Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: Sleeping in Eden (with a giveaway!)

Sleeping in Eden
By Nicole Baart
Howard Books May 2013
368 pages
Received for review from publisher

Sleeping in Eden: A Novel

Lucas Hudson is a small town doctor filling in as the coroner. Lucas' friend Alex, the police chief, expects that the man hanging in his own barn will be a quick open and shut case. But when the investigation reveals a body buried beneath the barn floor, Lucas has the sinking feeling that he knows the victim. Could the young woman be the girl who brought Lucas' wife such joy and sent cracks through their marriage?

This book has dual storylines. The second revolves around a teenage girl named Meg Painter. Meg also lives in the small town of Blackhawk, Iowa. She is a bit of a rebel who prefers learning tricks on her bike or starting a girl's football league to worrying about boys. But when she becomes friends with the new boy in town, it's not long before their relationship becomes more.

The stories of Lucas and Meg work wonderfully in tandem. With Lucas, we follow a man who is holding on to his marriage by the skin of his teeth. We know from the beginning of the novel that he and Jenna are on the rocks, but the reasons for the rift are revealed slowly. In contrast, Meg is experiencing love for the first time. She finds herself unexpectedly torn between a friend she has known for years and the enigmatic new boy who she can't seem to ignore. Meg experiences surprising challenges with both boys and learns that love is never as easy as we hope.

The driving force of this book is the mystery. Who is buried in the barn? Lucas thinks he knows from the beginning and I thought I had the mystery figured out two or three times before Baart finally brings all the threads of the story together perfectly. While trying to figure out the puzzle will leave readers flipping through the pages, Ms. Baart doesn't skimp on character or description. Her characters often make poor decisions, but you can always understand their motives. She depicts the small town of Blackhawk beautifully, noting those little details that bring a location to life for a reader. Sleeping in Eden is a twisty mystery entwined with a story about love - first love, love for family, and the love that we will fight to keep.

To the ladies and gents of the FTC: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Giveaway Time!
I am thrilled to be able to offer a copy of Sleeping in Eden to one reader who lives in the US or Canada. To enter, just leave me a comment.
The contest will run until Friday, May 21. 


  1. This sounds interesting. I like books with more than one pov.
    And while I usually read UF or SciFi, once in a while I enjoy books from different genres - especially those in small towns. Not sure why the small town is so attractive to me, but it is.

    I'm already trying to guess who the body is just from your review! lol

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. :)

  2. Sounds like a good read. I love small town mysteries and love second guessing endings even more! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  3. Congratulations, you can read a book and write a plot summary/opinion... LOL. Btw congrats on the new baby.

  4. Hi Linds! Looks like a great book! I need to start my 'summer reading list'! Thank goodness for Goodreads.

    emily k.