STORY-LINE EDEN’S GATE BY CHARLES ROBERTS:
Married to southern tobacco plantation and slave owner Lionel Hawthorne, Lavinia Williams comes to love her slave family. Left by her husband to run the tobacco plantation Lavinia cares for her slave family and farms. When Lavinia discovers blue-eyed slave Henny, she sees Lionel’s betrayal.
Born into an abolitionist family, Lavinia slowly realizes the cruelty and injustice of slavery. The line between love and hate’s small as Lionel’s betrayals mount through the years. However, can she betray the man she loves to give her slave family their greatest wish? My book reviews of Eden’s Gate follows.
CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT:
Where do I start with this book review? I hope my less than skillful reviews of Eden’s Gate create a desire to know more. Eden’s Gate is an epic drama of life in 1853 Southern Virginia, the industry which drove the economy, and the infancy of the abolition movement. Following Lionel Hawthorne and his wife Lavinia, author Charles Roberts skillfully shows the life of slavery. Far from the romantic notion of balls, gentle manners, and soft days of plenty, Roberts digs under the false idealism. As a result, Charles Roberts shows the reality of slavery and the desire for freedom.
I, as a southerner, am ashamed of the slavery roots in our culture. How a nation founded on freedom could believe fellow humans animals and inferior is beyond my understanding. Roberts with skillful writing and vivid prose depict this attitude and more. On the opposite side of the coin, Roberts shows the love Lavinia feels for her slave family. As well as the love she feels for slave child Henny, and the lines she crosses to give her slaves what they want most.
A story of slavery, guilt, deception, and the ending of an era, Eden’s Gate grabbed me from the first pages. As I watched a slave child scheme to make her way to the big house as Lavinia’s maid, I knew I would love this book. Living with a philandering husband, Lavinia finds Henny’s vivid blue eyes a replica of her deceased daughters. Henny becomes the daughter Lavinia lost. Roberts gave Lavinia intelligence, backbone, an abolitionist background, and determination as she helped other slaves run. However, Lavinia did not understand the desire for freedom and personal choice which her slaves held. With a vast cast of characters, including worthy protagonists, I found this book hard to put down.
Eden’s Gate is an epic drama of slavery, family dynamics, ideals, and politics. Charles Roberts also included the quarrels, jealousies, betrayals, and ups and downs of everyday plantation life. Roberts skillfully portrayed the true nature of slavery and the woman willing to lose everything. With vivid writing, clean, fluid prose, and a dramatic story-line, Charles Roberts held me in the palm of his hand. I could feel the emotions of the well-developed characters as I came to know each one. The pace is perfect for the vibe of the story, and Roberts’ scenes transitioned smoothly. With multi-plotting, Eden’s Gate held me spellbound.
Eden’s Gate will stay with the reader long after reading the last page. I would not hesitate to buy this book for myself or a friend. With slave language written in the dialect of the late 1800’s, Eden’s Gate is a real look at slavery, plantation life, and growing abolitionism.
EDEN’S GATE RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4
ALSO, PLEASE NOTE:
Additionally, I borrowed this book from Kindle Unlimited and received a copy from the author. I chose to review the book with honest book reviews voluntarily. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book reviews author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews online and on my blog, are my opinions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR CHARLES ROBERTS
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