EDEN RISING by Marilyn Harris

EDEN RISING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the fifth novel in her Eden series, Harris again tosses up the usual tempest mix--romance, madness, murder, unholy alliances, stumbling flights--with a jaunty aplomb. John Murrey Eden--who made The Women of Eden (1980) miserable, alienated his adopted Indian son Aslam and half-brother Richard, and lost two young sons to his deceased wife's father--is now howling on the dark battlements of ancient Eden Castle while the 1874 villagers whisper of ""something terrible."" They're so right: John, who's had a stroke, is clutching the corpse of his mother/mistress Lady Harriet, who has died of starvation! Good little circuit nurse Susan Mantle, however, nurses John, bringing him back to sanity while she tries to bring back his family: Cousin Mary, whom John has driven off to America; bitter Aslam, now running the family mercantile business and having a homosexual affair with Richard (who's married unhappily to pregnant Eleanor); and Elizabeth, the revolutionary wife of John's father, who's in a French prison--about to be executed for killing a guard (in defense against rape). The recovering John pounds off to France, Elizabeth almost escapes execution--but John witnesses her death, is maddened by grief, wanders away in Paris, somehow manages to return to England, and by Chance (Chance always looms large in Eden) wanders into the same Salvation Army mission where Susan is nursing. Now completely reconstituted morally and spiritually, in fact, he'll marry her, reverting to the humanitarian ways of his late reformer father. And finally the castle will be given to Richard, whose marriage is warming, while the whole family gathers--astonished to find love all around. Popping melodrama for the Eden followers; too silly and complicated for newcomers.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1982
Publisher: Putnam