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Lost Edens: A True Story

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  32 reviews
When her estranged husband asks to live with Jamie again, she ignores her instincts and her family's concerns and sets about making a perfect home for them in a California beach town. The delicate negotiation that follows is a carefully constructed reality between what Jamie is willing to acknowledge and what she is not.

Jamie Patterson is a writer, teacher, runner, and dog
Paperback, 210 pages
Published August 26th 2011 by Beaver's Pond Press
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David Bruns
I was introduced to this book by one of life’s little serendipitous moments. I was at a garden party (yes, for real, a garden party) and I started talking with an older man in a loose group of newly-introduced strangers. Ex-Navy guy, now a lawyer in Minneapolis. I told him I had just published my first novel and he congratulated me. Then he said, “My daughter wrote a book.”
“That’s great,” I replied. “What’s it about?”
“The last week of her marriage.”
I waited for the punchline.
“No,” he said. “Th
Angie Mangino
Writing about emotional abuse is not an easy task, especially when it is a true story. How does one tell a story to show this when each incident, taken alone, can be interpreted as no big deal?

Lost Edens offers a unique glimpse into the dynamics of manipulative control which, through repetition, gradually damages a person’s self-esteem. And when the manipulator is someone you love and married, there is an even bigger problem of acceptance of the situation. Most make defensive excuses for the one
The back of the book:

‘Sometimes domestic violence is hard to recognise because it does not always come in the form of black eyes and broken bones’

My thoughts:

The beginning of this book didn’t particularly grab me. I felt that there was a slight lack of direction where there was a beautiful lake and cabin site described and then all of the upset of the actual story was slammed right into it. I thought there might be more of the lake but as this is a memoir I didn’t particularly mind that there
Wow. Not an easy book to read for me on a personal level.
Too close to home for comfort.
Like Jamie, I too managed to make a break.
Emotional abuse is a toughie. No physical scars. No broken bones.
Who would believe you?
I am glad Jamies family supported her so well.
I like her style, she doesn't victimise herself. She doesn't wallow in self pity.
She seeks the reality, it takes a while to sink in.
Emotional abuse doesn't just happen one day. It slowly sneaks up on you and gets worse and worse.
But bec
This review took some time for me to write as the stark reality of this book hit very close to home. Jamie writes about the final weeks of her relationship with her husband and tells with both an innocence and purity of a soul that has been battered by emotional abuse. The lack of self-worth is apparent to the reader, but not to the person living it.

Jamie bares her soul and tells from a personal point of view how things transpired and how she discovered she lost herself, but only after losing he
I received a free copy of this book through a Good Reads First Read giveaway. Thanks!

I'm not entirely sure I 'got' (as in fully understood) this book. To be sure, everyone has difficult and dysfunctional relationships in their past, myself included, and how they choose to either overcome it (or wallow in it) shows the true measure and strength of character. I am not discounting Ms. Patterson's struggle and triumph by any means; I was, however, left very, very confused. The whole narrative starte
The synopsis above doesn't tell me much, so I had no idea what to expect from this memoir when I started reading it. I know it's about a marriage on the rocks. Apparently her husband left, but now wants her back, so Jamie lets him back in despite misgivings from her family. With that intriguing premise, I began Lost Edens.

This memoir is about co-dependency and emotional abuse. It's about a man who manipulates his wife into thinking everything is her fault. It's about a woman who is so enrapture
Dodji Adewusi
This is a story that really tugged at my heart. I found it very touching and compelling. From the first sentence I was drawn in. I also found myself feeling sorry for Jamie and being annoyed with her at the same time, for being so needy. I understood her desperation to get her husband back, but her need for constant validation/approval of her husband was difficult to comprehend.
The emotional abuse that Jamie received from her husband on a repeated basis, is so reminiscent of the stories you hea
This is a great book by a courageous woman. Patterson uses artful language. Women in a stressful marriage or relationship can benefit from reading this book. Anyone who knows someone in a stressful relationship will better understand what the experience of being in a stressful relationship is like.
Apr 14, 2011 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 20 & 30 somethings
Recommended to Stephanie by: ARC from author
A young memoirist uses her story to prevent domestic violence and infidelity.

Even if you are in a stable partnership, this writing is disturbing and makes you question your relationship reality.

A short vignette that is long on impact, this is
essential reading for codependents.
Abigail Van nuys
Once I started reading this book I could not put it down! Lost Edens reminds me so much of several past experiences of my life! Manipulation, low self-esteem, and relationships all made this book so real to me it could have been written about my life.

Author Jamie Patterson really does a great job of detailing the true story of the breakup of her marriage and the affects it had on her. At times this was very painful for me to read as it was so close to my experiences on so many levels.

I really lo
Genevieve Schaffer
We've all had a friend who stays with "that horrible guy" and wondered what they were thinking. Here's one woman's perspective that is a disturbing but insightful read.
Jamie Patterson’s LOST EDENS is a true story drawn from Jamie’s personal experience of the break up of her marriage and one that many people would benefit from reading. Besides being a writer, Patterson is also a teacher, runner, and a dog lover. She spent almost a decade trying to please everybody and always putting herself last. Jamie describes how very much she wanted her marriage to work and the great lengths she went to in order to make it happen. What she didn’t realize at the time is that ...more
Alice Bola
Sometimes, the hardest review to write is one in which I love the book. I loved this book. This is a short memoir about the abandonment and betrayal of a husband written in his wife’s point of view. It’s also a memoir about domestic abuse. I can’t remember the last time I read a memoir in which the writer was so brutally honest about herself, about what she went through. It takes a lot of strength to admit your weaknesses; it takes a lot to ask for help. If I had to describe Jamie Patterson in o ...more
Lost Edens is a well-written book describing the true accounts of a shattered marriage. In this book, Jamie wanted so badly for her marriage to work, that she could not see the terrible treatment from her husband and destructive behavior that was tearing her apart emotionally. I enjoyed the writing style of the book, recounting the memories of her time in San Diego, living an idealize version of what she wanted out of her marriage and life. She had the perfect beach car, beach house, family near ...more
Kitty Honeycutt

It is almost frightening to read this book and realize just how easily someone can be manipulated into thinking that their life should revolve around someone else. Jamie's realization although late in life was one of the greatest that could ever be documented. This book is a reminder that abuse is not always physical and sometimes even mental abuse can be so subtle that you don't realize it until it's too late. I commend Jamie on her ability to rise above
Brenda Knight
I received a free ARC from the author on August 10th, 2011. I will post my thoughts/comments when I finish reading the book.
I finished reading this book on 8/13/2011. The subject matter is quite unsettling for me as I also have been a victim of spousal abuse. While reading about Jamie's struggles, it brought my own past vividly to the forefront of my mind. (I suffer from acute PTSD as a result of the abuse I endured.) I truly felt Jamie's pain, fear and stress. I empathize with Jamie completely.
Emma Stockwell
An unusual little read. Something that happens the world over is captured in this simple but powerful book. The reader may find that Jamie should have handled things differently from the beginning (hard not to give spoilers!) although she did come to her senses in the end. Many women and men the world over will be able to relate to the stages of denial, grief, anger, hope and pain that infidelity (spoiler) can cause, and finally acceptance; that some things can not be fixed. Dog lovers beware!!
This wasn't the type of book that I would normally choose, but I did end up reading the whole story. It is very deep and reminded me of the experiences of a friend who was emotionally abused by her ex husband. I think that many of us would recognise some of the behaviour described. I would have liked to have known more of what happened when Jamie went on to build a new life for herself
Jamie did an excellent job describing her marriage, or what her perception of it was...I think a lot of us know all too well this life she described.. Felt what she felt, she did a fantastic job..

But I gave it 4 stars because at the end I found myself skimming over it, getting lost going back and forth. Couldn't figure out whether it was the past or the present.

The scenes she described are all too common. Without bruises though people wonder what is wrong with you. I think the head games are h
Wow. This book is intense.

I finished it in 24 hours, and I NEVER read books in less than a week. Never.

It's true story involving marraige and infidelity. But it is so much more than that. She successfully captures the feeling of helplessness and futile hope that many of us have encountered to some degree or another in relationships.

Though her specific experience is something that I cannot imagine going through, it is easy to identify with her. And that is what makes it so intense. Not only do
"Lost Eden" by Jamie Patterson was a free giveaway that I received. This book is a quick read and was emotional to me. I would recommend this book for every woman to read. It really is an eye awakening to see how much a woman will put up to save her marriage and when to let go.
Claire Herbaux
Lovely read. Didn't know what to expect, was taken by surprise and found myself in an incredibly honest recollection.
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This book really grabbed me, and although I have been lucky enough not to have lived through a similarly scary situation, there is much I could identify about in terms of the dynamics of an unhealthy relationship, which most of us have lived through. This author did an amazing job clearly presenting where she was emotionally at the time the events took place, which makes the book so powerful an account of her harrowing journey.
A very touching,moving,inspiring book!

There are some parts that made me sad,angry,such frustration that made me talk back at it as the story progress I learned a goes deeper than expected but I'm really glad at the end.

I hope and pray that all is well up to this day.Fighting! and cheers to you girl way to go!^_~
It must have take a lot for the memoirist to write this book. It's so easy for a most of us to forget that just because you're not physically hurt, then it's ok to stay in an unhealthy relationship. The toll of an abusive emotional relationship i feel.. hurts even more. Thank you Jamie for writing this memoir.
This book is impressive in its simplicity. Jamie drives home the point that abuse isn't always physical and describes the incredible strength that it takes to break free of mental and emotional abuse.
Pamela Gold
I reviewed this memoir as part of the From Left to Write Book Club here:

I thought the idea was interesting and I thought there were some interesting pieces, but somehow it didn't hang together for me.
A quick read...but very haunting read about a woman emotionally abused by her husband.
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Jamie is a writer, teacher, runner, and dog guardian. She has a Master of Arts in Language and Literature from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she studied under Michael Pritchett (The Melancholy Fate of Capt. Lewis). Her doctorate is in Education.

A former spokesperson for the American Red Cross and the Girl Scouts, Jamie is now an academic editor.
More about Jamie Patterson...
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