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Eden Mine

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  41 reviews
In Eden Mine, the award-winning author of Black River examines the aftershocks of an act of domestic terrorism rooted in a small Montana town on the brink of abandonment, as it tears apart a family, tests the faith of a pastor and the loyalty of a sister, and mines the deep rifts that come when the reach of the government clashes with individual freedom

Jo Faber is packing
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the story moves to a steady beat. Not fast-paced, just balanced. Moderate. But then the end just hits you, and the emotions pour.

The use of eminent domain has been enforced on their property, and Jo, a twenty-two year old paraplegic, narrates life in small town Eden, Montana after her older brother detonates a bomb in a nearby town that injures many in response to the land acquisition. Her brother, Samuel, was known for anti-government extremism, but now Jo is left to pick up the pieces
Karen Kay
I received this from for a review.

"A timely story of the anger and disaffection tearing apart many communities in this country, S.M. Hulse's Eden Mine is also a beautiful novel of the West, of a deep love for the land, of faith in the face of evil, and of the terrible choices we make for the ones we love. "

The writing is tangible (I could almost smell the fresh Montana air) - the characters and their emotions feel real. Good story, Hulse is now my newest favorite author.

Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was a big fan of S. M. Hulse's debut novel Black River and have been eagerly awaiting Eden Mine. Hulse has a magic pen that creates a vivid sense of place and complex, conflicted characters embroiled in devastating moral choices.

However damaged it might be, however poisoned, however marred, it's not just our home; it's what remains of our family. ~from Eden Mine by S. M. Hulse

Tall Montana mountains on the east side casts their shadows on the valley until near noon. The silver mines left their
Kasa Cotugno
Eden Mine is a fine title which can be interpreted in multiple ways. The Faber family has owned the same acreage in Idaho, near enough to the border that their barn and house are the last structures one sees on their way north to Canada. And the remaining Fabers, Samuel and his sister Jo, are being forced to leave because of a proposed road. All their history is bound up in this, their personal eden, which is downstream from the Eden Mine, in which their father lost his life and which has ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
The outcome of an act of domestic terrorism has unintended consequences on several fronts. A sister is left to contemplate the motivation for her brother’s action beyond the upcoming loss of their childhood home which they will lose due to governmental acquisition. She explores the loss of her own personal Eden, their parents, and her brother’s violence through her art. The Eden Mine, itself, is a place of death and the cause of pollution mirrored in a pastor’s test of faith. Ultimately, this ...more
Bonnie Brody
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This wonderful novel explores the often complex workings of the human mind. It delves into feelings of spirituality, rage, alienation, community, and connection with the land. It explores friendship, disability, acts of violence, and how God and art can sometimes help us rise above the torrents of tragedy.

Jo and her brother Samuel live on an almost barren piece of land in Montana that has been in their family for three generations. The view from the window is Eden Mine where their father lost
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are no easy answers in Eden Mine; rather, it’s a book about the questions that arise in each of us once an indefensible and inexplicable event takes place.

Who deserves greater loyalty: a terribly flawed older brother who has always protected you or government agents who rightfully are determined to bring him to justice? Is there a God and if so, where is he during the worst of times—and if not, how do you make sense of those times? How does the past impact the decisions we make in the
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one starts at a breakneck pace with Samuel bombing a courthouse trying to make a statement about government oversteps (many are relevant to plot points so I will be vague), and now he is on the run.
His sister Jo is the primary point of view (Samuel, and Asa are there others). She is left behind trying to make sense of how her brother went down the dark road he is on. Asa is the third point of view, a pastor at a nearby church, and father of a young gi that was injured in the bombing. This
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This was a very slow burn novel that was fantastically atmospheric. All the characters were wonderfully nuanced; all of them were lost in their own way and trying to make sense of the world throughout the story. There were many pages where we just sat with protagonist while she painted and evolved in her craft. This is not usually something I would enjoy reading about, but the author did a wonderful job in making these moments both layered and meaningful.
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I rarely write reviews, choosing to use goodreads simply to keep a record of my reading. I didn't expect this book would be any different when it came in my Powell's Indiespensible box.

But oh, I was wrong. The story was so compelling. In terrorist situations, we often think of the victims or of the evil of the perpetrator. We rarely take time to delve into the aftermath for the family of the perpetrator and how they interact with the families of the victims, particularly when the attack takes
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A heartbreaking look at the ramifications of domestic terrorism - told from the points of view of the terrorist, his sister, and the father of one of the victims. Set in the small dying Montana town of Eden Mine, Jo Faber wakes to the news that her brother Samuel is wanted for bombing a local court house and must come to terms with the social, emotional, and political ramifications, all while dealing with the loss of her home and the distrust of her community. With vivid world building, timely ...more
Janet Martin
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Black River was one of my best reads of 2015, and Hulse's exquisitely written second book is just as good. Eden Mine is another realistic look at life in the rural west. The mines are closed, forests are logged out, work is scarce and non-resort towns are dying. And yet those who cling to their homes do so with hard work and indomitable spirit. When the Faber home is claimed by eminent domain, Samuel responds by blowing up the courthouse, inadvertently injuring folks attending a street front ...more
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"I don’t understand belief, why it comes to some people and not others, why tragedy strengthens it in some and shatters it in others."

Jo Faber and her older brother, Samuel, have lived in their Montana home their whole lives. It was settled in 1920 by their great-grandfather and it was supposed to stay in their family forever. Recently they received notification that their property is being taken by the government under eminent domain.

Jo and Samuel have already had a hard life. Their father is
Amy Farley
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received my copy of Eden Mine for free in a Goodreads Giveaway. So glad I did. A quick and compelling read.

Story of right and wrong, two sides to all stories, and how to do the right thing is set in the gorgeous Montana landscape.

Jo, the protagonist, is a paraplegic due to a violent tragedy when she was 10. She is an artist. The depictions of her struggle with how to paint her childhood home which was going to be demolished to make way for a road reminded me of sand in my oil paint and
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of Eden Mine as part of my Powell’s Indiespensable subscription and wow, I’m so glad I did. I was immediately drawn to the book by its description; it seemed like a good and equally thrilling followup to Miracle Creek. What I wasn’t expecting was that this book would also be a careful examination of faith and its loss, forgiveness, and redemption. By the final pages, I felt like I knew these characters and wanted to spend more time in their lives, particularly with regard to ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Note: I read this by way of a free copy given to my family by Powell's Books as part of an indispensable collection. It will be officially published by February 2020.

"My brother's bomb explodes at 10:16 on a late April Sunday morning."

With one simple act, whole lives are changed forever throughout the narrative: a fugitive brother, now on the run. A sister, left alone to grapple with her conflicting feelings of familial love and peripheral guilt for her brother's actions. A sheriff, trying to
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Eden Mine by S. M. Hulse is a very highly recommended novel that examines the aftershocks of an act of domestic terrorism in a small Montana town. This eloquently written, artistic novel is one of the best novels I've read so far this year.

It is a Sunday morning and Josephine (Jo) Faber is packing up the home that she and her brother Samuel inherited near Eden Mine in Montana. Their home has been seized by the state through eminent domain. While packing she learns about the bombing of the
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: western, netgalley
3.5 stars for me. The book’s premise is fascinating and nerve-wracking—Jo is attempting to craft an impossible farewell to her home and its combination of safety and past horrors while also trying to come to terms with the possibility that her brother, her longtime selfless protector, was responsible for a misguided act of violence and destruction.

I loved the many pushes and pulls in Hulse’s book—the explorations of faith and doubt, loyalty and disappointment, friendship and enmity, as well as
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eden Mine by S.M. Hulse is a poignant, contemplative novel that takes place in the aftermath of a courthouse bombing.

Twenty-two year old Josephine "Jo" Faber is no stranger to tragedy but she can always rely on her older brother Samuel to support and assist her. But her world is upended when family friend Sheriff Cody Hawkins comes searching for Samuel.With a creeping sense of dread, Jo continues to insist her brother is on his way to Wyoming to search for work. But when faced with irrefutable
Kathleen Gray
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written tragedy that will linger in your mind. Jo and Samuel have been on their own since their mother was shot by her boyfriend on a horrifying night when a random gunshot paralyzed her from the waist down. Now, all these years later, they are about to lose their family home and land not to foreclosure but for a road. Samuel, who has raged but not acted for years, sets off a bomb at the courthouse- on a Sunday when no one should have been there or in the area but he did ...more
Carol Custer
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
The descriptions in this book are wonderful. I could practically feel the fresh , cold air of Montana. Vivid too, is the detailed depiction of the characters. Jo is the main character and narrator. Though paralyzed and in a wheelchair since she was a child, she is by no means weak. An artist, she is to be admired for her strength in dealing with life thanks to the help and protection of her brother, Samuel. Until he does the unthinkable and leaves her to deal with the police, the FBI, moving ...more
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been avoiding books with main characters who are white women lately, but this came in the Powell's Indiespensable box just as I was ready for something new. It was anything but a mirror: Jo sees an FBI agent's polished boots as proof that government workers don't understand rural life, is an artist, is paraplegic.

I don't know enough about any of those things to know how realistic the depiction is (esp. her medium,) but I especially appreciated the matter-of-fact acknowledgement of the
Eugene Novikov
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Lots of Big Themes--terrorism and economic dispossession and the West and faith and family and theodicy--woven together a bit ham-fistedly. There's a character named "Asa Truth"; Hulse uses a semi-epistolary structure that is sufficiently tortured that she feels the need to insert a meta-comment that her ne'er-do-well outcast writes awfully eloquent letters; the main character is a painter and there's an elaborate metaphor involving her deciding to use mud as a medium; someone later asks if she ...more
Shelley Macgregor
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jo has lived with her brother since she was ten; their mother was murdered by her ex boyfriend. Their father was killed in a mining acccident when Jo was three. A stray bullet from the ex-boyfriend left Jo paralyzed from the waist down. Samuel, her brother has spent his life going from one extremist group ideology to another, never finding one he fully agrees with. When the book opens, they have one month to leave their home, which is being razed to reroute a highway. Samuel can't let this go ...more
Cj Zawacki
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
EDEN MINE,by S. M. Hulse takes the reader into the story of a sister's life the after her brother bombs a courthouse. While the brother had planned the bombing on a Sunday morning so no one would be injured, a pastor's daughter loses her life across the street in a store front church.

A relationship develops between the sister and pastor who both have experienced a lose in their life. How do each commiserate with each other to began a healing process, with the cause of pain still on the run.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Does anyone feel like this book reads EXACTLY like another book? I know that is a new book but I can’t help feeling certain aspects of this book were pulled directly from another story. Wish I could pinpoint it.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Review posted at Tzer Island book blog:
The Sass Man
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
really enjoyed the story
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
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S. M. Hulse received her M.F.A. from the University of Oregon and was a fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her stories have appeared in Willow Springs, Witness, and Salamander. A horsewoman and fiddler, she has spent time in Washington, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon.
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