Reviewer: Danielle Mason
Title: The Spoils of Eden
Author: Linda Lee Chaikin
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Release Date: May 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction
Year/Setting: Hawaii 1890s
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Linda's Website: www.lindachaikinbooks.com
Eden Derrington has been in love with Rafe Easton since they were kids. But because of some problems they had to break off their engagement even though they love one another deeply. The main problems Eden and Rafe have are the baby boy Rafe wants to adopt named Kip and Eden's part of the trouble is that Kip is tied to Leprosy. None of them suffer from this disease, including Kip who has been inspected and cleared. Rafe wants to adopt Kip because over time he has fallen in love with him, knows Kips doesn't have the disease and would like Kip to be renamed Daniel to continue on the Easton name. Kip comes from Molokai, a leprosy colony, where his mother is and Eden's Mother, who does have the disease.
Molokai is the island that people with leprosy are sent to in order to keep them isolated. Eden had no idea that her mother was still alive until recently and has made it a point to wait for her father to come home so they both can go to Molokai. Eden wanting to risk her life to help people with Leprosy is a big problem between Eden and Rafe. Eden is a nurse and her father a doctor, who has made it his mission to find a cure for leprosy.
Both Eden and Rafe also come from rich and prominent families in Hawaii. Their families are somewhat corrupt and the heads of the families tend to do whatever it takes to keep the families the way they should be. Eden and Rafe's love isn't the only troubles relationship in the book. You also get glimpse of Candace, Eden's cousin and her relationship with Keno, a local. This relationship is frowned upon by her grandfather, the head of the Derrington family and is a great example of what the head of the families will do to keep up the reputation of the families. I personally hate arranged marriages and that is what poor Candace is headed for unless she can somehow convince her family that Keno is worthy of her.
I really liked this book. The romance is kind of a underlying factor to the real story and that is fighting no matter what for what you believe in. For Eden that is helping people that are basically beyond help. For Rafe that is being able to keep Kip, which in the book is his main fight. A fight that in time you hope while reading the book helps Rafe realize he feels for Kip the same way that Eden feels about finding a cure for Leprosy and her mother.
It's the struggles and self sacrifices in this story that makes it so full of inspiration. I know it helped me realize that if you have something you strongly believe in, then to do whatever it takes to make that happen or get you moving toward your goals. A little sacrifice may even make you and a relationship you are in just that much stronger!
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