- Secrets of Eden writtten by Chris Bohjalian, read by Mark Bramhall, Susan Denaker, Rebecca Lowman, and Kathe Mazur
- Unabridged Audio CD (9 discs)
- Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (February 2, 2010)
- ISBN-13: 978-0307705037
She Is Too Fond of Books’ thoughts: I picked up the Secrets of Eden audiobook from our local library when I was getting ready to take a road trip with my 15-year-old daughter. You know how teens are – I figured she’d be plugged into her iPod and not interested in chatting on our drive up to Maine. I hadn’t previously read (or listened to) a Bohjalian novel, but had heard that this would be good company for the drive.
Well, it turns out that both the audiobook and my daughter were good company – she took out her earbuds to ask what I was listening to, and soon we were both caught up in the story.
The novel is narrated in four first-person accounts (I’ve highlighted them in the synopsis, above). They are Reverend Stephen Drew, pastor in the small town of Haverill, Vermont; Katie Hayward, 15-year-old daughter of apparent murder-suicide victims Alice and George Hayward; Heather Laurent, a best-selling author whose parents died in the same manner as the Haywards; and Catherine Benincasa, the deputy state’s attorney who leads the investigation. Each tells what they know – maybe. There are secrets, after all, so the reader gets each narrator’s perspective of the truth.
I really liked the novel and found it interesting that I didn’t like many of the main characters. George Hayward was a chronic drinker who was in the habit of beating Alice. Alice was heavily involved in her church (in fact, she was killed the evening of her adult baptism!), yet acted hypocritically; Heather Laurent made me uncomfortable with all her talk about angels (yes, I learned something about myself while listening to Secrets of Eden).
It’s a very good mystery, with a deliberate and steady build-up. Is the biggest secret revealed? I’m not saying …