The Edge of Eden

Helen Benedict, Author . Soho $25 (312p) ISBN 978-1-56947-602-4

Benedict (The Lonely Soldier ) chronicles a year in the life of a foolish but surprisingly sympathetic British family that relocates to the equatorial paradise of the Seychelles, located between India and Africa. In 1960, Rupert Weston accepts a post in the remote British colony without consulting his wife, Penelope, and his decision isn't well received. Trying to adjust to life on the island chain, Penelope turns to Marguerite, the family's kind and trustworthy local servant, for help with daughters Zara and Chloe. She soon realizes that the Seychelles are a “dumping ground for incipient failures” and their wives, who turn to alcohol and adultery for entertainment. Weak, malleable Rupert is soon seduced by the cunning Creole Joelle Lagrenade, but Penelope won't give up her husband without a fight. As the children run feral, Penelope asks Marguerite to show her grigri , Seychelles magic. She consults local witchdoctor Monsieur Adonis, while Joelle turns to Madame Hélène, a fortuneteller, and their combined magical efforts culminate in near tragedy and certain loss. An armchair traveler's delight, Benedict's novel is an amusingly poignant look at the British abroad in the spirit of Evelyn Waugh. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/28/2009
Release date: 11/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 312 pages - 978-1-56947-858-5
Open Ebook - 199 pages - 978-1-56947-753-3
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