March 06, 2008

The Garden of Eve

By K. L. Going
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

Evie is resentful when her father up and moves her to Beaumont, New York to try to bring back to life a blighted orchard. Evie fiercely misses her fanciful mother, who always loved magic and stories, who recently has died of cancer. The new town is tiny, the house is old, and the orchard is right next door to a cemetary. Soon Evie notices a pale boy who inhabits the cemetary, and when she talks to him, he claims to be the ghost of a boy who just died. To add to the strangeness, Maggie, the woman who sold them the orchard on behalf of her dead brother, tells them of a curse upon the orchard. Her older sister, also named Eve, disappeared in the orchard one day, and many tales are told of the unsolved mystery. Then, to top everything off, on Evie's 11th birthday, Maggie hands her a gift from her brother--an old box that contains a seed which supposedly has come from the Garden of Eden. Evie isn't sure what to believe--is this boy Alex really a ghost? What really happened to Maggie's sister? Can this old seed really be from the Garden of Eden? All Evie knows is that a warm wind seems to blow whenever she opens the box, and she begins to imagine a glorious tree growing from the seed. She knows she has to plant it to see what happens--but can Evie believe in a world of magic when that same world robbed her of her mother? Believe it or not, all of these mysteries will be answered by the end of the book, when Evie deals with magic and reality, grief and happiness. An unusual story which effectively mixes magic into our every day world.

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