Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Secrets of Eden
Am reading Chris Bohjalian's Secrets of Eden and it is delicious. I'm about halfway through, and have met two narrators...
The first is Stephen Drew, pastor of a small church in a small town in Vermont. One of his parishioners has just been murdered in an apparent murder suicide the day after he baptized her. From the first page, the reader knows that he is not your stereotypical nice pastor, which drew me into the book right away, (seeing as I myself have a history with pastors and yes I daresay I do have 'issues' with organized religion but that's not what we're talking about here so back to the book...)
The second narrator is Catherine Benincasa, state attorney investigating the case. She believes there is a lot more to the story than Wife Beater Kills Wife Then Self.
Another character, who I suspect will become a narrator later in the book, is Heather Laurent, well-known author of books on angels, whose own parents died when her father killed her mother and then killed himself. Heather inserts herself into this small town drama, feeling drawn to Katie, daughter of the dead couple.
I probably made the mistake of reading the back cover and a few online reviews, as they alluded to some plot points I would rather not know ahead of time. My astute partner never reads them before reading a book...she looks at the title and cover and then starts reading. If it grabs her - especially the first sentence - then she'll read it. I've read back covers to get at least a sense of what the book is about, AND I have been frustrated when I've been told too much.
So far I'm really enjoying this...find myself eager to get back to the book whenever I can. The characters are interesting, the story is engrossing, I want to know what happens next. That's always a good sign...
Chris Bohjalian came into the store a week or so ago...he was in town for a book signing, and came in to sign stock. I heard him before I saw him...he was quite loud. I didn't know he was coming, so didn't know who it was being so loud in the store. I heard a man talking loudly about how he'd been to 9 of our bookstores in 3 days and it was exhausting and he'd been to nine stores. It seemed as though he was trying to let us (booksellers? because we'd be impressed???) how hard he was working? What a hardship it was? I don't know. I didn't have a chance to meet him as I was on a lengthy call with a customer the whole time he was in the store. In spite of the slightly less than positive impression I got of the author, I am really enjoying the book.