EDEN WEST provides a stark look at life inside a modern cult through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Jacob.
Jacob begins the novel as devout as any of the Grace, the name given to the followers of the prophet Father Grace. While he has vague memories of living outside the compound, for most of his life all he's known is the rigid life of hard work and prayer. Until he meets two teenagers: Lyanna, a girl who lives on the nearby ranch, and Tobias, a new convert.
Jacob's struggle between what these two people tell him about the outside world and what he's been taught his whole life is a difficult one. He has to question everything he's always taken as fact and the foundation of his faith is shaken. The life he thought was simple and idyllic begins to show cracks as one disaster after another happens and he opens his eyes to the way things are run.
While there is a darkness to the cult, there are also hard-working people whose faith brings them a sense of safety and community. The characters in this novel are nuanced and unique, with doubts and certainties of their own.
What Left Me Wanting More:
There isn't a whole lot of action in the story. This is something that I really appreciated about the novel, because I'm a character reader, but for others, they might feel like the novel is on the slow side.
The Final Verdict:
EDEN WEST is a captivating story about faith, growing up, and the power of choice.