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Table of Contents
  1. East of Eden - Critical Reception | Steinbeck in the Schools | San Jose State University
  2. 'East of Eden': The Novel That Changed My Life
  3. Parents say

Elliot Ackerman's third novel, Waiting for Eden , is a like a punch in the stomach. At pages, it's brief and sparse — and best absorbed in one sitting.

East of Eden - Critical Reception | Steinbeck in the Schools | San Jose State University

But its punch will sting big-time, in a way that shows of the enormous power of fiction. That's not true. In Johnny , World War I veteran Joe Bonham lies in a hospital bed, realizing that he has lost most of his body but that he is still fully in control of his mind. In Waiting for Eden , Eden Malcom has lost not only most of his body but also part of his mental abilities.

'East of Eden': The Novel That Changed My Life

The victim of a massive explosion that killed the rest of his team, he's regarded as the most severely injured survivor of a wartime explosion — ever. And unlike the character Johnny, Eden is not the narrator of his story. Instead, it's a fellow Marine who died in the blast that injured Eden more than three years ago. The narrator is able to tell the story because he exists in a world of whiteness, where he watches Eden and his wife, Mary, as she struggles with grief and faith, in a San Antonio military hospital.

Ackerman says that Eden's story isn't based on one person but represents "the cumulative loss of many friends and the larger question of how we keep faith with each other, in life, in love, and even in death. As you'll see in Waiting for Eden , the answers Ackerman finds can be hard to take, but necessary to acknowledge.

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Mary's struggle is possibly the greatest, since she has all of her awareness, as well as plenty of guilt, some of it surrounding her 3-year-old daughter, Andy, whom Eden has never met. Having spent much of the last three years of her life sitting beside Eden's bed, she's reluctant to leave for a Christmas visit back home with her mother, with whom her daughter has been living.

She eventually decides to leave, however. And as she touches a part of Eden's chest that's not covered in bandages before she goes, that touch prompts a remarkable musing from the omniscient narrator:. I could give you the catalogue of his injuries, but I won't.

Not because I don't think you could stomach it, but because I don't think it'd really tell you much about what type of a way he's in. So I'll tell you this: he used Make no mistake, the novel is a grim one, and there are no answers to these important questions within its pages; its graphic nature may also make it a challenging read for some. Waiting for Eden is my highest-rated book of the year to-date; its weighty themes make it an especially good choice for group discussion. Reviewed by Kim Kovacs.

Full Review words. Write your own review! Air Force at the end of World War II, the program was modeled after the experiences of British and US aviators who were able to evade and escape the enemy. In the s and s, CIA interrogation practices were incorporated. SERE was later shaped into its current format by LTC Nick Rowe who observed the deficiencies of the military's training techniques during his five years of captivity during the Vietnam War.

SERE training methods were adopted by the other services with each branch developing their own specific curriculum Moon Brow. About this book. More books by this author. From "one of Iran's most important living fiction writers" The Guardian comes a fantastically imaginative story of love and war narrated by two angel scribes perched on the shoulders of a shell-shocked Iranian soldier who's searching for the mysterious woman haunting his dreams.

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Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. It's also compulsively readable. A heartwarming memoir of motherhood and adoption told through an African American lens. Reader Reviews.

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Illuminating and deeply human, Today We Go Home shines a light on the brave military women of the past and present. With wit and charm, amateur detective Veronica Speedwell, triumphs over adversity and danger in Victorian England. BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Subscribe to receive some of our best reviews, "beyond the book" articles, book club info, and giveaways by email.

Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman. Book Summary From the National Book Award finalist, a breathtakingly spare and shattering new novel that traces the intersection of three star-crossed lives. Excerpt Waiting for Eden I want you to understand Mary and what she did.

Parents say

Read Full Excerpt. Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers! Who is the narrator of the novel? How does he know Mary and Eden's story? How does Ackerman's decision to narrate from this point of view deepen the reader's understanding of Mary and Eden's lives? Examine the symbolism of the cockroaches. How does Eden understand their presence? What do they represent to him? How would you describe Eden's level of consciousness?