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The Legacy of Eden

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  365 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

(showing 1-30 of 1,244)
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
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!
Tanya T
Feb 11, 2016 Tanya T rated it really liked it
This is the first novel by Nelle Davy and I must say I hope she writes more novels! I really enjoyed this book.It reminds me so much of the book A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley ( which is on my top 10 favorite books I have ever read). The story draws you in from the first chapter,giving you only a hint of what is to come towards the end. The story is about a Grand daughter of a prominent family that is forced to go back to the huge family estate/farm after the very last original descendant dies. ...more
Feb 16, 2014 Jane rated it it was amazing
A book of how Lavinia Hathaway becomes married to Cal and runs the family farm. After Cal's Dad dies, he marries and his sister lives with him to help run the family farm. His brother leaves because his Dad gives Cal more than him.
All the bad things that happen to members of the family. How a Mother controls this farm and everything connected to it. She will stop at nothing to keep control of the farm.
Her granddaughters have all left the farm. So when their Uncle dies, they are drawn back to go
Sep 03, 2014 nettebuecherkiste rated it really liked it
Meredith erfährt, dass ihr Cousin gestorben ist und somit das alte Familienanwesen “Eden” und die zugehörige Farm verkauft werden sollen. An Merediths Reaktion ist gleich zu erkennen – in dieser Familie ist etwas schiefgelaufen. Sie entschließt sich dennoch, die alten Geister zu konfrontieren und zur Farm zu reisen, um die Sachen ihrer Eltern durchzugehen. Dabei erinnert sie sich an die Geschichte der Familie, die ihr größtenteils die Matriarchin der Familie, ihre Großmutter Lavinia erzählt hat. ...more
Nov 17, 2014 Louisa rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed rereading this book, all the complicated family stuff, and yeah, sad, but good!
Kristin Poley
This book was anti-climactic. I was instantly drawn in from the beginning by the secretiveness and supposed scandal but I was disappointed. There were too many different writing styles and this made the whole story confusing. While I think the background of the family and the farm is necessary in order to fully understand the series of events, I feel like this was too much. I felt like I was reading this girl's genealogy and not a story at all. Eventually it comes full circle and most loose ends ...more
Jesse Martin
Apr 20, 2016 Jesse Martin rated it really liked it
This book was very unique. I did not enjoy any of the characters in this book. I disagreed with every choice they made and the personalities of each character seemed to be similar to those I avoid being friends with. I had never read a book where I did not enjoy a single character before.

But with all that being said I felt myself always wanting to read it. It captivated me. I would take it to the pool, or any where else I would have time to read and that's what I did. And I wasn't just reading
Bev Taylor
Jan 21, 2015 Bev Taylor rated it really liked it
a place they sinned for - secrets they would die for

meredith opens a letter and the past hurtles back at her when she has spent nearly 20 years trying to forget

the novel revolves around lavinia after the wwII in iowa who leaves her husband for another man and moves into aurelia. but she is as much married to the property as her new husband and will do anything to preserve it

meredith discovers some of these and more

only one point - the rape case would not have been taken to court as the exam
Jan 29, 2012 Erica rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, family, arc
While I found this book to be an engrossing family saga, with plenty of mystery, intrigue, and high drama, the underlying feel of it was a bit dreary for me. It's almost like having distant relatives with crazy lives that you love to hearing the juicy gossip about their lives & history, but you also feel sorry for them/angry with them for the decisions they make and the repercussions of such.

Part of the "dreary" feel for me was the not-very-subtle foreshadowing in the beginning that left me
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
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
Nov 13, 2014 Alexa rated it really liked it
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 13, 2012 Allison rated it it was ok
Shelves: sent-to-review
The Legacy of Eden had a good premise - a collection of family secrets spanning three generations. The reader meets Meredith, the narrator, as she finds out that her family farm will be sold since the last relative living on the land has died. She had to leave her new home of New York City to go back to her childhood home in Iowa. To get closure on this task, she has to talk with her two older sisters and face all of the secrets she's been trying to outrun for seventeen years.

There was a lot of
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,
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
Meredith Pincetti (it used to be Hathaway, but she took her Mother's maiden name) thought she was done with Aurelia for the rest of her lifetime. She has managed to push down into oblivion the mostly disturbing memories of her time there. But now that Cal Jr. her oldest cousin is dead, the farm is without an owner and in serious disrepair. Either Meredith or one of her older sisters must return to take care of matters and choose what they want from the house before it's sold. But it means relivi ...more
Jun 25, 2012 Bobbie rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Mar 09, 2012 Sheree rated it really liked it
The Legacy Of Eden tells of the saga-like rise and fall of the dynastic Hathaway family. It's a dark, multi-generational tale of a dysfunctional family and their self destructive ways, set against the backdrop of their empire-like estate Aurelia ... no happy family here.

Actually to say the Hathaway family is dysfunctional is a gross understatement, this is a family poisoned by ambition and jealousy, fueled with bitterness and deceit. Davy breathes life into most of her characters, (especially th
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
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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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