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Sleeping in Eden

Title:  Sleeping in Eden
Author:  Nicole Baart
Pages:  368
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Howard Books
                A small town where people know more than just your names is the setting.  Here is a mystery that spans years and involves three families more entwined than they know that are about to be unraveled when a fourth party enters the scene.  Lucas is the town doctor.  He is not usually called to be a coroner at a crime scene, but tonight when he receives the call, many lives are going to be forever changed.  In Blackhawk, Iowa, Meg and Jess have literally grown up together.  Dylan moves to town, but never feels like he is accepted.
                Years later a body is found in the floor of a barn, swinging over it is a man who has hung himself.  No note is left.  His only daughter returns from California in hopes of clearing her father’s name and by default her own, but it isn’t as easy as Angela first thought it to be.  On top of that, Lucas and his wife bear their own grief, wondering if their marriage will be able to overcome and receive renewed hope.
                With riveting characters and mysteries in the mix, this novel was very interesting to read and the ending had more to it besides the conclusion.  There are a few swear words in the book, which I don’t see as either distracting the reader or adding anything to the story.  The chapters flip back and forth between Lucas and Meg and following the tale isn’t hard at all.  Lucas is the present character in the town; Meg is from the past, but as the climax begins to build there seems to be some thread that wraps the two together.
                The identity of the body found under the floor of the barn is a stunning discovery in the small town and learning how many people go missing every year is even more so.  With very few clues to go on, learning the identity seems to be foremost in a few minds.  One theme in the story is learning to forgive someone who is gone for actions done in the past that are devastating in order to go forward unimpeded without shame by family members, maybe even strangers.
                I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading Sleeping in Eden, but it sure was a memorable read.  I saw how characters’ decisions that seemed innocent at first had long-reaching consequences.  The chapters are short and the story moves at a pretty quick pace, so there wasn’t a moment of slowness in the pages.  The four or five swear words stood out to me because they didn’t seem to add anything to help the reader understand the emotions of the characters.  I believe that the story is one of hope, compassion, closure and learning to acknowledge there can be new days ahead.
                My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

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