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Eden Close

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3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  8,107 Ratings  ·  438 Reviews
Andrew, in his mid-thirties, returns to his hometown to attend his mother's funeral. Planning to remain only a few days, he is drawn into the tragic legacy of the beautiful girl next door, Eden Close. An adopted child, Eden has learned to avoid the mother who did not want her and to please the father who did. She also aimed to please Andrew and his friends, first by being ...more
Paperback, 265 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jo Woolfardis
They Made Me read this book in College and it was one of the worst periods of my life. Not because of anything happening to me, except the reading of this book. I'm unlikely to re-read it, so I'll attempt a review from a very old memory...

Dire is the word that comes to mind. Very thin, very clichéd plot with some of the worst characters I've ever come across. The prose was flowery, twee and just the slowest. I hated it back then, I truly did. I hate myself for being able to remember this book, t
...more
Dawn
Mar 18, 2010 Dawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am fairly assured that when I pick up an Anita Shreve book I am going to enjoy the reading and the unpredictability that seems to be a hallmark for her.This was no different.
Apparently one of her older ones and unknown to me until I picked it up at a book sale, it was no less appealing from being somewhat outdated. She takes a situation, infuses it with humanness and the random bits of detail needed to pique interest and gradually, without seeming to be doing so, reels you into the suspense a
...more
Rick
Dec 27, 2009 Rick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm trying to understand what the author was aiming for as she wrote this book. As another reviewer wrote, one could see where this book was headed from a mile away, so one assumes that Ms. Shreve wasn't trying to write a mystery or build up to a surprise ending. The writing, although a bit odd sylistically, wasn't particularly beautiful or interesting (although there were certainly some well-turned phrases and some well described scenes -- brushing hair, the pond), so Ms. Shreve couldn't have w ...more
Shyla
Dec 30, 2009 Shyla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book I picked up on my lunch break for something to read while I ate. I just grabbed a book off the new books shelf at the book store and started in. I had no idea what to expect. The book is about a man, Andrew, who comes back to his childhood home after his mother passes away. He has not been home much to visit since he left for college and has not stayed in touch with anyone from town, including his next door neightbor, Eden Close the girl he grew up with. Eden had been his tom boy ...more
Kelly Hager
May 10, 2010 Kelly Hager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's about a man who returns to his hometown after his mother dies. He's been gone for 17 years; he left for college not long after his next door neighbor was shot and his daughter assaulted. The daughter, Eden Close, was one of his best friends growing up. She's next door again, living with her mom.

While he's home, Andrew starts to delve into the story of what actually happened that night and why Eden's mom is so protective of her.

I only have one Anita Shreve book left. :( I hope she releases a
...more
Nadia Noland
May 13, 2009 Nadia Noland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the book. It was sort af mystery/love story. The writing was detailed enough that I felt I could see everything for myself.
Maddy
Nov 01, 2011 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the book Eden Close by Anita Shreve, a young man named Andrew returns to his childhood house after the death of his mother to attend the funeral and pack up the house and try to sell it. The longer Andrew stays renovating his old home, the more childhood memories flood his mind. Like the memories of Eden Close, his childhood neighbor and friend. The summer before Andrew had left for college, Eden had been blinded by a gunshot to the face in her own home, and her father had been murdered. The ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Dec 01, 2009 Kathleen Dixon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
What a clever title. I thought at first (of course) that it was the name of a street. I had deliberately not read the blurb. So when I discovered it was the name of the girl-next-door it was a delightful surprise. What it does, is plant the book squarely in a place, saying that the place this all happens in is as important as the girl.

Sometimes reading several books by the one author, immediately following each other, makes them blur. I daresay that might happen - I read Where and When in 2 days
...more
Ayu
Having a good friend is very important in our life. Make a good friend is not as easy as we tought. A good friend will always be there when we need it. He/She will always give us a spirit to reach something. He/She will not forget us even he's/she's not close to us. Beside that, I also learned about how to be a good person. Sometimes we didn't realize what we are doing. We never think about the effect from what we have done. We never think if theres a good or bad thing will come to us. Then, at ...more
Wayne
Aug 25, 2008 Wayne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For some odd reason, I had to study this for A-Level literature (yes, A-level). It was beyond me why such a modern (not that amazing) book was on an A-Level curriculum but there you go. Half of me wants to say that the book bored me yet the other half wants me to admit that the writing style and character development was particularly good. I couldn't help but think it was just a bit of a woman's 'holiday read' and I didn't really get much from it. I thought it was written too much like a movie s ...more
Eva Leger
Apr 22, 2010 Eva Leger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Eva by: Suzanna
Shelves: b-fiction, chic-lit
Wow - Anita Shreve has a talent unlike any I've seen before. I love the way she writes - it's amazing and seems to transport me to wherever the characters are.
I love when I read a blurb that actually fits with the book. So many times the blurbs just say anything and are laughable but the New York Times Book Review said that "Its insights are keen, its language measuered and haunting." And that's all true.
It's really amazing and no one can do her writing justice - you have to read it for yourse
...more
Stacy
Feb 27, 2013 Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I savored every word because her writing is so beautiful. There is something so familiar about her characters, insights that make you say, 'yes! exactly!' , sometimes out loud. In this way her writing resembles Elizabeth Berg. As much as I liked this one I did think that the story dragged in a few places, especially for as short a novel as it is. But the feeling of those two lonely houses alone together in a sea of farmland and the two old friends and would be lovers will be with me a while.

Sarah
Jan 01, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
The fact that this is Shreve's first novel is evident throughout the first half. Her writing style is less polished than in later novels and there is a lot of redundency in her word choice. The story focuses on Andrew as he returns to his childhood roots following the death of his mother. His memories of one fateful night 17 years earlier come to light as he again encounters neighbors from his past. Although I was able to predict the majority of the outcome there was enough suspense to keep me c ...more
Lisa
Apr 29, 2009 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here's how Anita Shreve is not like Mae West: when she's good, she's very good, but when she's bad, she's pretty mundane.

This is not one of her good books, in my opinion. I saw the big climax coming from a mile away. I thought the emotions were clunky in this one, and some big questions remained unanswered--like why did Eden choose to remain living with her mother?

The thing that redeemed this book was it had a nice happy ending. But I would give this one a pass.
Florence
Jan 21, 2012 Florence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anita Shreve is such a compelling story teller. The characters in this book came alive for me. Swimming in a cool pond in the midst of an August heat wave; walking through a cornfield; an old farmhouse kitchen filled with memories. All of these places existed while I was reading. An the dark secrets revealed at the end were hovering over the story from page one.
Nicka
Feb 21, 2009 Nicka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Anita Shreve has written much better novels. I guessed too quickly where the plot was going, partly because of a blurb that gave just a little too much away, and my prime sentiment when working my way through it was impatience. Not much originality here.
Ann
Nov 29, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I probably shouldn't, I love Anita Shreve. She's actually a pretty good writer. Evocative. She keeps me interested to the end.
Lexie
Jul 29, 2010 Lexie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a stinker. I guessed the ending and then only finished it because I wanted to see if I was right.
Natalie
Mar 28, 2010 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this book, a great story, characters you could really like and wonderfully written, it was a joy to read.
Sam
Oct 16, 2011 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
pool - side read!!!
Bamboozlepig
This is the first book by Shreve that I've read. I was surprised at how good it was because I'd always thought Shreve was more of a chick-lit writer, with a heavy focus on angst and troubled romance. "Eden Close" does have troubled romance, but it was the "fucked over in the head and heart and spirit" kind of troubled romance and not the kind where the MC is all "ermagerd, do I want to hook up with the sexy cowboy with secrets, the sexy pirate with emotional problems, or the sexy businessman wit ...more
Cathryn Conroy
Nov 28, 2016 Cathryn Conroy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1989, Anita Shreve published her first novel, "Eden Close." Remember that when you read this incredible book because very few novelists are able to do this the first time. The plot is riveting--even if it's a little bit predictable--and the characters are so real it will feel as if they are living and breathing.

In upstate New York in a small farming community in the early 1960s, two houses are situated 70 feet from each other with nothing else around except corn fields. Andy and his parents
...more
Andrea
Dec 31, 2016 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to start with Shreve's first novel, Eden Close. The language is lovely and there is just enough tension in the plot. Looking forward to reading more of her books!
Wendy Carlyle
Dec 27, 2016 Wendy Carlyle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good to read this again. Shreve knows how to hold on to an audience.
Ann Bredemeier
I really struggled to get into this book but finally finished it. A lot of it I guessed at the plot turns and the ending was a bit too fairy tale for me.
Mona
Oct 05, 2016 Mona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit it took me 100 pages before I was hooked, but after that, it was smooth sailing. I really liked this story.
Alisa
Feb 29, 2016 Alisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started to give Shreve's novel a three-star rating, wished there was a 3.5 star option, and finally settled on a four-star rating. Why this is a four-star, rather than a three-star, book:

1. The title. I was intrigued by what it meant, and as I hadn't read the blurbs, I didn't realize it was a character's name. And the name is a brilliantly symbolic one. Eden, of course, as in the Garden of, is a paradise, and in this case Eden, ironically, is a kind of sexual paradise. Eden is her father's par
...more
Pam Herrmann
I found this book to be a little slow. It is the story of a baby who is abandoned at a farmhouse. The husband insists that they adopt the baby and raise it as their own. The mom has no love for the baby. Then there is a murder and for many years nobody knows the truth until the neighbor boy (who is now a man coming home for his mother's funeral) digs into his memories and starts asking questions.
Jennifer Lynn
Somewhat predictable, but an engrossing read regardless.
Janet
Jan 06, 2016 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Anita Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts (just outside Boston), the eldest of three daughters. Early literary influences include having read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton when she was a junior in high school (a short novel she still claims as one of her favorites) and everything Eugene O'Neill ever wrote while she was a senior (to which she attributes a somewhat dark streak in her own work). A ...more
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“A person walks into a room and says hello, and your life takes a course for which you are not prepared. It's a tiny moment (almost-but not quite-unremarkable), the beginning of a hundred thousand tiny moments and some larger ones.” 35 likes
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