  Disappearance; two novels, Open Water and Family Night (which received a PEN American /Ernest Hemingway Foundation Special Citation); and a collection of short stories, You Have the Wrong Man. She teaches at Emerson College.

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Invisible Eden: A Story of Love and Murder on Cape Cod 2.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
xMissMelaniex More than 1 year ago
The story might very well have been good if written by a better writer who could give enough details and plot to keep it interesting. It was excruciating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a woman, I found myself slightly horrified at my reaction to this tragic story. The writing is an excellent blend of storytelling narrative and character analysis, but I failed to develop sympathy for the victim. I approached the book with full empathy for the victim; someone who abandoned a life of success and acclaim for the pastoral solitude of the dunes. Yet as I read, I couldn't escape the feeling that she was a privileged, entitled and, to my surprise, promiscuous woman whose behavior consistently put her in harm's way. (In her defense, I am a repressed prude and the least fair advocate for unconventional sexual mores.) She certainly did not "deserve" a violent death, but my compassion was progressively eroded as I read about her life and her choices. I don't know if this is more about my response, or about the author's portrayal. After all, should the author be responsible for making her someone to root for, or just for presenting an objective view of true events?
Guest More than 1 year ago
it could have been a good book, but it was simply too boring after a while. It was such a violent, totally unexpected crime, so weird. The writing should have been more compelling. A lot was good...just not enough to keep you going through the whole book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Onekis torn between feeling sorry for christa and wondering if 20 years of hedonism can go ubpaid crista did not deserve what happened to her and ava certainly did not deserve it the author could have spare.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This author seems to switch from vulgar to prudent and back again at the drop of a hat. also, she makes constant idolatrous reference to WASPs as if they are superior to the rest of the poor humans on the earth -- im 3/4 done and sorry i started it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just read all the other reviews for this book and was astounded! I am 2/3 through the book and can't wait to go home every day to continue reading. I think it is a very well-written and throughly engrossing book. Unlike some of the other reviewers here, I do enjoy finding out about the nuances and characteristics of the area and about all the various people involved in Christa's life and murder investigation. I almost didn't buy the book after reading that the murder is as yet unsolved, but now I am glad I went ahead and bought it. I feel like I know the various individuals and am particularly drawn to Tim Arnold, the spurned lover who remained a friend. Christa to me is a sympathetic figure, because she never seemed to find happiness anywhere and was betrayed by those closest to her all her life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was really looking forward to this story, since I had heard of the case, but found I was actually skipping passages, which I do not usually do in reading a book. The author is constantly repeating, and jumping from one thing to another. Too much information not really related to the crime.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was excited to read this book and was disappointed once I started. The book was monotonous and tiresome. Flook repeated herself so many times..... I feel that justice was not done for the character. It was poorly written and did not portray characters acurately. There was too much history about the Cape and not enough details about the crime and the crime scene. I found it a struggle to complete...and once I did I was releived it was over.....truly disappointing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I FOUND THE BOOK TO BE DISAPPOINTING , JUST WHEN YOUR GETTING INTO SOMETHING IN THE BOOK SHE GOES ON TO ANOTHER TOPIC.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued by the murder mystery of Christa Worthington when I first heard about it on the news and was anticipating reading this book. What a big disappointment it turned out to be. I found it so hard to get through this book, it was almost like a chore. I finally put it down about a third of the way through. The author repeats herself so much and goes on about the history of Cape Cod and it's settlers. Who cares?? I wanted to read about the investigation into the murder, I didn't need a history lesson. This was one of the worst books I've picked up in a long time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A novelist writes a crime documentary. Hmm. Something is wrong here. Too much fluff and opinion and way too much about herself. Those of us who read true crime stories have to get through the needless prose to get to the investigation. It is, however, an interesting book despite these flaws. Flook had best stick to writing novels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having just visited the cape,(Truro, P-town)in Oct.of 2002 and not knowing what just took place there, I was facinated to read that I was just steps away from this whole scenario. I think Ms. Flook did an excellent job in presenting her research on this case as thoroughly and unjudgmentally as any writer could. I could hardly put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hastily produced and apparently unedited, 'Invisible Eden' is a smirking, gossip-driven account of the murder of fashion-writer Christa Worthington. The facts of the murder and its stalled investigation are gripping, but author Maria Flook treats these details as mere asides. Instead, Flook spends most of the book¿s 400 pages drooling over the victim¿s sexual history, pausing only to ridicule various real-life residents of outer Cape Cod (they¿re a remarkably venal, lustful and stupid lot, if Flook can be believed). Even the book¿s nominal hero, Cape and Islands Assistant D.A. Michael O¿Keefe, is skewered¿ turns out, according to Flook, he¿s a hyper-macho sexist as much inclined to blame the victim as to pursue the killer. Only local homme fatale Tony Jackett escapes Flook¿s derision: ¿Each day,¿ Flook simpers, ¿almost as soon as [Jackett] has rinsed his razor, his brimming testosterone gives him a blue chin by lunchtime.¿ This not-quite sentence isn¿t the book¿s worst sin against the prose gods. In one of several passages about Worthington¿s college classmates, Flook writes: ¿Some of these Vassar women were well adjusted, but others bristled at being face-to-face with decisions they had once made and had tried to ignore were permanent.¿ Such sentence-level flubs abound, as do misspellings of the undergraduate, spell-check variety: ¿pedaled¿ is rendered as ¿peddled¿ half a dozen times, and so on. There are other problems as well¿anecdotes are repeated, the book¿s central metaphors are relentlessly flogged. Was the rush to print so urgent that Broadway Books chose to forego even the most superficial proofreading process? Were there so many problems, Flook¿s (heavily medicated? Dyslexic?) editor simply threw in the towel? As bad as the proofreading meltdown is, it¿s nothing compared to the book¿s larger, structural issues. Flook can¿t decide if the tone should be lyrical/literary, or ¿hard-boiled¿ and factual: one minute she¿s a Truman Capote ¿wannabe¿ (a favorite word of Flook¿s), the next she¿s posing as a tough-talking crime reporter. Worse yet, neither mode seems to work: attempts at lyricism tend to collapse under the weight of preposterous tropes (¿¿the safe haven of childhood dissolved like Kleenex in a glass of water¿), while the more ¿journalistic¿ passages are devoted to breathless, tabloid-style discussions of the victim's sex life. In the end, one feels a certain embarrassment for Flook, who can¿t seem to create a voice for Worthington that¿s distinct from her own, can¿t help inserting herself into the sexual drama (O¿Keefe, she claims, makes a pass at her), and insists on talking about her own romantic failures, as though such banal confessions might somehow inform the story of Christa Worthington¿s brutal murder. The circumstances of Worthington's death are tragic, and deserve a comprehensive, dispassionate, respectful telling. Unfortunately, ¿Invisible Eden¿ isn¿t it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Maria Flook is all over the place in this book. I bought the book hoping for a story of Christa Worthington's life on Cape Cod, but this author goes into so many other deaths and fisherman stories, it is very hard to follow. I put it down at Page 113.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Invisible Eden is the worst 'summer book' I've read, and I'm a librarian so I've read some awful books. The author is a snob and can not remove herself from Christa's story. She overuses metaphors in a sophomoric way and uses words only a Junior English major would use. The story doesn't flow and is filled with useless information.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although the author weaves fact and fiction into an interesting tale, she does so in a manner which quite often feels to be more fiction than fact. She describes to the reader what Christa Worthington, the victim is feeling and thinking as she interacts with lovers and when she is with her 2 year old daughter, Ava. The author would have no knowledge of such feelings or thoughts, yet writes as though they are fact. I found the author's writing style to be rather crass - as an example, when refering to Mr. Worthington's girlfriend, she called her his 'shack job'. She also went into too much detail regarding her personal and professional relationship with District Attorney, Michael O'Keefe. I found myself wishing she would write less about herself and Mr. O'Keefe (where they went, what they wore, how he smelled) and more about the murder and its investigation. Her book could easily have been titled Invisible Eden and My Adventures with Michael O'Keefe.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an avid true crime reader I was very disappointed in this book. It is so steeped in metaphor that it is difficult to get 'just the facts'. In some instances, the focus seems to be too much on the author rather than subject matter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe the writer was allowed to go to print with some of the unprofessional lapses that appear in this book... she admits she had to ask what a grand jury is, she calls the Unitarian Universalist memorial service 'goofy' just because she doesn't agree with their philosophy ('fruit and nut') and she dismisses anyone who isn't a celebrity or relevant to her book as 'nobodies.' I am amazed that such work is being recommended. Flook ought to read Ann Rule to see how to write a true crime book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If she hadn't had money and hadn't written well for WWD, we would have never had read of this very troubled woman whose problems are otherwise unremarkable in both sexes of every station in life.