Monday, July 23, 2007

The Garden of Eve

The Garden of Eve by K.L. Going

I once took a class about Adam and Eve in literature. So I was particularly interested when I saw this galley. The cover, a girl crouched under a tree in the snow on a deep purple/blue background. Not only is she crouched in the snow, but she's by a gravestone, with a red tipped spade in hand. Creepy. As you can see, wind whips her hair about and she seems cocooned in a desolate landscape.

Turns out she pretty much is. Throughout much of the book Evie's only companion is Adam, a recently deceased boy a year older than Evie. Evie's mother has passed away in the not too distant past and her father has relocated them to a dead apple orchard in a dead town. He believes he can bring the orchard back to life or he will die trying. So obsessed is he with the orchard, he misses the fact that Evie needs his love and attention even though she's unwilling to ask for it.

This is a much smaller, quieter tale than you might suspect, all about life and death, the relationship between a girl and her father, a sleepy little town, believing in stories, and yes, a forbidden apple tree. The magical realism was less enchanting than I usually find such, and failed to build the kind of tension I think Going was attempting. Overall though, it is a satisfying and healing story. Oh, and there's a bit about libraries in there.

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