Title: Sleeping in Eden by Nicole Baart
Publisher: Howard Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
She knew what he wrote . . . One little word that made her feel both cheated and beloved.
One word that changed everything.
On a chilly morning in the Northwest Iowa town of Blackhawk, Dr. Lucas Hudson is filling in for the vacationing coroner on a seemingly open-and-shut suicide case. His own life is crumbling around him, but when he unearths the body of a woman buried in the barn floor beneath the hanging corpse, he realizes this terrible discovery could change everything. . . .
Years before Lucas ever set foot in Blackhawk, Meg Painter met Dylan Reid. It was the summer before high school and the two quickly became inseparable. Although Meg’s older neighbor, Jess, was the safe choice, she couldn’t let go of Dylan no matter how hard she tried.
Caught in a web of jealousy and deceit that spiraled out of control, Meg’s choices in the past ultimately collide with Lucas’s discovery in the present, weaving together a taut story of unspoken secrets and the raw, complex passions of innocence lost.
Nicole Baart’s Sleeping in Eden is an intriguing mystery that is well-written, complex and multi-layered. Two seemingly unrelated stories simultaneously unfold when skeletal remains are uncovered at the scene of a suicide.
Sleeping in Eden is a character driven story that is told from alternating points of view. Lucas Hudson is a small town doctor whose marriage is falling apart while Meg is a teenager who finds herself caught up in a love triangle. Their lives become inexplicably intertwined when Lucas tries to discover the identity of the young woman discovered at the scene of Jim Sparks’ suicide.
Nicole Baart does an excellent job weaving these fascinating stories together. Lucas’s part of the storyline deals mainly with the complicated history of his marriage and his unending attempts to bridge the gap the him and his wife Jenna. Meg’s portion of the story is much more complicated and follows her through her tumultuous teen years and her relationships with Jess and Dylan. The connection between Lucas and Meg slowly takes shape over the first half of the novel but many twists and turns lie ahead as Sleeping in Eden winds its way to a stunning conclusion.