Eden: A Novel

Eden: A Novel

by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg

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2017 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner in New Fiction
2017 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner in Women's Fiction
2018 IBPA Ben Franklin Finalist in Best New Voices: Fiction

Becca Meister Fitzpatrick—wife, mother, grandmother, and pillar of the community—is the dutiful steward of her family’s iconic summer tradition . . . until she discovers her recently deceased husband squandered their nest egg. As she struggles to accept that this is likely her last season in Long Harbor, Becca is inspired by her granddaughter’s boldness in the face of impending single-motherhood, and summons the courage to reveal a secret she was forced to bury long ago: the existence of a daughter she gave up fifty years ago. The question now is how her other daughter, Rachel—with whom Becca has always had a strained relationship—will react. Eden is the account of the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, as Becca prepares to disclose her secret and her son and brothers conspire to put the estate on the market, interwoven with the century-old history of Becca’s family—her parents’ beginnings and ascent into affluence, and her mother’s own secret struggles in the grand home her father named “Eden.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631521898
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 05/02/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 9,744
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Jeanne Blasberg is a voracious observer of human nature and has kept a journal since childhood. After graduating from Smith College, she surprised everyone who knew her by embarking on a career in finance, making stops on Wall Street, Macy’s and Harvard Business School, where she wrote case studies and business articles. A firm believer that you are never too old to change course, Jeanne enrolled at Grub Street, one of the country’s pre-eminent creative writing centers, where she turned her attention to memoir and later fiction. Eden is her debut novel. Jeanne and her husband split their time between Boston and Westerly, RI. When not writing, she can be found playing squash, skiing, or taking in the sunset over Little Narragansett Bay. For book group questions and to learn more, please visit www.jeanneblasberg.com.

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Eden: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reader_Views More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (10/17) “Eden” is the poignant and powerful debut novel by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg. Prior to the Great Depression, Bunny and Sadie Meister built a summer beach home called Eden, in prestigious Long Harbor, Rhode Island. Throughout the years, generations have made Eden their summer retreat; it is a place of so many memories. Except for a great storm when Eden was badly damaged, Eden has provided a safe harbor for the multiple generations of Meisters. Eden has also harbored a lot of secrets for this family. Many of these secrets come to light as the family comes to gather for what appears to be the last time on a Fourth of July weekend. Bunny and Sadie’s daughter Becca, who also became the steward of the home, has to let the family know that after her husband’s death, she will no longer be able to afford to hang on to Eden. The events leading up to this meeting are quite dramatic. “Eden” tells a compelling story. The author has a creative art for switching between generations in each chapter. To avoid confusion, she carefully notes which era each chapter is about. There is also a diagram of the family tree, in the front of the novel, which helped me stay on track with family members. I loved being able to look back into each generation of the family because it gave me a better understanding of how they evolved. Seeing into their past made their quirks more understandable. They also became very familiar to me, and I loved being able to follow them through the generations. Because of the depth of the story, I was able to feel like I was a part of it. Even though all loose ends are carefully and artfully tied up, I still felt disappointed when the story ended. I am hopeful that the next generation of family members will continue to tell their story in second volume! I highly recommend reading “Eden” by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg. It provided me with an interesting escape into another family’s drama. I wish I was able to read it while on vacation, so that I wouldn’t have had to put the book down so often! I also think it would be a great choice for a reader’s group. There is so much history and nostalgia in these pages, the story feels real!
teachlz More than 1 year ago
triguing and amazing story. I love the way the author weaves the story of several generations of families that Eden is a home to. The genres of this novel are Fiction(Adult) and Historical Fiction. The characters are described as complicated and complex. The timeline in the story vacillates between the past and the present day. I can see how “Eden” is built as a house that becomes a “home” to the various family members, over the years. Certain traditions continue through the years. The artistic descriptions of the home and coastline are breathtaking. The ocean’s beauty and wrath can be seen. The author describes how the several generations of women tried to conform to the standards of the time. Many years ago, certain illnesses such as epilepsy had to be kept quiet. Single pregnant women went “away” and had to give their babies away. Many years ago mental illness and depression carried more of a stigma. As the years progressed standards did change, but there were different stigmas. As we are introduced to each family member, we can see that Eden holds a special bond of family meetings and traditions. In each generation, there are hardships and heart breaks and secrets. The secrets from the past continue to play a part in the present. There is a possibility that this will be the last summer at Eden, due to financial problems. There are differences of opinions how this problem should be dealt with. Will this be the end of a generational family tradition? The author discusses such topics as family, love, traditions, secrets, and hope. I would highly recommend this novel for readers who love historical literature. family and love. This novel had me captivated and I didn’t want it to end. I received a copy of this novel for my honest review! Happy Reading!!!
Jewelsey More than 1 year ago
Splendid, majestic and engaging. “Eden” is a chronicle of four generations of one affluent, wealthy family.Amidst the impressive riches and abundance of money, property, and other material goods, is a family united and knit together throughout periods of time. They have a grand family summer house in Rhode Island named “Eden.”. But now that her husband has died, Becca Meister Fitzpatrick, our main character, finds herself left with nothing and the potential of losing the house.In an attempt to rescue the family summer home, she wields a plan and invites the family over for the Fourth of July. Little by little, secrets from the family’s past begin to surface and unravel, creating surprises for the present. Outwardly the family appears to be perfect. But like most families, inwardly there can be many flaws and secrets that aren’t easily hidden. I loved “Eden.” I love the idea of a beautiful summer house. Our author’s delightful descriptions of the setting were wonderful and kept me wanting more. I held a clear vision of the setting, which is a very important to me in a novel like this one. Eden is intense, entertaining and engaging. I was caught up in the family drama and saga. I felt drawn in from beginning to end. The novel is written and edited extremely well. The author’s voice is distinct, clear and unique. The characters were all exceptionally well developed and thought out. I felt a kin to the family and some of the characters. The plot and storyline are distinctive, strong and complete, having all the necessary and appropriate parts. The storyline flows smoothly, as the narration weaves from past to present and back and forth again. This isn’t a fast moving story, but it is fulfilling and interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I guess it was OK