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Sleeping in Eden

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  734 ratings  ·  159 reviews
The lives of a middle-aged doctor and a love-struck young woman intersect across time in Sleeping in Eden, Nicole Baart’s haunting novel about love, jealousy, and the boundaries between loyalty and truth.

She knew what he wrote . . .

One little word that made her feel both cheated and beloved.

One word that changed everything.


On a chilly morning in the Northwest Iowa
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 21st 2013 by Howard Books (first published April 2nd 2013)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  734 ratings  ·  159 reviews

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Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Although this book is not very large and is fast paced it took me longer to read than I anticipated. I instantly loved the characters and was invested in solving the mystery that was unfolding before me, but I had to take breaks from the story. It was not because it was boring or I was not interested, but rather because I was trapped between the two stories that were rushing to converge. I knew what was coming, but not how. I read the last half in two days because I knew if I didn't just absorb ...more
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it
More a 2.5 starrer than a 3. A sordid tale of murder, suicide, estrangement and betrayal that sounds great, but for me fell flat in execution. This was supposed to be thrilling, and it was fine for a bit. But then it meandered too long and the payoff, when it came, was beyond terrible.

Here's the deal. On one hand is a Dr. Lucas Hudson, who acts as coroner one day and finds a dead body buried underneath a barn in which the town drunk has committed suicide. He immediately assumes that this body i
Diane S ☔
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
3.5 There was just something I found so addictive about this novel. It is a solidly written story, exploring two different story lines and even though one of the connections is readily apparent quite soon in the book, the who did it and how, was not. Young love, mature love, marriage and the expectations within a marriage, secrets and one's character are all explored and prodded in this novel. At one time when I though the book had slowed down, I happened to look down and saw I was more than hal ...more
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another 5 star!!

This book took me back in time. I, as a teen, (thought) I was in love with two boys...and maybe in my young life, I was. But as it can't BE with two boys. Therein lies the heartache, confusion, anger and ultimately...decisions ~ right or wrong.

Throughout this book my feelings felt raw and exposed. I knew exactly what Meg was going through that I often rushed through the book breathless. This disappoints me, but I know I will re-read. I will revisit this book and learn mo
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty incredible read. While I love a good mystery, this novel goes much farther than just a simple whodunnit. The layers of mystery in this novel keep you guessing from beginning to the end.

There are two very interesting and complete stories being told in this book simultaneously. I found myself completely absorbed in both, wondering how they would tie together in the end.

In this novel, the author Nicole Baart, has managed to tell a tale of young love, more mature love, loss, murde
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Sleeping in Eden is a fantastic novel. The story line is strong and well presented by journeying you from one situation to another without ever leaving you lost on the curb. Nicole Baart' handle of the English language is indisputable. Her choice of words to describe scenery and characters is poetic and vivid. One of my favorite quote from the book is:

"The God she met in Sunday school, and believed in without cause for doubt, did not worry himself with little girls and their bicycles. He had bi
Jun 12, 2013 added it
Nicole Baart's writing just gets better and better with each book, and Sleeping in Eden is, to be so cliche, a page-turner.  The book arrived early afternoon one day last week, and a couple of hours later, I began reading.  I kept reading, and we had leftovers for dinner because I didn't want to take the time away from reading to cook.  I read all through my son's tae kwon do class, all through the kids' baths, am not really sure when they went to bed, and then I finally finished around 11:00 p. ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it

This book captured from the first line and never let me go. Emotional and real. I absolutely loved it! Nicole Baart IS talented
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I realized in looking through my reviews that I didn't do this novel justice with my about a month out from finishing it let me see if I can do a little better.

SLEEPING IN EDEN is a realistic novel that grabs you by the heart strings from the first chapter and never lets go. From the very first line about Jim Sparks hanging himself and no one caring you know you are in for a roller coaster. the twist comes that this is not just a thriller but a coming of age and growing up novel.

I lo
Donna Weber
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
Sleeping in Eden is a haunting beautifully written novel told in alternate chapters and characters of two seemingly unrelated stories. Although the reader knows at some point they will have to intersect, part of the intensity that keeps you turning the pages is the need to try to decipher the link between the two.
While it is indeed a murder mystery, at the heart of the book is a story of yearning, the loss of innocence, the repercussions of secrets and the intricacies of human emotion. There ar
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sleeping in Eden is not your typical mystery, which is actually a bit refreshing. I read a lot of mysteries and that can at times make them predictable, but not this one. Sleeping in Eden made you feel like you knew each of the characters personally and you became so invested in them that you had to keep reading to find out how the story was going to play out. Then, when you started to figure it out bits and pieces, you had to keep reading in hopes that you were wrong all while still trying to a ...more
** I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

SLEEPING IN EDEN is an impressive story about lives that come together in an unexpected way.

Lucas gets called to a crime scene as a coroner to investigate a suicide hanging of a man. This call turns out to be a very haunting case for him. As he begins his own investigation into the suicide he uncovers clues that have a link to possibly saving his marriage & solving the mystery of why the man hung himself. He gets
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars. Started out good, but turned into a way too long and frustrating read with many silly, needless conversations that took FOREVER to get to the point. Some character's and their relationships as well as their actions (particularly Dr. Lucas) were just unrealistic to me. In the end, (view spoiler)

Spent too much ti

Heather L
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love when a book can evoke so many emotions for me. This book did just that. I certainly was eager to read more of Meg's story than Lucas'. And I really had a hard time with Lucas' reason(s) for doing what he did at the start of all this. I guess with the loss of both stories connected at the end, there was equal understanding. But the love and struggles for Meg, Dylan, and Jesse is what pulled me in and I loved experiencing that, despite the outcome. And that's what a good author can achieve ...more
karen fritts
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nicole Baart does it again! Loved this book! Could do a little less with the tension between a couple of the characters, seemed a little drawn out. Liked the twist, but felt said at the opportunity missed for that person's life.
Victor Gentile
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Nicole Baart in her new book, “Sleeping In Eden” published by Howard Books takes us into the lives of Lucas Hudson, Meg Painter and Dylan Reid

From the back cover: She knew what he wrote . . .

One little word that made her feel both cheated and beloved.

One word that changed everything.


On a chilly morning in the Northwest Iowa town of Blackhawk, Dr. Lucas Hudson is filling in for the vacationing coroner on a seemingly open-and-shut suicide case. His own life is crumbling around him, but when h
Leah Murphy
The premise of this novel seems at first be a mystery with a few emotional entanglements thrown in for good measure, but it really is so much more than that. It explores young love and survival of marriage, the truth and consequences inherent in the expectations that we set for ourselves and others, and how the choices we make can connect us to others both near and far.

Lucas Hudson is a small town Iowa doctor with a struggling marriage; Meg Painter is a small town teenager struggling with being
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
When Jim Sparks is found hanging in his barn, Dr Lucas Hudson is called in to act as coroner. It’s pretty clear that Sparks has committed suicide, but the discovery of a human skeleton buried in the floor of the barn is unexpected. Is it Angela, Jim’s daughter, who disappeared eight years ago? Lucas finds an inscribed ring on the barn floor and decides to keep it as a peace offering for his wife, Jenna. Their marriage has been slowly failing since Angela disappeared, and he hopes the ring will p ...more
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it

A sleepy rural town in northwest Iowa may sound like an unlikely setting for a murder mystery, but unlikely settings often are the best. When Dr. Lucas Hudson, filling in for the local coroner, is called to the scene of the apparent suicide of a local farmer, he has no idea the circumstances will lead to more complications for his troubled marriage. And as Lucas delves deeper into the murder that is discovered alongside the suicide, he finds himself in conflict with his friend and police chief o
Paula  Phillips
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite things about Netgalley is the wonderful opportunity that we book reviewers receive is the chance to read the galleys of books that have not yet been released to the big wide world of readers. One of the many genres that I enjoy is what is called Edgy Christian Fiction. It is books that have a Edgy out -of - the box content to them but with the underlining thoughts of Christianity. It seems to be the way that most books in the Christianity field are going in order to branch ou ...more
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-challenge
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Mead
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a writer myself, I was really impressed with the talent of Nicole Baart. I bought the book in a bargain clearance on B& for $1.98! Money more than well-spent. A dual story of a doctor/forced medical examiner who is called to assist at the house of a man who's hung himself and the past life of the girl whose skeleton is found beneath his feet, could be a warning of disaster ahead reader-wise. I admit to a hesitance when looking at the way the chapters were set-up (switching from one c ...more
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
I really enjoyed the opening of this book. Ms. Baart did a wonderful job setting the scene for the mystery that was weaved throughout the whole novel. I felt as if I were in the barn with the main character, Lucas, as he was called to examine a corpse. In this opening chapter the author gave us good insight into his personality, and not only where he’d come from, but where he seems to be heading both professionally and personally. He was very a sympathetic character and so much so that I got fru ...more
3.5 stars
Baart's eloquent prose draws the reader into the tragic tale from the first paragraph. At times a love story, other times a mystery, this is overall a very purposeful piece of fiction. The author chooses each phrase carefully, which will draw the reader deeply into the story.

SUMMARY: In a small town in Iowa, Dr. Lucas Hudson is called to a farm as coroner to confirm the suicide of the resident. Lucas recognizes the man, the alcoholic father of a young woman he and his estranged wife had
Jennifer Sorrentino
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own, first-reads
I am sorry I didn't read this book when I received it from the Goodreads giveaway. If I did, I would have realized how entrancing this book became. At first I was thinking, this is going to be a slow one; but OMG it picked up not too long after and I couldn't wait to read it again every time I had to put it down! I absolutely loved the way the author entangled both Lucas' and Meg's stories. Sometimes authors aren't great at telling two perspective's but I did love it this way. It made me want to ...more
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm not normally a mystery reader but I found this book really difficult to put down. I read it in two days and when I wasn't reading it I was trying to solve the puzzle of how it would end. The chapters go back and forth between two separate stories which I usually find annoying but in this case had me hooked. I felt like I was getting to know these characters personally through each turned page, they seemed to slowly unfold a layer at a time continually adding another piece to the puzzle. The ...more
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this book six stars. It was that good. I love Nicole Baart's style, and this book is right up there with the best books I've EVER read.

Not your typical happily-ever-after story but also not a story lacking in hope. The characters aren't just realistic; they're deep and complicated and unpredictable. I had no idea what any of them were going to do next, and though Baart hints at what's to come, I wasn't sure of how we'd get there. I love that.

I'd read this book again and again
Tammy  Zautner
I started this book and got close to half way through after a few tries, but unfortunately it has to be placed on my DNF list. The story became a bit confusing and I just lost interest in it.

This book was provided for a review by NetGalley for an honest opinion.
Melody Kitchens
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
(Reviewer’s note – I am an independent writer. In addition to reviewing books that I myself have purchased, I am also a freelance reviewer for Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. My reviews are based solely on the merits of the book, and I receive no remuneration from the publisher or author, other than a copy of the book, in exchange for posting a review on my blogs, GoodReads and Amazon. The following is my review of Nicole Baart’s SLEEPING IN EDEN; purchased on Amazon. Thank you ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jun 01, 2015 11:24AM  

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Nicole Baart is the mother of five children from four different countries. The cofounder of a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, she lives in a small town in Iowa. She is the author of nine novels, including LITTLE BROKEN THINGS and YOU WERE ALWAYS MINE (Atria Books). A SILENCE OF JUNIPER will be published in the summer of 2020. Nicole is a proud Tall Poppy Writer and a firm believer that ...more
“And if life was not going to deal her a happily-ever-after, then at least it would be filled with enough joy to make everything well worth it.” 0 likes
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