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The Resource Waiting for Eden, by Elliot Ackerman

Waiting for Eden, by Elliot Ackerman

Label
Waiting for Eden
Title
Waiting for Eden
Statement of responsibility
by Elliot Ackerman
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Eden Malcom lies in a bed, unable to move or to speak, imprisoned in his own mind. His wife Mary spends every day on the sofa in his hospital room. He has never even met their young daughter. And he will never again see the friend and fellow soldier who didn't make it back home--and who narrates the novel. But on Christmas, the one day Mary is not at his bedside, Eden's re-ordered consciousness comes flickering alive. As he begins to find a way to communicate, some troubling truths about his marriage--and about his life before he went to war--come to the surface
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • ALA Notable Book, 2019.
  • Library Journal Best Books, 2018.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ In this gorgeously constructed short novel, Ackerman (Dark at the Crossing, 2017) focuses on a marriage between a soldier, Eden Malcolm, and his wife, Mary. In taut, detached prose that is rich in symbolism, the novel begins with Eden’s dramatic return from Iraq, where he has been injured beyond all recognition. Mary comes immediately to his side, heavily pregnant. The scene of much of the novel is the San Antonio burn unit in which Eden resides. In short sections that flit between Eden before the explosion and his existence after, Ackerman, in a mysterious narrative voice, describes how Mary navigates grief, loss, motherhood, and what it means to be married to someone barely alive. Both Eden’s and Mary’s fears and foibles are richly explored to create a deeply moving portrayal of how grief can begin even while our loved ones still cling to life. In this unique Afghanistan and Iraq Wars novel, which joins a growing genre that includes Kevin Powers’ Yellow Birds​ (2012) and Phil Klay’s Redeployment (2014), Ackerman’s focus on a single family makes the costs of war heartbreakingly clear, as does his drawing emotion and import from the smallest of acts with incredible skill. Many will read this wonderful novel in a single sitting. -- Alexander Moran (Reviewed 8/1/2018) (Booklist, vol 114, number 22, p29)
  • /* Starred Review */ A National Book Award finalist for Dark at the Crossing, former Marine Ackerman tells the heartbreaking story of a relationship caught up in the aftermath of war. Eden and Mary are happily married with a child on the way when Eden is deployed for his second tour in Iraq. After an accident leaves Eden’s best friend dead and Eden barely alive, he returns home on a stretcher covered in severe burns and is unable to return to the life he’d led before. Mary, meanwhile, cares for their infant daughter and must wrestle with the hard decision of whether to take Eden off of life support. She is full of resentment and guilt, unable to forgive herself for letting him leave for war. Eden’s best friend narrates—caught in limbo between this world and the next—and hovers over their lives, connecting to both in unexpected ways. He offers a bird’s-eye view of the pain and suffering of both Mary and Eden as they struggle separately to make peace with Eden’s imminent death. This is a deeply touching exploration of resentment, longing, and loss among those who volunteer to fight and the loved ones left behind. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed 07/30/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 31, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Wounded terribly in Iraq three years ago, a soldier awaits his death in a burn center in San Antonio, and we learn of his fate through a surprising, unconventional, and risky narrative strategy. Eden is the soldier who just barely survived when his Humvee hit a pressure plate in the Hamrin Valley, and the narrator is a fellow soldier who was killed in the same explosion—and who considers Eden's fate worse than his own. Because the narrator is dead, he is granted a kind of omniscience that would be denied someone living; for example, he has access to what passes through Eden's mind even as Eden is immobilized and practically catatonic. We learn that he and Eden had been friends in the service, had taken some of the same special training, and had been deployed together. Through a series of flashbacks we also learn of the narrator's attraction to Eden's wife, Mary, who in the present is grieving over Eden's hopelessly burned body and is worried about exposing her 3-year-old daughter to Eden's insentience. Mary is faced with the morally difficult decision of whether or not to release Eden from his suffering, a strategy urged on her by Gabe, a gruff but caring nurse. Ackerman skillfully weaves his story across chapters that alternate between the grim reality of the burn center and Eden's more robust past, where we discover that he and Mary had difficulty conceiving a child, a tension exacerbated by the narrator's growing attraction to Mary. We're informed that Mary and the narrator inhabit a "space that is empty and white, waiting for [Eden]....We both wonder what will happen to us when he finally goes." The poignancy arises out of the fact that they both love Eden in their own way. An affecting, spare, and unusual novel. (Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10692360
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Ackerman, Elliot
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3601.C5456
LC item number
W35 2018
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Veterans
  • Marriage
  • People with disabilities
  • Hospital patients
  • Adultery
Target audience
adult
Label
Waiting for Eden, by Elliot Ackerman
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
20 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
173 pages
Isbn
9781101947395
Lccn
2017055697
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • on1014006647
  • (OCoLC)1014006647
Label
Waiting for Eden, by Elliot Ackerman
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
20 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
173 pages
Isbn
9781101947395
Lccn
2017055697
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • on1014006647
  • (OCoLC)1014006647

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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