EDEN by Jamie Lisa Forbes

About the Book:

Rowen Hart has been raised as the pampered son and only child of a prominent family in the small community of White Rock, North Carolina. It’s the 1950s and he’s drifting through the days, following the life path his parents have planned for him and preparing to go away to college. When his father’s suicide turns his world upside down, he finds himself responsible for his mother in their suddenly reduced circumstances that leave them dependent on his uncle, his father’s business partner.

Ill-prepared to take over as head of the family, Rowen doesn’t know which way to turn. Then a neighbor’s ten-year-old daughter comes to live with them, baffling him with her wild behavior and never-ending attempts to win his approval and making his new responsibilities even more overwhelming.

As Rowen tries to find his way, he begins to question everything about his upbringing, his current circumstances and his plans for the future as they turn to dust in his hands.



“There isn’t anything predictable about this story, which makes it a pleasant reading experience. Rowen’s future cannot be seen, nor can Eden’s. Jamie Lisa Forbes is also an author who doesn’t forget any of her characters. She gives all of them some sort of significance, bringing them back in at times when you don’t expect it. And few elements of the story are fair or right, but that’s life. And it seems like it was Forbes’ intent to make this story almost as lifelike as possible, which she pulled off, indeed.”

– Michaela Gordoni. Tulsa Book Review.

“Jamie Lisa Forbes details 1950s small-town North Carolina in a way that makes readers feel like they’re sweltering in the heat of the courtroom and shivering amidst the coldness of racial and class prejudices. To be able to communicate to the audience different relationship dynamics, whether it’s intimate relationships, friendships that break racial barriers, family ties, or the relationship an individual has with themselves, in such a heartbreaking and realistic way shows her dedication to understanding diverse backgrounds and what it meant to have grown up in the south during such emotionally charged times. This book is the perfect reminder for readers that life would be much less colorful if not for the people we meet along the way.”

– Nellie Calanni, Feathered Quill Reviews.

About the Author:

Jamie Lisa Forbes was raised on a ranch in the Little Laramie Valley near Laramie, Wyoming.  She attended the University of Colorado where she obtained degrees in English and philosophy. In 2001, she graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law and began her North Carolina law practice. Forbes’ first novel, Unbroken, won the WILLA Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction in 2011. Her collection of short stories, The Widow Smalls and Other Stories, won the High Plains Book Awards for a short story collection in 2015. Forbes’ novel about life in rural North Carolina, entitled Eden, was published in 2020. Her historical novel about women bronc riders in the early days of rodeo, entitled Sunny Gale, is expected to be published in May 2024. Ms. Forbes continues to live—and write—in North Carolina.