Cover image for Eden mine : a novel
Title:
Eden mine : a novel
ISBN:
9780374146474
Edition:
1st ed
Physical Description:
259 pages ; 22 cm.
Geographic Term:
Summary:
Jo Faber is packing up the home she and her brother Samuel inherited. For generations, the Fabers have lived near Eden Mine, but Jo and Samuel will be the last. Their family home has been seized by the state through eminent domain. At the moment she hears the news of the bombing on the radio, Jo knows nothing, but she also knows that something isn't right. The arrival of their friend and unofficial guardian, Sheriff Hawkins, confirms her suspicions. Samuel said he was going to find work. But soon it's clear that he's not gone, but missing--last seen by a security camera near the district courthouse at Elk Fork. And a nine-year-old girl, the daughter of a pastor of a storefront church, is in critical condition. This isn't the first time Jo and Samuel have seen the ravages of violence visit their family. Last time, they lost their mother and Jo lost her ability to walk. Samuel took care of her, outfitted their barn with special rigging so she could keep riding their mule. But he was never the same, falling in with a separatist group, getting a tattoo he'd flaunt, then spending years hiding. She thought he had finished with all that. But now he's missing, and she can't talk to the one person she trusts.
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Summary

Summary

Jo Faber is packing up the home she and her brother Samuel inherited. For generations, the Fabers have lived near Eden Mine, but Jo and Samuel will be the last. Their family home has been seized by the state through eminent domain. At the moment she hears the news of the bombing on the radio, Jo knows nothing, but she also knows that something isn't right. The arrival of their friend and unofficial guardian, Sheriff Hawkins, confirms her suspicions. Samuel said he was going to find work. But soon it's clear that he's not gone, but missing--last seen by a security camera near the district courthouse at Elk Fork. And a nine-year-old girl, the daughter of a pastor of a storefront church, is in critical condition. This isn't the first time Jo and Samuel have seen the ravages of violence visit their family. Last time, they lost their mother and Jo lost her ability to walk. Samuel took care of her, outfitted their barn with special rigging so she could keep riding their mule. But he was never the same, falling in with a separatist group, getting a tattoo he'd flaunt, then spending years hiding. She thought he had finished with all that. But now he's missing, and she can't talk to the one person she trusts. A timely story of the anger and disaffection tearing apart many communities in this country, S.M. Hulse's Eden Mine is also a beautiful novel of the West, of a deep love for the land, of faith in the face of evil, and of the terrible choices we make for the ones we love.


Author Notes

S. M. Hulse's debut novel, Black River, was a PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction finalist, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, an ALA Notable Book, an ABA Indies Introduce title, an Indie Next pick, and winner of the Reading the West Book Award. She received her MFA from the University of Oregon and was a fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. An avid horsewoman, she has lived throughout the American West.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hulse (Black River) revisits the American West with a taut, poignant tale of a personal vendetta turned act of domestic terror. Lone wolf bomber Samuel Faber disappears after blowing up a courthouse in Elk Fork, Mont., and unintentionally injuring a dozen people in a church across the street. His sister, Jo, a paraplegic artist, refuses to cooperate with the authorities, even after befriending a pastor named Asa Truth, whose daughter was gravely injured in the blast. The two bond in their mutual desire to retain some semblance of faith, Asa in God and Jo, less understandably, in Samuel. Hulse labors to blur the lines between good and evil, drawing out Jo and Samuel's backstory--their father's death in a mine collapse, their mother's violent murder, the state government's imminent seizure of the property--to highlight the past's indelible marks on the present. As the sheriff leads a manhunt for Samuel, Hulse shares the fugitive bomber's point of view, adding to a chorus of voices grappling with questions of loyalty, faith, injustice, and redemption. Despite stock characterizations and plotting, the dramatic conclusion kicks like a mule, a testament to Hulse's storytelling acumen. This country noir has its moments. (Feb.)


Kirkus Review

Hulse follows up her strong debut (Black River, 2015) with an even stronger novel about the fallout from an act of domestic terrorism.When Josephine Faber learns that her brother, Samuel, has fled after bombing a Montana district courthouse, it caps the string of losses that have shaped her life. Her father was killed in a mine collapse when she was a baby, and an enraged ex-boyfriend shot and killed their mother when Jo was 10 and Samuel, 17; a stray bullet left Jo paralyzed. Samuel's terrible act12 people at a nearby storefront church were injured, and the pastor's young daughter is in critical conditionwas provoked by the impending loss of their house, about to be torn down by the state to build a new highway. Jo is horrified but not surprised; Samuel was a virulent racist in high school, and although he burned his Nazi flag and wears long-sleeved shirts over his swastika tattoo, she's aware that his anti-government ideas remain the same. But her brother has tenderly cared for her for more than a decade, and she can't stop loving him. The story unfolds slowly, mingling Jo's account with Samuel's explanatory missive to her (written on a map she will later find) and the anguished internal monologues of pastor Asa Truth, whose faith has been badly shaken by his daughter's injuries. He won't get any help from Jo, a confirmed nonbeliever since her mother's death, but they form a bond forged by mutual grief; Jo's connection to protective Sheriff Hawkins is another relationship Hulse limns with sensitive acuity. Several harrowing scenes underscore Jo's vulnerability due to her physical disability, but she still rides a cherished mule and tends to outdoor chores thanks to the various devices Samuel has rigged. Her struggles to paint pictures more meaningful than the pretty, sanitized canvases she sells to tourists form another strand of Hulse's dense yet lucid narrative. The nail-biting denouement is violent yet restrained, an additional sign of this young writer's mature artistic powers.Reflective, evocative, and quietly moving. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Jo's beloved older brother, Samuel, who careens from one conspiracy theory to the next, has set off a bomb, severely injuring the daughter of a local pastor. The siblings have had a tough life, losing their father in a mining accident, and later witnessing their mother's death at the hands of an abusive boyfriend. Jo was paralyzed from the waist down by a stray bullet that night, and now the family home is being razed for a new highway. With Samuel AWOL, Jo must pack up their belongings in their dying little Montana town, its glory long past and never returning. Jo is an amateur artist who paints the countryside, the spare, bleak hills where she rides her beloved mule. Mourning, loss, and love illuminate the pages of Hulse's (Black River, 2015) ruminative novel. Especially fine is her rendering of a person of faith struggling with doubt and the nature of evil. Fans of Annie Proulx may appreciate the novel's pensive mood and the exploration of a place where people have few options and little hope.--Joan Curbow Copyright 2019 Booklist