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Eden Lake

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  107 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
In 1968, newlyweds Clay Perry and Carol Weiss founded Eden Lake, a utopian children's summer camp in Maine. Thirty years later, their marriage is long over and the camp has become a pricey playground for entitled suburbanites. When tragedy strikes, the Perryweiss children have to decide what role Eden Lake, and all that it stands for, will play in their lives. Abe, the ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published May 12th 2011 by Last Light Studio (first published April 18th 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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Leslie Wilkins
Jul 31, 2011 Leslie Wilkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a long-time fan of this author's "mommy blog" and looked forward to enjoying her writing style in something more long-form. I was not disappointed. This book is essentially a character study, mainly focusing on siblings that grew up watching, attending, and then working a summer camp out east. There are a lot of layers, from comparisons between childhoods in the 70s and today, to commentary on commercialism, to explorations of trust, mistrust, fidelity and infidelity. And there's enough ...more
William Torgerson
Aug 03, 2011 William Torgerson rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teens, Northeasteners, those whove gone to summer camp, teachers
Recommended to William by: book club
In order to win Jane Roper’s novel Eden Lake, I had to agree to read the book and participate in the accompanying Goodreads discussion as a part of The Next Best Book Club. I am a finicky reader who has probably put down at least as many books as I’ve begun, and so I wanted to make sure I had a decent chance to like the story okay before I agreed to have it shipped to me. I could already see myself ten pages into 300, not enjoying the read, but having to stay with it because I said I would.

I wen
Jul 04, 2011 Rosanna rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, signed, giveaway
When I first heard of Eden Lake I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I admit at first I was a skeptic. Did I really want to read about a summer camp “that has become a pricey playground for entitled suburbanites”? Not really. However, Roper’s novel goes beyond the clichés of grief and tragedy and challenges the hypocrisy of idealism for the elite and the elite only. How can one hope to change the world through the youth, if that youth is from one socio-economic class? The novel attempt ...more
May 24, 2011 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great, fun, quick read. I hope there is a prequel! A great addition to a summer beach/pool reading list! Captures the surreal, yet essential rite of passage of attending/working at a summer camp while also featuring some quirky undercurrents and stories...
Jun 08, 2011 Armand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Northeasterners, people who like summer camp
Eden Lake starts is the story of three young adults who must return to their recently deceased father's summer camp in Maine. In doing so, our three protagonists, Abe, Jude (Judy) and Eric, must grapple with the past and all the complications of whom they've become. Eden Lake does a fabulous job of using a very specific lens- that of a small summer camp in Maine founded by idealists (essentially a summerland)- to examine "big picture" ideas that affect us all, ideas like love, career, family and ...more
Derek Gentry
Aug 15, 2011 Derek Gentry rated it really liked it
In Eden Lake, Jane Roper conjures a whole summer camp full of characters dealing with a range of sticky issues. Abe, Jude, and Eric Perryweiss are the focus here, doing their best to run the family business in the aftermath of their father's untimely death, but what's remarkable is how fully realized all of the characters are, including the many supporting players who might've become cartoons in lesser hands.

A good example of this is Sergei, an illegal Russian immigrant who reappears at the camp
Ericka Lutz
Jul 13, 2011 Ericka Lutz rated it it was amazing
Delicious summer (and other seasons) reading. I never went to summer camp, but this book brought me deep into the experience, with characters who I became attached to, and writing that sang. I loved it!
Crystal King
Sep 14, 2011 Crystal King rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
What a fun summer read (although a winter read would certainly give you a touch of summer!). This book took me back to the nostalgia of camp although with a touch of good adult drama. I felt very connected to the characters and the story and stayed up late reading on more than one night!
May 31, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
I'm a long time reader of Jane Roper's blog and was thrilled to see she had written a novel. Great book, well-written, perfect for the summer. I highly recommend!
Jamie Kline
May 31, 2011 Jamie Kline rated it liked it
good light book about a family that owns a summer camp
Oct 14, 2016 Deirdre rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Good and easy read about a family trying to pick up the pieces after tragedy. The story is told alternately from three siblings' point of view. I like how this kept me feeling invested in each of their stories. This book transports the reader to the nostalgia of being a kid and/or counselor at summer camp.
Feb 18, 2012 Maggie61 rated it it was amazing
I read about this book long before I obtained a copy of it, waited rather anxiously for it as the topic of a summer camp is close to my heart.

Eden Lake is a camp owned by Carol and Clay founded in the late 60's. Their three children knew no other life as children, they lived at the camp and spent the summers as campers there. Carol and Clay get divorced, Clay remains at the camp with his new wife Gail and the children have all grown up and left the camp except Eric who wants to remain behind the
Mar 26, 2012 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: won
I won this book in a blog giveaway late last summer.

Eden Lake is a dramatic book about siblings Abe, Jude, and Eric who come back to run their family's summer camp after the untimely death of their father. Each adult child is at different points in their life, but all seem to be stuck in their own rut going nowhere. The interactions at the camp help them all to eventually find their way to something new.

What I liked- The setting. I've never been to summer camp myself. I enjoyed the description
Nov 30, 2011 Laura rated it liked it
This was a very long book. I really liked the beginning. The book was told by different voices, in a good way, I got a lot out of hearing the story from different perspectives. It seemed to be filled with some unnecessary drama with people not at the camp (bosses and boyfriends). My biggest criticism was how Carol told Eric about his father. That went against everything we knew about her as a person. It was good to see some character development, I liked Eric best. The children all seemed to ...more
Catherine Hurst
Jun 13, 2011 Catherine Hurst rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book about four marginally dysfunctional young adults whose parents founded an idealistic summer camp in Maine in their hippie years. Now these folks have to wrestle with running the camp when they haven't had a lot of success sticking with jobs or relationships in the past. In addition they have to handle some blows in their own families when a tragedy happens and when old transgressions become new information. I found the story to be compelling, but the characters mildly ...more
Melissa Acuna
Feb 06, 2012 Melissa Acuna rated it really liked it
Eden Lake is a wonderful debut (I'm pretty sure that this is a first novel?) novel about loss, forgiveness, and growing up. It's primarily a character study of three siblings and a step-sister, set in Maine at a summer camp. As a Mainer, I greatly appreciated the realistic depiction of Maine; it was accurate, non-patronizing and that's not always the case of novels set in the state (we don't put tarter sauce on lobster rolls, for instance).

The Perryweiss children are complex characters, each sym
Aug 29, 2011 Tracyj rated it really liked it
I really liked this story told in alternating voices of three siblings forced to run a summer camp for their recently deceased father. I felt like I spent the summer with them at sleep away camp and watched as they came to terms with their past and took ownership of their futures. A great summer read.
Jen Wolfe
Oct 30, 2011 Jen Wolfe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ultimate summer camp experience. Not only do you get to spend a summer with these characters, but you also get to see into their past and get a glimpse of their (possible) futures. While there are some rollicking good moments that would challenge a soap opera plot, there are also some really thoughtful reflections on how the world has changed since the seventies.
Pamela Ferguson
Nov 04, 2012 Pamela Ferguson rated it liked it
A very likable book - summer camp, three siblings, complicated love, loss of parents, divorce, etc. But the thread throughout the book is good - nuture our youth so they grow up ready to handle their adulthood. Uncomplicated. A great summer read!
Joanna Christensen
Nov 11, 2012 Joanna Christensen rated it really liked it
I've never been to sleep away summer camp before but Jane Roper made me feel like I could've been there - loved the characters - especially the realness of them all - Great story, laugh out loud funny parts and scenes that made your heart ache for the characters. I definitely recommend this book.
Christina Gonzalez
May 12, 2015 Christina Gonzalez rated it really liked it
Really good story. The characters are so real-I just want to reach through the pages & give them hugs! I don't know if there are plans to do more with these guys or Camp Eden Lake, but I'd love to share another journey or two with them!
Aug 01, 2011 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bought, ebook
You can read my take here. 3.5 stars

Jul 14, 2013 Kirsten rated it really liked it
I liked this and it tied into a recent read (Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings) is some cool ways. I really liked all the characters here, and they felt really believable to me. A good read.
Aug 15, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
I met this author at a reading at the library. I really liked this novel and look forward to her memoir which will be out next year.
It took me a little while to get into the story. But overall I liked the book. There are some great characters and I like the ending. Some aspects of the book didn't seem realistic to me though.
May 13, 2011 Kathy rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading Eden Lake by Jane Roper!

For my complete review visit my book blog:

Heatheremerick rated it really liked it
May 24, 2011
Evan rated it liked it
Sep 05, 2011
Theresa rated it liked it
Apr 03, 2013
Shandra rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2012
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Jane Roper is the author of a memoir, DOUBLE TIME: How I Survived--and Mostly Thrived--Through my First Three Years Mothering Twins (St. Martin's Press) and EDEN LAKE a novel. Jane received her MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and her BA from Williams College. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and twin daughters. She blogs at
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“Truth was such a tricky thing when it came to children. When was it good medicine and when was it poison” 1 likes
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