31 May 2012

Book Review - The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy

"To understand what it meant to be a Hathaway, you'd first have to see Aurelia."

For generations, Aurelia was the crowning glory of more than three thousand acres of Iowa farmland and golden cornfields. The estate was a monument to matriarch Lavinia Hathaway's dream to elevate the family name - no matter what relative or stranger she had to destroy in the process. It was a desperation that wrought the downfall of the Hathaways - and the once prosperous farm.

Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died - alone. None of the surviving members of the Hathaway family want anything to do with the farm, the land, or the memories.

Especially Meredith Pincetti. Now living in New York City, for seventeen years Lavinia's youngest grandchild has tried to forget everything about her family and her past. But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith is again thrust into conflict with the legacy that destroyed her family's once-great name. Back at Aurelia, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway family... and her own part in their mottled history.

"Our farm was like the world when people still thought it was flat. And when you left it, it was as if you had simply sailed too far and fallen off the surface into the void."

You can find the Goodreads page here.

My Review (if you would like to see the video review, please see end of post)

A very interesting read.  Right from the word go, I knew that something BIG had happened at Aurelia farm and I knew that I had to find out what was going on.   What happened on this farm so make all but one the family members leave?  

This story splits into two.  First you have Meredith who had been contacted by the family's lawyer saying that her cousin had died, left the farm in ruin and are looking for a family member who is willing to sort out the debts (of which there are quite a few) and the family's personal belongings.  Up until now, not one of the family members have been either contactable or willing to take on this task.  Through a struggle of will, Meredith decides that she has to go back to Aurelia to sort this out.  The second half of this story is set in the past, right when Lavinia was married to the doctor in the village where Aurelia is set.  We follow Lavinia's story as she meets her new future husband and moves to Aurelia.  

I have to admit there were times in the story where the split between the past and the present was not very clear and it did take me a few minutes when that switch happened to figure out what time period I was in. 

Although it appeared from the start that the main character of this story could have been Meredith Pincetti, to me the main character was Lavinia Hathaway.  A very strong character who knows what she wants and knows how to get it, irrespective of who she hurts on her way.  

A very enjoyable read, a bit confusing with the story split but a great family drama...

Best wishes

Debs :-)

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