Guardian of Eden

Rated 4.33/5 based on 24 reviews
What would you do if you had one chance to kill the man who raped your 12-year-old sister?No judge. No jury. No witnesses. More

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Words: 65,150
Language: English
ISBN: 9781458131089
About Leslie DuBois

Leslie DuBois lives in Charleston, SC with her husband and two daughters. She also writes as Sybil Nelson.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Aparna Sethuraman on Sep. 25, 2011 :
This is the best of the three books that I have read fromm this author. Guardian of Eden is the story of a brother and sister duo Garrett and Eden, who have survived through hard times by depending on each other. Now when they feel things are improving and they can have a good life, disaster strikes.. Garrett has to decide on what is the right thing to do.. Kill the person who hurt his sister .. or let law take care of it..

An excellent read..
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Elizabeth Miller on Sep. 03, 2011 :
What an excellent book. This was hard to put down. Young Garrett, brilliant and protective, takes care of his younger sister Eden as they face a life that no child should have to face. Well written story with a bittersweet ending. I will proably read this one again. GREAT JOB!!! Nice way to spend an afternnon in the sun and well worht the price!!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Elizabeth Miller on Sep. 03, 2011 :
What an excellent book. This was hard to put down. Young Garrett, brilliant and protective, takes care of his younger sister Eden as they face a life that no child should have to face. Well written story with a bittersweet ending. I will proably read this one again. GREAT JOB!!! Nice way to spend an afternnon in the sun and well worht the price!!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Shirley S. Simon on Aug. 12, 2011 :
This must be the first time that i actually cried while reading a book. A very touching story. It covers racial discrimination, poverty, single motherhood, alcohol abuse, child exploitation, sexual abuse, and so many such issues that we face everyday happening around us or with those that we love and care for. There is so much pain and suffering - it makes you feel sad for Garett and Eden, and you wish for their happiness. The vicious circle of misfortune does not leave them alone. By the end you realize that Garett really is a superhero- sacrificing everything, even his own happiness for those he loves and cares for. A true hero.

This is a very well written book. Easy to read through. Simple, free flowing words. Really worth it. Would recommend everyone to read it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ezinwanyi on Aug. 02, 2011 :
I really enjoyed this book. It appealed to the mother in me and just tugged at the my heart strings. The issues it dealt with such as incest, child abuse/neglect etc are such delicate subjects, but the author approached them with a tender hand and with sensitivity. Leslie DuBois did a fine job in making this story relatable.

First of all, I don’t think the author’s/publisher’s description of the book does it justice. In fact, I found it quite misleading. I would have named this book “Keeping Secrets” or the “Past Revisited”. This is a book about how the past shaped and continued to shape a family’s future.

In this book, we are introduced to Garrett Anthony, a young man who is struggling to find himself in addition to taking care of his sister Eden. Garrett is seventeen, but with all life experiences he is more like forty years old. Their mother Holly was a recovering substance abuser but she just lacked serious parental skills. Also, Holly was just a lost soul. She lacked the mental fortitude to deal with anything. So at a young age, Garrett began to parent himself and Eden. It was clear that Garrett had emotional and psychological issues because all that responsibility was traumatic. The two kids are forced to go to counseling by Child Protective Services case worker, which doesn’t seem to have a positive effect on Garrett.

But he starts to find happiness with Madison McPhee, a young girl who works at his school’s newspaper. They were outsiders who seemed to connect, except for the fact that he is a black boy and she is a white daughter of a US senator.

Garrett’s mother Holly meets a photographer Corbin, and finally they seem to have a normal family life. But then Garrett meets his biological father, who is in prison. Garrett starts learning about his father’s past as well as his mother’s past. The wall of secrets begins unraveling and a new tragedy is set into motion.

The author did a great job developing the story and the characters, peeling layer after layer until we got to the heart of the issue plaguing this family. The story was sad but realistic. I wish Holly had developed more as a mother and had been strong enough to fight her demons in order to protect her children. I would love a follow-up novella to see how the family coped after the tragedy.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jill Bemis on July 10, 2011 :
Rape, incest, mayhem and murder is just business as usual in this violent coming of age story.

***

A coming of age story about Garrett, a genius product of incestuous rape, abandoned at birth, reclaimed at age five, as he grows up in an ugly dysfunctional codependent mixed-race family. Leslie DuBois carefully treads the line between the tremulous minefields brought on by alcoholic mother Holly’s careless random abandonment mixed with her unacceptable boyfriends’ behaviors, Garrett’s exploration of his own sexuality with girlfriend Madison “Maggie” McPhee and ultimate responsibility for Eden, his young, near perfect, innocent angel sister.

This story thoroughly explores the neglect, abuse, success and happiness of these vulnerable children. The author fails to address the shortcomings in adult relationships, (i.e. mother, boyfriends, father(s), therapist, social workers, etc.) that contributed to the ongoing violence, suffering, and cover up of a family’s dirty and shameful secrets.

In the end, the reader has to decide if violence and silence is an acceptable price to pay for love in a world with few alternatives.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: The Book Diva's Reads on May 27, 2011 :
To say that The Guardian of Eden deals with complicated issues is an understatement. This book portrays child neglect and abandonment, dysfunctional family drama, child abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, incest, molestation, and murder. When we first meet Garrett he is a happy 5 year old child living with his paternal grandmother. He has never met his parents and only knows that his father is in prison. It is not until his grandmother dies that he meets his mother, his very pregnant mother - Holly. He is stunned to find out that she is white, and her boyfriend at the time is stunned to find out that her son is black. His mother shortly gives birth to Garrett's half-sister, Eden and his life begins to dramatically change.

Over the years Garrett has assumed the role of protector of his younger sister, often missing school to take care of her, as well as tend to his mother. Not to sound trite, but to say that Holly has issues is again an understatement. She is needy in so many ways and often attempts to drown her sadness and sorrows in alcohol or drugs, which means neglecting not only herself but her children. Things seem to change for the better when she meets and then marries a successful photographer, Corbin. Corbin decides he wants to make them all a real family and tries to adopt Eden and Garrett. This decision results in Garrett meeting his birth father for the very first time, in prison. Even though there is apparently a stable adult in the picture, Garrett still insists on protecting his mother and Eden. It doesn't help that at only 11 Eden is 5'8" tall and beautiful. None of these people are perfect, although they may appear to be superficially. They are all tall, beautiful, smart and flawed. Garrett evidently scored a perfect SAT score when he was in the 9th grade and had a 4th grade reading ability when he was only 5 years old. Both he and Eden show an aptitude for the linguistic arts and are quite fond of poetry.

Enter Madison McPhee, the daughter of a US Senator and presidential candidate. She and Garrett hit it off immediately and begin a tumultuous relationship. Madison is somewhat afraid to tell her father about Garrett but only because her father is extremely over-protective. Eden is jealous of all of the time that Garrett is spending with Madison. Garrett is feeling that he's letting Eden down and is considered inferior by Madison. Just when you think things couldn't possibly get worse, Eden is hospitalized and it comes out that she was raped.

I enjoyed this story up to the end. I found it hard to believe that Garrett could receive "psychological treatment" for a number of years for his "anger management" issues and nothing ever be resolved. Why doesn't the psychologist suggest a referral to another counselor if he isn't able to help? Why doesn't the social worker step in and try a different counselor if this is an ongoing issue? I know, children fall through the cracks of our social services system daily, but this didn't seem to make much sense. The story is often gritty and ugly but then so are the indignities these children are forced to suffer. This is not a light-hearted read but it does pack a punch.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sheryl Calmes on May 26, 2011 :
I loved this book. I read the book in one day because I did not put it down. It was a very emotional book for me. It's really the story of damaged people and the damage they do unknowingly to others. I also reveiwed this book on librarything.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jamie Hardy on May 23, 2011 :
A contemporary tragedy, Guardian of Eden, is the tale of Garrett Anthony, 17 years old and burdened with being the sole responsible member of his family. A neglectful mother with a history of substance abuse and relationships with abusive men have taught Garrett not only how to keep himself alive but also to care for his young half-sister Eden.

Over time we witness Garrett’s growth into a young man who is trying to overcome all the childhood neglect and abuse while still caring for the now 11 year old Eden. While Garrett still struggles with issues of anger and fear of abandonment his priority is young Eden and caring for her. In counseling, his mother is apparently reformed and happily married, life is beginning to look good to young Garrett. When he finally begins to relax and notice things and people around him he meets beautiful, young Madison McPhee.

Now things begin to become more complicated as issues of race, class and status are introduced to the mix. You see, Ms. McPhee is not only wealthy and white, she is the daughter of an aspirant to the Presidency. Garrett feels inadequate and the relationship suffers because Madison also has trepidations about introducing the young man she loves to her father. Eden, fearing the loss of her brother, begins to act out. The repercussions resound throughout the remainder of the novel.

There is a lot to admire in this novel and I would like to thank the author for the complimentary copy to read and review. Overall, it was a good reading experience. The characters were well drawn but I thought that so many sub-plots, while it kept things moving, detracted from exploring more detail in other relationships like Madison’s relationship with her father, and the relationship between Holly and Corbin. What could have been lacking that made a man with no prior history of his acts suddenly become a predator? In some ways it felt implied that once he got internationally recognized he became less morally sound. While I wasn’t stunned by the revelation it didn’t feel as genuine as it could have.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Brandi C on May 22, 2011 : (no rating)
This novel describes the life of Garrett, a boy who has had a troubled life. While his mother suffered from alcoholism, he had to take care of his younger sister, Eden. As they grow older, his mother overcomes her addiction and marries Corbin, a photographer. Just as Garrett finds happiness with lover Maddie, Eden becomes consistently more anxious as time goes on. When Garrett discovers the cause, he takes matters into his own hands.

This novel was quite good. What I received was in need of some editing, as there were some grammatical and punctuational mistakes, though this was easily overlooked. While the story line was interesting, the writing seemed a bit forced. I'm sure this could also be fixed with editing. Overall, a good novel, and one I would recommend
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Maria on May 21, 2011 :
Guardian of Eden by Leslie Dubois is a gritty, raw tale of a young boy, Garrett Anthony, taking care of his baby half-sister while his mother leaves them for days at a time - doing anything he can to feed her. He doesn't want to go back to living in foster homes like before. Things improve, he even gets a scholarship to a prestigious private school where he meets his girlfriend, the daughter of a Senator. But then he finds out his twelve year old sister was raped and he knows who did it...what will he do?

This was a gripping book, I connected quickly with Garrett and kept rooting for things to get better for him. Ms. Dubois did an excellent job creating the characters, they all had distinct personalities with good and bad qualities. The story flowed smoothly and I never got bored.

If you have a really soft heart, this book isn't for you, or you'll be crying through it. There's a lot of drama and trying times, interspersed with just enough happiness to keep you hooked. I can't say I loved the ending, but give it a read and see for yourself.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Eirian Houpe on May 21, 2011 :
Sins of the father – a mother's history and the compelling love of a brother meet in the story, Guardian of Eden, in which Garret, a black youth struggles with his own emotional maturity to protect his family that is torn apart by the troubles of its past.

The book falls somewhere between young adult and adult in its subject matter and execution, and therein lies its problem. The subject matter is very emotive and the reader should feel a greater connection with the characters than I found myself developing. I think this is because of the YA approach to the stylistic execution of the story telling, where everything is explained, the path from A, to B, to C, carefully laid out for the reader, leaving very little room for supposition. That's not to say that the book is poorly written – it isn't – I simply found myself wishing that the author would leave a little more room for reader speculation as a way to engage with the story. The author does seem to attempt this at least once, with the inclusion of the storyline concerning the therapist, but this is never developed to it full extent. We're simply left to follow, in pedestrian fashion, the heartaches and confusion of Garret, the young man forced to grow up way too soon, way too quickly in order to try and protect the sister he loves, which we already know, from the first chapter of the book, that he has already failed to do.

An engaging read in spite of the conflict in subject matter and style, and one that highlights a sensitive issue that is still, sadly, prevalent in modern society.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Rease Kirchner on May 20, 2011 : (no rating)
This book reads like a Young Adult novel but the content is not suitable for that age group. The synopsis of the novel really intrigued me, I was ready for a dark, intense read. However, I found it to be fairly light and overly romanticized. I also felt like things were over-explained, I was not left to connect dots or pick up tension and innuendo, it was always right there in the text. I got bored of the Garrett and Maddie love story and found the issues caused by it predictable.

I will say that the novel picks up towards the end, but it wasn't enough for me to deem this worthy of more than 3 stars. I loved the ideas, I just wish they were executed a bit better
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Carolina Hernandez on May 20, 2011 : (no rating)
If you get the chance to read this book I feel that you should not pass up such a wonderful opportunity. "The Guardian of Eden," is not just the beautiful story of a brother that would do anything to protect the sister he loves and cherishes. This story is an emotional ride that shows what true love really is and what it means to care for someone so much that you'd risk your own life and well-being to make and keep them happy.

Garrett Anthony is more than just a brother that loves his sister, he's a genius , a brilliant young man with the ability to have a bright future if it weren't for his horrible family life. From the moment he was old enough to think for himself he was tossed into the role of guardian, protector, and supplier for his younger sister. This young boy became a man because he had no choice and he did what his parents couldn't and didn't want to do.

In my eyes this character is a hero, he's the kind of young man that any parent would be proud to have as their son. This story generates so much raw emotion I don't think I've cried like this in quite some time. The depth of love that this book shares with the reader is just phenomenal. Leslie DuBois is a first rate storyteller and her characters are alive, vibrant, and so real that you can't help but feel you truly know them.

This is a definite must-read for anyone and I would definitely recommend this book for ages 13 and up.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: bookworm53 on May 20, 2011 :
'The Guardian of Eden' is a must read. It is a very well written book with thoughts and problems that are so realistic. It is a very easy read and one that you do not want to stop until the end. I felt like I was there with Garrett and Eden thoughtout the book and wanting to hug and console them. I appreciate the opportunity to read this book through Home Library Thing giveaway and hope I have the opportunity to read more of the author's books. I could also see a sequel to this one because of the ending. Please let me know if that happens, if at all possible.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Krista Ruthstrom on May 19, 2011 :
Light-hearted summer fare this is not. However, it was one of those books that I picked up to read anytime I had a spare second. The book starts off fast paced and grabs you from the beginning. Garret is half black, his sister is white. From a young age he assumes a roll as protector as their alcoholic mother moves from relationship to relationship. His loyalty to Eden never wanes, even when faced with distrust about his roll in her life. Garrett does find happiness in Maddie, only to have his world come crashing down. As events unfold Garrett finds out who he really is and as his role as Eden's protector is put to the test.



This book was given to me by Leslie Dubois. The review is my own.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: michaela Cini on May 19, 2011 :
I read it after i won it in a giveaway :) I did not put it down - as soon as i read the sypnosis, i knew I'd enjoy it. From a young age Garrett has had a hard life, he had to raise his step-sister all by himself. His mother is an addict and goes out every night, his father is in jail and Eden's father couldn't care less. Until one day, his sister has an accident and Garrett discovers she had been raped! Garrett sets out to find her rapist and finds love on the way. This is a really touching novel, I would reccommend it to everyone.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Amy Siggelow on May 18, 2011 :
I won this book from the Member Giveaways on Library Thing.

I was compelled to enter to win this book from it's description on Library Thing. I was not sorry that I had entered and I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to read this book. I read it in one day - that is how good it was!

This is a story of Garrett, born of a white mother and an African-American father. He is the older brother of his half-sister, Eden; they have the same mother but different fathers. Garrett and Eden's mother is unfortunately an alcoholic and drug abuser who seems to be neglectful of her children, causing Garrett to become the "parent" of Eden. He is a very gentle, sweet, and very intelligent young man, who loves his sister more than anything in the world, however, he has a dark side from the years of neglect he has received by his parents.

The novel starts out with an event that takes place involving Eden being rushed to the hospital. It then goes into the story of how things went about resulting in that outcome. This is a very well written, interesting and realistic book, one that I very much enjoyed. I would recommend this to most anyone, although it does involve a little violence and does touch upon incest from past encounters of the mother. Very good book!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: AJ on May 18, 2011 :
Well worth reading, a lovely story of the love between
siblings, and the length that love will take them in protection of a loved one. Definitely a recommended.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Stephanie on May 18, 2011 :
What a beautiful book about a brothers love. The story is amazing told. This story is about a brother whow would do anything for his sister because that's what it means to love your family. I recommend this book to everyone for a great read out by the pool on a hot summer day!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: GMTA PUBLISHING on May 18, 2011 :
LESLIE DUBOIS' "THE GUARDIAN OF EDEN" (A REVIEW)

If you get the chance to read this book I feel that you should not pass up such a wonderful opportunity. "The Guardian of Eden," is not just the beautiful story of a brother that would do anything to protect the sister he loves and cherishes. This story is an emotional ride that shows what true love really is and what it means to care for someone so much that you'd risk your own life and well-being to make and keep them happy.

Garrett Anthony is more than just a brother that loves his sister, he's a genius , a brilliant young man with the ability to have a bright future if it weren't for his horrible family life. From the moment he was old enough to think for himself he was tossed into the role of guardian, protector, and supplier for his younger sister. This young boy became a man because he had no choice and he did what his parents couldn't and didn't want to do.

In my eyes this character is a hero, he's the kind of young man that any parent would be proud to have as their son. This story generates so much raw emotion I don't think I've cried like this in quite some time. The depth of love that this book shares with the reader is just phenomenal. Leslie DuBois is a first rate storyteller and her characters are alive, vibrant, and so real that you can't help but feel you truly know them.

This is a definite must-read for anyone and I would definitely recommend this book for ages 13 and up.

-Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Angie Creech on May 11, 2011 :
A great story of a brother's love for his sister and his need to protect her. This was a great book and I highly recommend it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Melissa Waite on May 09, 2011 :
This book was in my opinion just amazing. The story is emotinal, raw and heartwrenching. I found myself crying at times because it was so sad to see everything that Garret had to go through in his short life.

This book is about love 100%. Love for your family to be more exact. To the great lengths you would go through to protect the ones you love and to protect yourself. I would never wish what happened to him and his sister to anyone ever, but the sad thing is that this type of stuff does indeed happen all the time and does happen often. This book is a must read. I was saddened on the way it ended though, after all this, I just wanted a happy ending for them...
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Amber Carroll on May 01, 2011 :
Garrett has spent his whole life protecting his younger sister Eden. He has been there for her while at times their mother has not. He has kept his sister safe and fed throughout her childhood. Now something has happened that he did not protect her from and he needs to make it right. This is a powerful and moving book about the love of siblings and the lengths they will go to protect each other.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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