Kat Kennedy's Reviews > The Legacy of Eden

The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy
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's review
Nov 21, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: contemporary-fiction, kat-s-book-reviews

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 began with her grandmother, Lavinia. The book chronicles Lavinia through her marriages, her children, her children's marriages and then to her grandchildren. In every single one of them you see the signs and symptoms of the sickness in all its forms and variation. You watch as, one by one, it ravages and destroys the family from the inside out.

Anybody looking for a great deal of events and a fast-moving plot are best to avoid this one. Davy takes her time skillfully weaving the tale. She hops backwards and forwards and slithers through time to bring her narrative together.

Where The Legacy of Eden really shines is its characterization. Each person in this novel is like a finely crafted portrait. Lavinia stands out as the strongest character, but all of them have their place - whether they make you fall in love with them, respect them, fear for them, mourn them or despise them. What you will probably not do, is get bored of them.

Davy's writing is quite masterful. Her prose are beautiful and whimsical and Meredith's voice is not a completely horrible headspace to be in.

I really, really loved this book as I was drawn into the mystery and intrigue. I'm not entirely sure I'll ever read it again. It's the kind of book that makes you look back on your own family legacy and look at the cracks and rotten tree limbs. For some, it'll give that strange sense of nostalgia for something both horrible yet infinitely familiar.

And I guess horrible yet infinitely familiar is the perfect way to sum up the story and most of the characters.
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Reading Progress

November 21, 2011 – Shelved
January 6, 2012 – Started Reading
January 8, 2012 – Shelved as: contemporary-fiction
January 8, 2012 – Shelved as: kat-s-book-reviews
March 28, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Anna (Curiosity comes before Kay) I'll be interested to see what you think of this one. You always have such strong opinions! :) I was disappointed in the ending.

message 2: by Lavi (new)

Lavi Family chronicle, intensely damaged characters and a character having the same name as me? Plus, you gave it 5 stars? Definitely on the to read list!

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