Eden Mine: Book summary and reviews of Eden Mine by S. M. Hulse

Eden Mine

by S. M. Hulse

Eden Mine by S. M. Hulse X
Eden Mine by S. M. Hulse
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  • Published Feb 2020
    272 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

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 up the home she and her brother Samuel inherited. For generations, the Fabers have lived near Eden Mine, but Jo and Samuel will be the last. Their family home has been seized by the state through eminent domain.

At the moment she hears the news of the bombing on the radio, Jo knows nothing, but she also knows that something isn't right. The arrival of their friend and unofficial guardian, Sheriff Hawkins, confirms her suspicions. Samuel said he was going to find work. But soon it's clear that he's not gone, but missing―last seen by a security camera near the district courthouse at Elk Fork. And a nine-year-old girl, the daughter of a pastor of a storefront church, is in critical condition.

This isn't the first time Jo and Samuel have seen the ravages of violence visit their family. Last time, they lost their mother and Jo lost her ability to walk. Samuel took care of her, outfitted their barn with special rigging so she could keep riding their mule. But he was never the same, falling in with a separatist group, getting a tattoo he'd flaunt, then spending years hiding. She thought he had finished with all that. But now he's missing, and she can't talk to the one person she trusts.

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The nail-biting denouement is violent yet restrained, an additional sign of this young writer's mature artistic powers. Reflective, evocative, and quietly moving." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] taut, poignant tale...Despite stock characterizations and plotting, the dramatic conclusion kicks like a mule, a testament to Hulse's storytelling acumen. This country noir has its moments." - Publishers Weekly

This information about Eden Mine was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Cathryn Conroy

This Book Is Genius. A Multilayered Psychological Novel That Will Leave You Reeling
This book. This book is gripping. This book is provocative. This book is haunting. This book is intense. This book is genius.

Written by S.M. Hulse, this masterpiece novel takes place in the tiny mountain town of Prospect, Montana. The two mines that once offered employment and prosperity—Eden and Gethsemane—have long been shuttered, leaving a dying town in their wake. Josephine Faber and her older brother, Samuel, have lived together—just the two of them—for years. Their father was killed when the Gethsemane mine collapsed. Their mother was horrifically murdered in front of them by an ex-boyfriend, and when the carnage was over, Jo, who was still a little girl at the time, was shot in the spine and paralyzed from the waist down. But Samuel became her beloved guardian and protector. He was her everything--until the day he did the unthinkable: set off a bomb at a courthouse that gravely injured a little girl, the daughter of the pastor whose church across the street was inadvertently caught in the blast. Samuel thought he could get away with it, but a surveillance camera captures his image. The FBI hounds Jo for any information, while agents search for Samuel, who has seemingly disappeared. Or has he? Meanwhile, Jo befriends a most unlikely man, someone who slowly brings out the story of her past and her terrors of the present.

This is a multilayered psychological novel that is so intricately and tightly woven it will leave you reeling. Shrouded in extraordinary biblical symbolism, the story examines the meaning of faith, the importance of family, and the heartbreak that only those we love the most can cause.

Even though the plot is well-developed, the novel's strength is in the finely-wrought characters. The story slowly unfolds but in such a tantalizing way that it pulls in the reader bit by bit by bit. The writing is absolutely beautiful with stunning language and astonishing descriptions of seemingly minor details. Brilliant imagery of light and dark, earth and sky, and love and evil cement the novel as true literature.

This book is genius.

lani

a gem-perfect for book clubs
I don't even know where to start. Reading this was like finding a precious jewel in the bottom of a haystack. I hadn't even heard about this book until a book friend that I respect introduced it to me. I will be forever grateful. I was transfixed by this quiet contemplative work that addresses so many issues. While finding myself simultaneously savoring and devouring this book, it made me think of the biblical Garden of Eden and how biting the apple thrust the characters into a crisis of faith and the spiritual death coming from banishment of the ideal world. The ties to the physical environment were so profoundly drawn, arresting and immersive. Indeed, I also found the inner dialogue and thoughts of the characters vivid and pensive. There are so many issues raised that capture the reader's attention regarding guilt vs. innocence, questioning of faith, painting as a creative modality to express one's emotions, sibling relationships, choices in life etc. I could write about the story but you can find that in the blurb. It's a book that is absolutely perfect for bookclubs. Just know that this is a novel you won't regret reading.

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Author Information

S. M. Hulse Author Biography

Photo: Rick Singer Photography

S. M. Hulse's first novel, Black River, was a PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction finalist, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, an ALA Notable Book, an ABA Indies Introduce title, an Indie Next pick, and winner of the Reading the West Book Award. She received her MFA from the University of Oregon and was a fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. An avid horsewoman, she has lived throughout the American West.

Other books by S. M. Hulse at BookBrowse
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