Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy {Blog Tour} ~ Giveaway, Interview & Review

Genre: General Fiction
Publication Date: 3rd February 2012
Pages: 400
Book Source: ARC ~ BookTrib Blog Tour

Synopsis: "To understand what it meant to be a Hathaway, you'd first have to see Aurelia."

For generations, Aurelia was the crowning glory of more than three thousand acres of Iowa farmland and golden cornfields. The estate was a monument to matriarch Lavinia Hathaway's dream to elevate the family name - no matter what relative or stranger she had to destroy in the process. It was a desperation that wrought the downfall of the Hathaways - and the once prosperous farm.

Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died - alone. None of the surviving members of the Hathaway family want anything to do with the farm, the land, or the memories.

Especially Meredith Pincetti. Now living in New York City, for seventeen years Lavinia's youngest grandchild has tried to forget everything about her family and her past. But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith is again thrust into conflict with the legacy that destroyed her family's once-great name. Back at Aurelia, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway family... and her own part in their mottled history.

My Thoughts:
The Legacy Of Eden tells of the saga-like rise and fall of the dynastic Hathaway family. It's a dark, multi-generational tale of a dysfunctional family and their self destructive ways, set against the backdrop of their empire-like estate Aurelia ... no happy family here.

Actually to say the Hathaway family is dysfunctional is a gross understatement, this is a family poisoned by ambition and jealousy, fueled with bitterness and deceit. Davy breathes life into most of her characters, (especially the dead ones) and you get to know them far better than is actually comfortable... a bit like sleeping in a nest of vipers I imagine. Not a family you'd want to be part of but it sure makes for entertaining reading ;)

I normally enjoy stories that move back and forth in time but this one felt a bit disjointed, the actually timeline of events is easy to follow so maybe what bogged things down a little for me was feeling no connection with the narrator Meredith.

Lavinia Hathaway, Meredith's grandmother is another story; she's the driving force in the Hathaway family and the story. Manipulative, ambitious, cold, devious, twisted, she's one unhappy woman and a thoroughly loathsome creature but that's what makes her so interesting;  she's the one you love to hate.

What I absolutely adored in this tale was Nelle Davy's writing. She has a beautiful wandering style, a reminiscent quality that marries perfectly with the fragmented recollections; just lovely.

It's so easy to lay all our faults at Lavinia's door isn't it? Any bad trait, any negative feeling we say comes from her, from her line, her genes. We don't like to think they may be things inherent in us rather than just inherited. Scape-goating - we're good at that in my family.

Death came to visit Aurelia in 1991 and his stay there was incredibly productive. He pitched up his scythe and put up his feet and settled into the white house for what would be an energetic sabbatical.

If you'd like to follow the Legacy Of Eden Scavenger Hunt click here and if you'd like to know more about Nelle Davy visit her website.

Interview with Nelle Davy

1.  Describe your latest book in 15 words or fewer.

It’s a reworking of I Claudius set in a farm in Iowa.

2.   What inspired you to write THE LEGACY OF EDEN?

I Claudius – I wanted to take the kernel of the idea from the novel (ambition and its devastating effects on a family headed by an amoral matriarch) and move it into a modern setting.

3. Where do you do most of your writing?

Because I wrote the novel on lunch breaks, at work and on weekends I can write anywhere – I had to learn to be really flexible and un-precious about my working environment because I was juggling writing with a full time job.

4.  How did you come up with the character of Lavinia?

She wasn’t meant to be as large a character as she was. She was taken from the Livia model in Robert Graves’ novel, but the fact that she was abandoned as a child, that her name for years was Anne-Marie Parks and she was previously married to a man who was thirty years her senior were all things that came when I started writing. She became a law unto herself but I needed to explain why she was the way she was, without justifying her.

5 . Why did you choose Iowa for the location Aurelia?

I wanted to set it on a farm and it was either Ireland or America for the location when I was researching. Because I envisaged Aurelia as being a miniature kingdom as well as a microcosm in its own right I chose America because it was a place that was vast enough to make it possible for somewhere like Aurelia to exist. Iowa is the part of the American heartland and is firm farm country and when I found out there actually was a city called Aurelia there, it seemed like divine providence.

I'm thrilled to offer readers the chance to win a copy of THE LEGACY OF EDEN by Nelle Davy
US/Canada ONLY

Just leave a comment telling me what you find appealing about this one. Don't forget to include an email address. 

Extra Entries:
+2 tweet giveaway and leave a link

Giveaway ends 11th March and the winner will be announced on my blog. Good luck everyone :)


  1. Thanks for this giveaway. Stories like this are captivating and memorable filled with depth and real characters. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  2. This sounds like a novel that goes back to the roots of the that in a story! Please enter me.
    joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

  3. Family sagas are my favorite form of entertainment within a book. This novel sounds unforgettable. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. This sounds really good... thanks for the great review!

  5. I really enjoyed your review..beautifully done!

  6. I just saw this book feature in Book Page that I picked up free from the library. The cover drew interest from me, and the synopsis created even more. Based on your thoughts, I think I may like this story despite the issue you had with the time jumps. Please enter me into the giveaway. Thanks.


  7. I like dark family sagas. Please enter me.
    stacybooks at yahoo

  8. I can't get enough of family drama, they are a pretty big chunk of my reading lists. I think I like knowing that there are always families that are more dysfunctional than my own, sad as that sounds lol. Thank you for the opportunity to read this!


  9. This first thing I find appealing is it is set in Iowa and I am from the midwest. Then it sounds like a book that will really grab you.

    Thank you for the chance to win

    griperang at embarqmail dot com


Thanks for taking the time to leave some comment love, I'm a 'comment back' kinda girl. Don't forget to check the 'Notify me' box