Eden by Jamie Lisa Forbes
Rowen Hart has been raised as the pampered son and only child of a prominent family in the small community of White Rock, North Carolina. It’s the 1950s and he’s drifting through the days, following the life path his parents have planned for him and preparing to go away to college. When his father’s suicide turns his world upside down, he finds himself responsible for his mother in their suddenly reduced circumstances that leave them dependent on his uncle, his father’s business partner.
Ill prepared to take over as head of the family, Rowen doesn’t know which way to turn. Then a neighbor’s ten year old daughter comes to live with them, baffling him with her wild behavior and never ending attempts to win his approval and making his new responsibilities even more overwhelming.
As Rowen tries to find his way, he begins to question everything about his upbringing, his current circumstances and his plans for the future as they turn to dust in his hands.
Guest Review by Laura Lee
Eden is a little girl who has not had it easy. At just ten years old, the poor girl watches helplessly as her father is shot and murdered by her uncle. Then she is made to stand witness at her uncle’s murder trial, where she is dismissed by the jury as being too young and full of stories.
Of course, in small towns people talk, and everyone knows that Eden is not treated well by her mother either. So, when she shows up on the doorstep of one Rita Hart asking to stay for a while, no one is really that surprised.
Rita has problems of her own, however. After losing her husband to suicide, she and her eighteen year-old son, Rowen have fallen on hard times and are now living in what is, essentially, the 1950’s version of a tin shack. Though they don’t have much space or money, Rita, Rowen and their housekeeper Adeline take Eden in without hesitation and try their best to stem the girl’s wild ways.
This was a book that took me by surprise in many ways. I was not expecting it to be such an in-depth character study and I was not expecting to love the characters so much by the end of the book.
Jamie Lisa Forbes tapped into some deep seeded nostalgia for the 1950’s American south that I didn’t even know I had. Her writing was just so poignant and atmospheric that I felt like I was really there. Rowen and Eden were both excellent characters but I also really enjoyed Rita, the newly-widowed mother suffering from severe depression who was really just trying to do her best and Adeline, the tough-but-loving housekeeper who Rowen viewed as almost a second mother.
I would love to read more by this author and hope to find more of her books in the future! A solid 5 stars goes to ‘Eden’!
Praise for Jamie Lisa Forbes
“Throughout this beautifully written story (Unbroken), I pictured the scenes, the characters, and visualized it all as if I walked among them. Five stars.”-Laurel Rain-Snow, Rainy Days and Mondays
“Unbroken is a powerful, absorbing book from the first page to the last. Forbes’ Wyoming ranch background adds rich flavors to the story. The author draws realistic, complex characters. Unbroken is an unvarnished testimonial to a way of life that few of us know.”– Mary E. Trimble, author of ‘ TUBOB: Two Years in West Africa with the Peace Corps’
“The Widow Smalls, is a collection of wonderful stories that will elicit a range of emotions, following a number of different themes, like loss, jealousy, regret and acceptance. Each of the stories was as well written as the last, and I enjoyed each one immensely. Wonderful diverse plots, linked with the similar thread of ranch life, and defined characters, made for a truly great read. Author Jamie Forbes, has really created something special here, a must read for all short story lovers.”- Michelle Geist, Verified Amazon Review
About the Author
Award winning author, Jamie Lisa Forbes was raised on a ranch along the Little Laramie River near Laramie, Wyoming. She attended the University of Colorado where she obtained degrees in English and philosophy. After fourteen months living in Israel, she returned to her family’s ranch where she lived for another fifteen years.
In 1994, she moved to Greensboro, North Carolina. In 2001, she graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law and began her North Carolina law practice.
Her first novel, Unbroken, won the WILLA Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction in 2011. Her collection of short stories, The Widow Smalls and Other Stories, won the High Plains Book Awards for a short story collection in 2015. Her law practice gave her the opportunity to travel many of the back roads of North Carolina and meet the unique and diverse individuals who inspired Eden.
This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of print or ebook however, print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 2 winners. This giveaway ends July 1, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.
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