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The Legacy of Eden

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  381 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
"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
Paperback, 1st Edition, 384 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by MIRABooks
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Community Reviews

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Kat Kennedy
It's hard to talk objectively about The Legacy of Eden because it is an intensely personal novel. How much you relate to it may well rest upon how horribly dysfunctional your family is. Or was. And I'm not just referring to your parents occasionally fighting or you uncle occasionally getting drunk and being thrown out of bars. This book is about the kind of family dysfunction that is a sickness spreading down the family lines until nobody is left unscathed.

In Meredith's family, that sickness beg
Nov 30, 2011 Summer rated it really liked it
This book is amazing, terrifying, enticing, haunting, and brilliant all at the same time. Reading it is like watching a train wreck. You can't stop reading even though know it can't end well. Amazing! I even ended up burning rolls for Thanksgiving because I couldn't put the book down to get them out! It's roll burning good!
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
For some reason I just can't get into this story. I don't know what it is about it but I think maybe it just isn't for me.
The writing style is a little different from what I am normally use to and the characters (there are a lot of them) just don't appeal to me for whatever reason.

Even though I haven't loved it, I do think others will still really like it and should give it a chance.
Jenny Q
Feb 03, 2012 Jenny Q rated it really liked it
This is the story of a big family in a small town and the farm they built, Aurelia, as seen through the eyes of Meredith, the youngest grandchild, recounted through her own memories and the memories of other family members as they told them to her. Meredith fled Aurelia when she was seventeen and never looked back. She's spent the past twenty years distancing herself from that part of her life, even going so far as to change her name. But then a letter arrives informing her of the death of her c ...more

"We are all alone," my grandmother had told me once. "No one feels our aches with us, or our pains or our joys. We are like islands floating in a sea together but that's all, we are still just an island, so close we can touch each other, smell each other, but always from a distance."

My Thoughts:

Since I can be picky about the grammar and such in books, I want to note that the copy I read was a paper ARC. Since it was an ARC, it contained a number of incorrect words (Davy frequently used "
Mar 05, 2012 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published by Mira
ISBN-10: 0778329550
ISBN-13: 978-0778329558
At the request of Meryl L. Moss Media, an ARC TPB was sent, at no charge to me, for my honest opinion.

Synopsis: An epic, sweeping tale of a dynasty rotten to the core, driven by ambition, lust – and hatred.
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
Dec 26, 2012 Crystal rated it really liked it
The Legacy of Eden is a very interesting book. Told through the generations of one family, it's the story of secrets and eventually overcoming those secrets. It's one of those reads you can't really put down because you wonder what you will find out next. It's like talking to the best town gossip and getting all the good details about that one family. It's all in here laid out for the reader. The good, the bad and the really ugly. It's a tale of how a family can look so great on the outside yet ...more
This book describes the trials and tribulations encountered by several generations of one family. The story is told by both recollections from a grandmother to her granddaughter on her death bed, and the granddaughters own memories of her childhood. The plot revolves around the intimate relationships of the family, and how the people closest to you can hurt you the most.

The book mainly focuses on the women of the family, and how several members of the family can be so completely different. Ther
This cover is gorgeous but it needs to be changed. I initially labelled this as a YA novel. I mean, the whole, back-to-the-reader, hair flowing in the wind, beautiful dress inappropriate for the setting (I mean, who wears an off-the-shoulder ruffle in a wheat field?). It fits in perfectly with a host of angsty YA covers on the market these days (see: Fallen). When I realized the characters were far too old for a YA my mind turned instead to chick lit.

This is not chick lit.

This book reminds me mo
Posted on Book Chelle.

Nelle Davy’s The Legacy of Eden was a little hard to read through. The story had a depressing tone, filled with stories of the struggles and dysfunctions of a family. The history of a family, told and felt through many generations, can usually be filled with happiness. But in the case of the Hathaway family, it is filled with anger and sorrow.

The Legacy of Eden mainly revolves around Meredith Pincetti. Meredith has spent a large part of her life trying to escape her family,
Feb 16, 2012 Celine rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, contemporary
To enjoy The Legacy of Eden you need a certain amount of morbid curiosity. Even when an entire family falls into ruins, you need to continue reading to see how far the disease has spread. If you don't have this curiosity, you probably won't be able to finish this book.

When Meredith receives a letter that contains the news of her deceased cousin, she wishes that she never would have opened it. All of the memories that she has tried to stay away from come back. She will have to relive them all un
Kari Anderson
Mar 28, 2012 Kari Anderson rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 17, 2014 Louisa rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed rereading this book, all the complicated family stuff, and yeah, sad, but good!
Wendy Hines
Feb 02, 2012 Wendy Hines rated it it was amazing
Meredith has created her own life, without a past. She's changed her name and the way she lives. She wants to forget it all, but that is hard to do when she receives a letter from a lawyer. She calls her sister but she is shocked and angry that Meredith is even contemplating calling the law firm. But Meredith isn't finished with her past and so she calls. The law firm is willing to sell the property and the land but they want someone in the family to come and inventory - see if they want anythin ...more
Kirsty (Book - Love - Bug)
Feb 23, 2012 Kirsty (Book - Love - Bug) rated it really liked it
When I first got my hands on this book, I knew it was going to be something special. The cover has a luxurious feel; soft and full of depth. I wasn’t disappointed.

The book opens with a prologue which had me hooked:

I pointed the flashlight into the darkness, punctuating the purple haze of the evening with circles of white. The air was full of the smell of azaleas and the sound of crickets, and I began to think of how much I would miss my home. For a moment, I was truly scar
Ali (Ali's Bookshelf )
Dysfunctional Family... well that's a polite way of describing the family in this book, really they are well let's just stick with Dysfunctional. Nelle Davy, created a story around this family going from past to present to paint the whole picture and story to the reader. I loved that the most about this book, we really get to see it all.

I really enjoyed this book and the way the author did just that, shows it all to us, every little detail. Yes it does take some time and it is a slow paced book
Deborah Sloan
Feb 05, 2012 Deborah Sloan rated it really liked it
Written in the spirit of Gone With The Wind or Fried Green Tomatoes you are going to love The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy! Truly an epic novel about an Iowa Farming Family who though quite prosperous create their own tragedies by infighting, and machinations of the matriarch grandmother Lavina Hathaway. A family with secrets not discussed, a family envied by all in the county because on the surface they are rich and successful.

Is a family’s value all in the land they own or is there more? For s
Feb 10, 2012 Marquetta rated it it was ok
The Legacy of Eden reminds of the great mini-series that used to air on TV in the 80s or a two-part movie on Lifetime. The story takes place between the present and the past. The story is told from Meredith Pancetti's point of view. The last of the Hathaway's has died and she must go to Aurelia, the family farm, to finalize the selling of it. Aurelia holds bad memories for most of the Hathways and family secrets. Told from first person POV, the story jumps between Meredith's present day voice an ...more
Nov 13, 2014 Alexa rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Reviewed on Alexa Loves Books

I have recently realized that I am, in general, a fan of novels that weave a family dynamic into the story. The relationship between family members is a fascinating one indeed – bound together by blood doesn’t always mean the most peaceful of tales.

As The Legacy of Eden clearly shows us, sometimes, behind a wonderful façade that other people see and that you choose to remember, there are always the memories that lurk in the deepest, darkest corners of our minds. This
Feb 14, 2012 Cheryl rated it did not like it
It has been years since Meredith has seen or set foot on Aurelia. Aurelia is a piece of property that lies on more than three thousand acres of land. Meredith receives a letter. The letter tells her that her cousin has passed away and that Aurelia will be dissolved and auctioned off to the highest bidders. The attorney suggests to Meredith that it would make things easier if someone in the family was to come down to Aurelia and sign the papers. Once back at Aurelia, Meredith remembers both the g ...more
Marcela (BookaholicCat)
The Legacy of Eden is the family saga of the Hathaway family told by Meredith (Hathaway) Pincetti’s POV, her recollections of the past and the memories shared by her grandmother Lavinia on her deathbed. The story includes the lives of three generations of Hathaways, starting with Meredith’s grandparents Cal and Lavinia, followed by her parents generation including her uncle and aunt and her own generation, the one she shared with her sisters Ava and Claudia and her cousin Cal Jr. Her reminiscenc ...more
Feb 17, 2012 TinaB rated it liked it
The Legacy of Eden offers a detailed look into the life of the Hathaway family- a once prestigious clan held in high regard within their community who succumb to ruin. Secrets, misspent wealth and loss riddle the family's destruction and define the younger generation. One of them being Meredith Pincetti who travels back to Aurelia and shares the story of her family...the one she knows of and the one her dead relatives bring forth.

Jumping into Eden held much promise in the first 100 pages, I felt
Paula  Phillips
Feb 22, 2012 Paula Phillips rated it liked it
I had recieved this book as part of the VBT# from MediaMuscle and I was captivated by the cover , I had the one on the right as I started reading it, it took a while for me to get past the few pages as I wasn't over excited with the book. For me, it was a little bit slow but if you are a fan of the historical fiction and enjoyed books like The Secret Life of Bees , Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly . The types of novels that take place throughout the different generations . The Legacy of Eden talk ...more
"The Legacy of Eden" is nothing short of a mesmerizing novel. Once engaged, I couldn't stop reading it if I wanted to. Every word must drip from Nelle Davy's illusionary pen like silver. She is a word spinner--simply captivating and crushing your psyche from one sentence to the next. Her writing abilities are staggering. And this grotesque, family dynasty novel is of the best kind, reminiscent of Steinbeck's "East of Eden," and Jane Smiley's "A Thousand Acres." I expect great things from Nelle D ...more
Julie Rosinski
May 22, 2012 Julie Rosinski rated it liked it
Good story, strong characters. I struggled a bit with her writing style - run on sentences and overuse of pronouns had me confused sometimes and I had to go back and re-read paragraphs frequently. And the ending was a bit disappointing - no surprises, just confirmed what the reader already assumed from page 1. Looking forward to book club discussion and Skype session with the author tonight!
Jun 25, 2012 Bobbie rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 26, 2012 Anncleire rated it really liked it
Shelves: galley-grab, storical
“The legacy of Eden” l’ho scoperto per caso in uno di quei momenti in cui aggiungo libri a matto senza prestare particolare attenzione, anche se forse in questo caso forse ci voleva. Mi sono lasciata convincere ad iniziare la lettura per via del fatto che si tratta di una storia familiare dagli inizi del novecento ai giorni nostri e c’era una matriarca con una forte influenza. La storia effettivamente è interessante anche se non è riuscita a prendermi come mi aspettavo.

Meredith è l’ultima erede
Feb 18, 2014 Rose rated it liked it
Initial reaction: FINALLY finished. It's good but flawed and extremely sluggish in turns. There are quite a bit of characters to keep up with as well, but ultimately, I liked the intimacy of the narrative even if there were things I didn't like about it. More expansion to come in the full review. Probably rating this around 3 or 3.5 stars.

Full review:

This book took me two years to read or thereabouts. Dude, where's my medal? Kidding. I finally finished it in 2014 (still had a copy of the ARC boo
Jan 22, 2013 Julie rated it liked it
The Legacy of Eden written by Nelle Davy is published by MIRA a division of Harlequin.

Merideth gets a letter from a law firm informing her of the death of her cousin and telling her that he died in debt and his farm and all property was being sold to pay off those debts.
Merideth and her two sisters had been raised on the farm and none of them have fond memories of the place. Merideth is the only one that feels a sense of duty. She decides to travel to Iowa and go through the house and see to th
Seventeen years ago, Meredith left her family and her beautiful childhood home vowing never to return. In the present day, she receives a letter informing her that the sole inhibitor of the now decaying house, a cousin, has died and that the property is to be sold. Calling her estranged sisters, they decide to go back one final time to lay some ghosts to rest.

Meredith's narration is taken from her own child-to-adult observations, as well as from the secrets and stories her grandmother Lavinia t
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Book Giveaways: Win: The Legacy Of Eden by Nelle Davy 1 6 Mar 06, 2012 07:13PM  
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