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Eden West
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Eden West
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Tackling faith, doubt, and transformation, National Book Award winner Pete Hautman explores a boy's unraveling allegiance to an insular cult. Twelve square miles of paradise, surrounded by an...
Tackling faith, doubt, and transformation, National Book Award winner Pete Hautman explores a boy's unraveling allegiance to an insular cult. Twelve square miles of paradise, surrounded by an...
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  • Tackling faith, doubt, and transformation, National Book Award winner Pete Hautman explores a boy's unraveling allegiance to an insular cult. Twelve square miles of paradise, surrounded by an eight-foot-high chain-link fence: this is Nodd, the land of the Grace. It is all seventeen-year-old Jacob knows. Beyond the fence lies the World, a wicked, terrible place, doomed to destruction. When the Archangel Zerachiel descends from Heaven, only the Grace will be spared the horrors of the Apocalypse. But something is rotten in paradise. A wolf invades Nodd, slaughtering the Grace's sheep. A new boy arrives from outside, and his scorn and disdain threaten to tarnish Jacob's contentment. Then, while patrolling the borders of Nodd, Jacob meets Lynna, a girl from the adjoining ranch, who tempts him to sample the forbidden Worldly pleasures that lie beyond the fence. Jacob's faith, his devotion, and his grip on reality are tested as his feelings for Lynna blossom into something greater and the End Days grow ever closer. Eden West is the story of two worlds, two hearts, the power of faith, and the resilience of the human spirit.

About the Author-

  • I grew up in a large family in a little house with a lot of books and paintings on the inside and a big woods on the outside. I wanted to be an artist like my mom, and I loved comics, so I decided to be a comic-book artist. After a few years of trying to draw comics I realized that I wasn't very good at drawing, so I decided to write books. It took a long time for me to figure out how to do it. I spent thirty years doing other things sign painting, printing, pineapple cutting, tire repair, graphic design, and building cabinets. Finally, at age thirty-seven, I figured out that if I wanted to write books, I had to plant my butt in a chair and write. Every day.

    About My Work:

    It worked. Since then, I've written more than twenty-five novels, mostly for teens and younger readers. My biggest and most exciting project was The Klaatu Diskos, a time-travel trilogy that took more than a decade to write. When I started writing The Klaatu Diskos, I didn't know how long it was going to be, how hard it would be, or how many years it would take. But if I had to do it over again — I wouldn't change a thing. The final book in the trilogy, The Klaatu Terminus, was published in April 2014.

    Three Things You Might Not Know About Me:

    1. I am very disciplined; I take at least two naps every day, but never more than four.
    2. My dog's favorite thing in the world is to watch the toilet flush.
    3. I wrote my first book at age eight. It was called My Autobiogrphy. It was a very short book.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 2, 2015
    In this haunting drama, Hautman (the Klaatu Diskos trilogy) gets inside the head of a teenage boy who has grown up as part of an apocalyptic Christian cult in Montana. Seventeen-year-old Jacob is part of the Grace, a community that dwells in the so-called land of Nodd while waiting for the Archangel Zerachiel to return and destroy the unbelievers of the outside World. During an eventful year, Jacob’s faith and beliefs are tested repeatedly as the Grace suffers losses and tragedies, with its members dying or departing and newcomers acting like snakes in the Garden. When Father Grace takes the girl Jacob loves as yet another wife, Jacob’s disillusionment grows, but it’s Lynna, the beguiling, Worldly girl from next door who tempts him with outside delights and a sense of freedom. Hautman captures the cultish mind-set easily while showing just how fragile its foundation can be. Jacob is sympathetic in his role as conflicted believer, though the sheer number of tribulations facing the Grace turns Jacob’s crisis of faith into something of an inevitability. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jennifer Flannery, Flannery Literary.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2015

    Gr 10 Up-Since he was five years old, Jacob has lived inside the Nodd, 12 square miles of Montana land that he works on along with other members of the Grace. Jacob has been taught that the world is wicked and that the Grace will return to Heaven on an ark that the Prophet Zerachiel will be sending shortly-it is The Truth. Jacob's world begins to turn upside down with the arrival of several beings. Tobias's family travels from Colorado to join the Grace-and yet Tobias won't stop questioning and pushing against The Truth. During his patrols along the Grace's border, Jacob meets Lynna, a worldly girl with whom he should not interact-but he cannot help but be attracted to her. The third newcomer, a lone wolf, begins to slowly kill off the sheep and threaten the well-being of all the Grace. Jacob's faith is tested as he struggles to reconcile what he knows to be The Truth and what is happening around him. Hautman delivers a captivating character study, studiously demonstrating the reasons why some people are drawn into cults and quietly revealing how unquestioned power turns rotten. Jacob is a realistic and relatable protagonist and his complex relationships with those around him-and himself-ring true. Eden West is both quiet and loud, understanding and judging, and absolutely engrossing. Readers will be quick to judge the Grace but may find themselves looking inward to their own beliefs as they move through the story. VERDICT A heartbreaking, uplifting, and fantastic read.-Emily Moore, Camden County Library System, NJ

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2015
    Jacob's faith and commitment to his cult's restrictive lifestyle waver when he meets two outsider teens who introduce ideas from the outside world.Cult leader Father Grace's fire-and-brimstone preachings about Armageddon require that followers adhere to an ascetic lifestyle. But Jacob's burgeoning sexuality and his attraction to Lynna, a Worldly girl on the neighboring ranch who provides him with tantalizing hints of life beyond the cult's chain-link fence, spur him to begin scrutinizing the cult leadership. Jacob's misgivings grow when Tobias, a troubled new arrival to the cult, bluntly and relentlessly calls the leadership and lifestyle of the cult "bullshit." Though readers may sympathize with Jacob's crisis of faith, their overall engagement with the novel may suffer from Hautman's reliance on popular stereotypes of cult lifestyles. Many of his worldbuilding tools, from the terminally boring food to Father Grace's polygamy and fixation on teenage wives, have been explored in books for teens before. Hautman does resist painting the world beyond the cult as perfect-politicians are corrupt and Lynna's uncle attempts to molest her-but these harsh realities only make Jacob's alternative of life outside of the cult sound as grim as life inside. Ultimately, this is no more than a surface-level exploration of nontraditional religious faith. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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