Sunday, May 10, 2015

Eden West by Pete Hautman

Eden West by Pete Hautman

Jacob is 17 and has lived in the land of Nodd since he was a young boy.  Nodd is a 12 mile secluded religious community in Montana which is surrounded by an 8 foott tall chain link fence. Jacob is not allowed to leave the protection and safety of Nodd because the world is a dangerous, terrible place.  Everyone who lives outside the fence is doomed for all eternity.  Only the people are the inside will be saved when Archangel Zarachiel arrives with an Arc to bring them to paradise.  Until then, there is much work to be done.

One of Jacob's duties is to patrol and fix the fence.  One day, a girl on an ATV, sees Jacob and drives to the fence to talk to him. Lynna is different from the girls he knows and he is tempted by her.  She is beautiful and pervading his thoughts, which is sinful.

A new troubled teen joins the religious group against his will and begins questioning the rules and restrictions Jacob lives by.  And a wolf breeches the fence.  Will Jacob's faith hold?

Pete Hautman has done it again. He has written a thought provoking, realistic novel for teens. Hautman's fiction always makes me think and look at the world in a new way.  Eden West really makes you think about faith and religion and the self imposed walls that we live behind.  Eden West contains a great cast of characters that you grow to care about.  I really loved Jacob's parents and I just adore Jacob.  He is such a good teen who is doing what he should. Questioning.  Questioning his role in the world and the world around him.

Hautman is a writer that transports his readers to another place and deeply sets the scene.  I felt I knew the land of Nodd, as if I grew up there.  It felt like a real place.  Eden West is a look at a fascinating life style choice.  Hautman keeps the reader turning the pages at a rapid rate.  Eden West is beautiful, tragic, hopeful and fascinating to say the least.

Pair Eden West with Godless for a riveting discussion with your teen or for your book club.