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The Legacy of Eden

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  453 ratings  ·  132 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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Average rating 3.38  · 
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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
Renita D'Silva
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful. Poignant. Packed with secrets tantalisingly revealed. My kind of book.
Jul 22, 2012 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
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
Wendy Hines
Feb 01, 2012 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 14, 2012 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
Paula  Phillips
Feb 22, 2012 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
Feb 17, 2012 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
Deborah Sloan
Feb 05, 2012 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 )
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 22, 2011 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! ...more
Julie Rosinski
May 08, 2012 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!
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed rereading this book, all the complicated family stuff, and yeah, sad, but good!
Helen Bussell
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
This traced the history of a dysfunctional family over 3 generations. Meredith was the main narrator but her grandmother’s voice came through as Meredith recalled conversations with her as she drifted into dementia. It wasn’t a very uplifting tale as all the characters were flawed. There was quite a few characters to remember. The focus was on the female members of the family with each one having a chapter revealing their role in the saga. These were strong characters. The men, however, were dra ...more
Ryan Waduge
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The writer did a phenomenal job at the setting, creating a grand farmhouse built from the ground up. I really enjoyed the way each character was described in detail and you could see the evolution of the characters as they grew individually and as part of a sometimes very twisted family unit. Touches of themes of family duty, sibling rivalry, death, alcoholism, and forgivness.
Feb 13, 2012 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
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book although did find it a bit hard going at times, as jumped from past to present rather quickly at times. Found it a bit hard to keep up with what time period the story was at, but as I said still enjoyed it.
Kerry Kirkpatrick
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
wasn't keen on any of the characters and didn't think there was much of a twist. ...more
Loni DeRock
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 For me. The book left me with lots of unanswered questions.
Michelle Flores
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was definitely not what I thought I was going to get when I picked it up, but the writing was enjoyable nonetheless.
Sue Corbett
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Nearly gave up a few times, hard going at first.
Had to keep reading to find out what would happen but not nicest if people and all hating each other.
Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I kept waiting (and reading) to find out the big secrets. But I never understood why the characters did what they did...
Marie Hemingway
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I found this book really frustrating because every page was a tease making you think you were going to find out who did what but then she left you hanging all the way through. Good page turner!
Charlotte Laver
Not my usual read and a lot of characters to get your head round but an interesting one, doesn’t make you like any of the characters particularly as they all had their faults and secrets!
Lorraine Williams
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good book if not a little confusing
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Overall, I liked it. But at times it felt unnecessary dragged out.

There were also so many characters to keep up and the constant change between now and then did not help it.

Kirsty (Book - Love - Bug)
Feb 01, 2012 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
Kari Gibbs
Jan 18, 2012 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

"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 "
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,
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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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