Author: Nelle Davy
Genre: Fiction, Family Saga, Drama
Source: Review copy from publisher
“ ‘To understand what it meant to be a Hathaway, you'd first have to see Aurelia.’
For generations, Aurelia was the crowning glory of more than three thousand acres of Iowa farmland and golden cornfields. The estate was a monument to matriarch Lavinia Hathaway's dream to elevate the family name - no matter what relative or stranger she had to destroy in the process. It was a desperation that wrought the downfall of the Hathaways - and the once prosperous farm.
Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died - alone. None of the surviving members of the Hathaway family want anything to do with the farm, the land, or the memories.
Especially Meredith Pincetti. Now living in New York City, for seventeen years Lavinia's youngest grandchild has tried to forget everything about her family and her past. But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith is again thrust into conflict with the legacy that destroyed her family's once-great name. Back at Aurelia, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway family... and her own part in their mottled history.
‘Our farm was like the world when people still thought it was flat. And when you left it, it was as if you had simply sailed too far and fallen off the surface into the void.’ "
The Legacy of Eden is the family saga of the Hathaway family told by Meredith (Hathaway) Pincetti’s POV, her recollections of the past and the memories shared by her grandmother Lavinia on her deathbed. The story includes the lives of three generations of Hathaways, starting with Meredith’s grandparents Cal and Lavinia, followed by her parents generation including her uncle and aunt and her own generation, the one she shared with her sisters Ava and Claudia and her cousin Cal Jr. Her reminiscences goes from present to past in an easy way to follow.
Aurelia is the Hathaway estate, a estate they were very proud of and an estate they blamed for their downfall as a family, when the only responsible was the matriarch of the family, Lavinia, her greediness and her manipulations.
Aurelia is a character in itself and despite many allegories that the Hathaways did horrible things for Aurelia I could’t find one. They worked the land and made it prosperous, they didn’t cheat or steal, their progress was a result of hard work, smart investments and good vision. Even though I tried I couldn't see why the hate towards the land, yes, there were bad memories but also there were many good ones.
During the whole story they were suggestions to a big secret that destroyed the family and when the big secret was revealed I was like really? That was the secret? Also, I knew that was happening or was gonna happened because other references in the book. So in the end the big secret that destroyed the family wasn’t that big, don’t take me wrong is something awful, but it just shows how broken they already were if that event was the downfall of the family.
The sisters animosity was also very difficult to digest, I expected them to forgive each other and leave the past behind, after all they are what’s left of their family but they preferred to hold to their grudges and sadly keep on going as they were.
The Legacy of Eden is a story of betrayals, envy, greedy, scandals, abuse, lies and many conflicts. It’s well pace and with interesting characters. The Legacy of Eden is not happy read, is a very emotional one that will leave you drained and with heartache. If you like family sagas full of mystery and drama this book is for you, if you are looking for a happy ending steer clear of this book.
My Verdict: 3 Paws
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