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Readers' Comments for Sleeping in Eden

In April, a select group of readers who participated in one of our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlights won copies of SLEEPING IN EDEN by Nicole Baart. The story weaves together the lives of two people who will never meet, linking the past to the present, when Dr. Lucas Hudson is called to act as a substitute coroner in a suicide case. When he discovers another, hidden body, along with a mysterious token, the first domino is set in motion as he strives not only to solve the mystery, but also to heal his broken marriage to his true love. The story builds to a heartbreaking and unexpected conclusion, so take a look at some of the readers' comments to give you more insight  --- and make sure to watch out for spoilers!

I just finished reading SLEEPING IN EDEN and I find myself saddened that the story is over. It was a fabulous book --- though I do admit to being a little confused with the flashbacks in the first few pages. After a while, I couldn't put the book down. I loved the back story and how the past related to the present storyline. I felt for the characters and wished somehow I could change the outcome. It was truly very well written --- the words just flowed and Ms. Baart's descriptions made me feel like I was right there experiencing what the characters were feeling and seeing.

The one disappointment I had with the book was that I would've liked to know what happened to Jess and Dylan once everything was said and done. I would definitely recommend this book. There are so many elements to this novel; you can't categorize it into any particular genre. There is something for everyone and every character in this book reminds you of someone you know or may have met before. I can only describe it as fabulous and it should be considered as one of the top books for 2013. I really like Ms. Baart's writing style and will read more in the future.

Mary V.
This is the first book I have read by this author and I can honestly say she has a new fan for life. I loved how the author was able to blend the stories from the past and present together, especially the young romantic triangle and the married couple trying to make their marriage work. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys women's fiction and also to book clubs. It would make for some great conversations!

I just finished reading SLEEPING IN EDEN. For some unknown reason, I procrastinated starting it and then I couldn’t put it down when I finally started it. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying it as much as I was. This is a fantastic page turner, full of suspense and wonderfully descriptive details. From the first page to the last, it is as if the reader is transported directly to each scene --- standing before the landscape, looking directly at each object, standing in the rooms with each character, watching the story unfold. It is impossible to not become invested in the characters. The suspense is felt throughout, leaving you wondering about how everything and everyone will connect.

What will happen with Lucas and Jenna? Will Meg end up with Dylan or Jess? Why did Angela come back? Will she seduce Lucas? Will Lucas ever be able to tell Jenna all that he needs to tell her? Will Meg ever get to relish in her feelings for Dylan? Will she get her happily-ever-after? What happened to Angela, why and how did she leave?

In addition to the suspense, the characters and their stories invoke a plethora of emotion --- despair, hope and annoyance. On one hand, you are pulling for Lucas and Jenna, hoping all will work out in the end, and at other times you want to just scream at Jenna, to tell her to get it together before she ruins everything great that she has. One cannot help but share in the feeling of despair that Lucas feels at the distance between him and his wife and the seemingly inevitable end of his marriage.

It is hard, at times, not to see Angela as a villain and at the same time hope that she is more than what she appears to be on the surface. The hope and belief she has in her father’s innocence sheds light on her vulnerabilities and her need for him to be a better person than he truly was.

The ambivalence and confusion Meg feels toward Jess and the angst and intensity of her feelings toward Dylan are easily understood by anyone who’s ever had a forbidden or first love. One cannot help but feel hope that they will once and for all confess their true feelings to each other and have their chance at making it work. Or at the very least that she will finally come to understand his warnings to her about Jess.

I spent much of the book considering different angles, trying to piece it all together. Trying to work out the timelines to see how far apart the two stories were, and when they were going to collide. I was dying to know if my theories would prove true, to see if I had been able to figure it all out. Just when I thought I had it figured out, when I thought I was right --- I wasn’t.

I started out taking notes of things to remember, random thoughts and theories I was putting together. Halfway through I stopped and just allowed myself to fall completely into the characters and their stories --- to let it all unfold. This is a wonderful story, with characters that are easily understood and relatable. A highly recommended read!

I enjoyed reading SLEEPING IN EDEN.  It was a quick read, but very hard to put down. Even when some of the characters were not very likable, you wanted to help them solve the mystery and get together in the end.   

This will have to be categorized as one of the most interesting books I have ever read. It takes until nearly the end to figure out the ending.

It is the story of Meg, who is loved by two boys. One is the next door neighbor and the other is a new boy in the high school they both go to. The book is so well written.

It is written as two stories that join together at the end. The author did a wonderful job. I do not want to say too much since it would spoil the story. You need to read it yourself and enjoy it for yourself. I highly recommend it. 

SLEEPING IN EDEN haunted me from the very first page. I found that I couldn't put it down. Nicole Baart's poetic descriptions of people and scenery, combined with the murder mystery --- made this novel a page-turner.

I LOVED this book --- loved the mystery in it and thought the cover was striking.

I found SLEEPING IN EDEN to be the type of book that really pulls you in from page one. Sometimes alternate storylines pull me out of a novel, but I would become so engrossed in either Lucas's or Meg's story that I was almost disappointed to have to switch to the other, but excited, too, because I needed to know what was happening and how everything was going to come together.  I would recommend SLEEPING IN EDEN to fans of Heather Gudenkauf and Kristin Hannah --- I think Nicole Baart's writing style is similar. I would describe it as a complex look at small town life with plenty of engaging moments.

As I received the novel, SLEEPING IN EDEN by Nicole Baart, I looked forward to a love story with the usual mystery twist. I was pleasantly surprised by the graphic story told by the two main characters who have nothing in common. Several times as I read, I found myself putting it down in frustration, or skipping a chapter because I wanted to read about Lucas or Meg.

In the diary format, I wanted to find out the connection between Dr. Lucas Howard and Meg Plainer. Setting the story in rural Iowa was a constant draw, with the author’s precise descriptions of the barn and the lighting in the house, which made it all realistic.

The marital problems that Lucas and Jenna were having were told over the course of the whole book, which added confusion as to why they were separating emotionally if not physically. And then you have Angela who really was involved in Lucas's life.

I would recommend this to mature teenagers and to adults. My daughter at 25 enjoyed it and loves this format. My classification would be a drama or mystery. There are two love stories --- one for Lucas as he tries to hold on to his love, and the love two boys had for Meg that was forgotten after she died. But the main theme was the mystery of how and why this ring brought the story to an end and the final connection between the people, Lucas and Meg.

SLEEPING IN EDEN is another book that is earning my very highly recommended distinction. Nicole Baart has given readers a really, really wonderful novel that will speak to their hearts and souls. This book was 10 years in the making, and I am very glad that she did not give up on the process. SLEEPING IN EDEN is a must-read.

Two stories are told in this novel. Lucas is a small town doctor whose marriage is rapidly coming to an end. Meg is a small town girl full of zest and spunk with her whole life ahead of her. Their two very separate stories intersect in a way that leaves the reader hoping for some kind of miracle.

I have to admit that it took me a while to get into SLEEPING IN EDEN. I immediately was pulled into Meg’s story, but Lucas left me irritated. He seemed a bit too pathetic and his wife hostile. But soon, Lucas’ story spoke to me, too, and I was anxious to read all that Baart would give about both of the characters. Filled with brokenness and despair, there is still a light that shines through. This is not an overtly Christian novel, but there is definitely a sense of a sovereign God that can make all things right despite our weak attempts to circumvent His will. I especially like the following quote near the end of the book: “Dylan and Meg and Angela weren’t the only ones who had paid dearly for wanting what they didn’t have, who had forfeited the happiness they could have known for the sake of hollow dreams they couldn’t.”

It should be noted that there is some mild profanity in this book, but beautiful writing, poignant characterization and the use of setting to set the tone more than outweigh that for me. If that offends you, please be aware of it. 

I found SLEEPING IN EDEN difficult to get into. It has many characters with no connections --- only halfway through the story does it come together. This is a love story and a mystery. The characters become interesting and compelling with the ending leaving you wanting more.