In Search of Eden by Linda Nichols is a sweet story. After I read it, I checked a few reviews on Amazon, and there were some who complained about it being predictable and having a happy ending that tied up all the threads. I suppose some people prefer threads left dangling and unhappy endings. Maybe that’s more “realistic.”
What I like about the novel is that it’s unpretentious. It doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t. It’s a story about a 15-year-old girl who’s forced to give up her newborn baby, and how she spends the next 11 years looking for the child, and looking for herself. She finds both, and a lot more, in a small town in Virginia.
I like how Nichols blends the message of faith and belief into the story, so that it’s natural, not forced or awkward, but simply part of what’s there. I like how the characters are three-dimensional, with scars and hurts and resentments. I like how the theme slowly emerges, the theme of forgiveness. And I like how Nichols writes a good story because she simply wants to tell one.
Yeah, In Search of Eden is women’s fiction. But I liked it.