In The Spoils of Eden by Linda Lee Chaikin, Eden Derrington is forced to make difficult decisions as she seeks God’s direction for her life in nineteenth-century Hawaii. Personal and professional dilemmas keep readers in suspense and keep Eden struggling to rely on God.
Eden breaks off her engagement with long-time love Rafe Easton in order to serve the lepers on Molokai with her father once he returns from his medical travels. Now that Dr. Derrington is home, Eden may be forced to choose between the men she loves. Adding to their strained relationship is Rafe’s plan to adopt Kip, a young boy from the leper colony. As Eden tries to navigate her relationship with Rafe, she also discovers tension within her family. Too many people are keeping secrets, and Eden begins to wonder if there is a darker side to the Derringtons.
The lush tropical backdrop of this novel will leave readers spellbound. Historical details add credibility to the story, but the volume of characters is hard to keep straight without frequently referencing the family tree. The complicated relationship between Eden and Rafe will leave readers frustrated along with them and eager for the next two books in the Dawn of Hawaii series.
While spiritual truths sometimes seem tacked on to the ends of chapters, throughout the novel Eden lives out the command in Proverbs 3:5 to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” She continually surrenders her worries to the Father, knowing that his ways are better than her own. This novel has enough suspense, romance, and history to interest a wide range of readers. I particularly recommend The Spoils of Eden for women of all ages. – Andrea Walker, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
The waves lap dangerously close to the abandoned baby – abandoned by the Molokai leper colony of the late 1800s.
That baby will be at the center of an alternately tense and bittersweet romantic struggle between Eden Derrington and Rafe Easton. Eden and Rafe are in love, but Baby Kip may very well endanger their future together.
It’s two generations after the on-fire missionaries have arrived on the Hawaiian Islands, and the descendants of those missionaries are drifting into complacency and materialism. The generational plots and subplots masterfully woven throughout this first in the “Dawn of Hawaii” trilogy will leave the reader yearning for the second and third books, coming in 2011 and 2012.