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.