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W. W. Norton & Company

This Other Eden

This Other Eden

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In 1792, formerly enslaved Benjamin Honey and his Irish wife, Patience, discover an island where they can make a life together. Over a century later, the Honeys' descendants and a diverse group of neighbors are desperately poor, isolated, and often hungry, but nevertheless protected from the hostility awaiting them on the mainland.

During the tumultuous summer of 1912, Matthew Diamond, a retired, idealistic but prejudiced schoolteacher-turned-missionary, disrupts the community's fragile balance through his efforts to educate its children. His presence attracts the attention of authorities on the mainland who, under the influence of the eugenics-thinking popular among progressives of the day, decide to forcibly evacuate the island, institutionalize its residents, and develop the island as a vacation destination. Beginning with a hurricane flood reminiscent of the story of Noah's Ark, the novel ends with yet another Ark.

In prose of breathtaking beauty and power, Paul Harding brings to life an unforgettable cast of characters: Iris and Violet McDermott, sisters raising three orphaned Penobscot children; Theophilus and Candace Larks and their brood of vagabond children; the prophetic Zachary Hand to God Proverbs, a Civil War veteran who lives in a hollow tree; and more. A spellbinding story of resistance and survival, This Other Eden is an enduring testament to the struggle to preserve human dignity in the face of intolerance and injustice.

Author: Paul Harding
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Published: 01/24/2023
Pages: 224
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.87lbs
Size: 9.25h x 6.41w x 0.88d
ISBN: 9781324036296
Award: National Book Awards - Nominee
Award: Man Booker Prize - Finalist

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 08/01/2022 pg. 1
Kirkus Reviews 11/15/2022
Publishers Weekly 11/28/2022
Library Journal 12/01/2022 pg. 97
Booklist 12/01/2022 pg. 112
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