Book Review by Aarene Storms: Eden West

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Eden West
by Pete Hautman

Jacob is a member of the Grace living in Nodd, a 12 square mile religious compound located in Montana between a Native reservation and the Rockin' K cattle ranch.

He does not remember life in the World, and thinks himself lucky to be among the few who have rejected all Worldly things so that he will be pure for the coming of the Ark and the archangel Zerachiel.

But Jacob is 17 years old, and inevitably, his body responds to hormonal demands -- he is attracted to a young woman in the compound and also to the pretty blond daughter on the neighboring ranch.

The Grace maintain their faith while beset by hardship: a bitterly cold winter, a disease among the chickens, a wolf among the sheep. But then other tragedies strike, and Jacob finds that he must choose between the life he knows, and the World he does not know.

There are few surprises in the story, but the narrating voice of Jacob is strong, and worthy of consideration. Often in literature, religious extremists are portrayed as simple (or crazy), and some of that is present here. But there is a bit more.

For readers 14 to adult. Some cussing, some kissing, and quite a few lustful thoughts.

alcohol, blood, bullying, cussing (mild), guys, kissing, longing, parents, religion, religious beliefs, suicide, yearning,


The events may not have happened; still, the story is true.  --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS



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