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Eden Mine : A Novel - S. M. Hulse

Eden Mine

A Novel

By: S. M. Hulse

Hardcover | 11 February 2020

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Through an act of political violence that tears apart a family's faith and community, S. M. Hulse, the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of Black River, crafts a compelling novel that mines the deep rifts that come when the reach of the government clashes with individual freedom

Jo Faber is packing up the home she and her brother Samuel inherited. For generations, the Fabers have lived near Eden Mine, but Jo and Samuel will be the last. Their family home has been seized by the state through eminent domain.

At the moment she hears the news of the bombing on the radio, Jo knows nothing, but she also knows that something isn't right. The arrival of their friend and unofficial guardian, Sheriff Hawkins, confirms her suspicions. Samuel said he was going to find work. But soon it's clear that he's not gone, but missing-last seen by a security camera near the district courthouse at Elk Fork. And a nine-year-old girl, the daughter of a pastor of a storefront church, is in critical condition.

This isn't the first time Jo and Samuel have seen the ravages of violence visit their family. Last time, they lost their mother and Jo lost her ability to walk. Samuel took care of her, outfitted their barn with special rigging so she could keep riding their mule. But he was never the same, falling in with a separatist group, getting a tattoo he'd flaunt, then spending years hiding. She thought he had finished with all that. But now he's missing, and she can't talk to the one person she trusts.

A timely story of the anger and disaffection tearing apart many communities in this country, S.M. Hulse's Eden Mine is also a beautiful novel of the West, of a deep love for the land, of faith in the face of evil, and of the terrible choices we make for the ones we love.

Industry Reviews

"Hulse's talent is evidenced by her nuanced portrayal of Jo and the way she sees the world. In her relationship with Asa, in particular -- both are scarred, both trying to heal -- Hulse . . . perfectly captures not only the landscape of the American West, but also what it feels like to survive in a town that is dying."
--Alex Zenter, The New York Times Book Review

"Across two novels, S.M. Hulse has been inventing a new version of the western. Part of her mission involves updating the genre's content, thrusting its violent themes into the present day . . . [Eden Mine is] a welcome entry in the genre of terror-themed fiction, which since 9/11 has been prone to either Don DeLillo-esque geopolitical pronunciamentos or unsatisfying mind-of-a terrorist psychological studies. Hulse simply concedes that the motivations of a terrorist are unknowable; she wants to understand the blast radius, not the bomb."
--Mark Athitakis, The Los Angeles Times

"Brilliant . . . The slow revelations . . . make it deeply compelling . . . There are wonderful descriptions of Jo's mule Lockjaw, which highlight Hulse's understanding of horses and their relatives . . . The best part may be the way that the story is concluded, since the reader knows that a showdown is inevitable. The whole thing is beautifully done and rightfully will be a favorite of book discussion groups who will enjoy the character development and the themes of art, faith, morality, and paralysis, set within the wide spaces and dying towns of Montana."
--Leslie DeLooze, The Daily News

"Hulse follows up her strong debut (Black River, 2015) with an even stronger novel about the fallout from an act of domestic terrorism . . . [A] dense yet lucid narrative. The nail-biting denouement is . . . an additional sign of this young writer's mature artistic powers. Reflective, evocative, and quietly moving."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"In this subtle, powerful, unflinchingly honest novel, S. M. Hulse takes for her palette some of life's most vital subjects--faith, love, loyalty, family, goodness, God--and paints her story with all the skill of a master artist blocking out her canvas, tender stroke by tender stroke, bringing it to life. Each color more complex than its name, each line put down with purpose. As sweet-souled as it is clear-eyed, Eden Mine will linger with me for a long time."
--Josh Weil, author of The Age of Perpetual Light

"No one writes about the contemporary rural West with as much intelligence, empathy, and honesty as S. M. Hulse. Eden Mine is a deep dive below the headlines, a novel about family, friends, and neighbors grappling with the aftermath of an act of domestic terrorism. It's a luminous, deeply moving, insightful novel, abiding at the intersection of public politics and the most private of emotions. There's nothing else quite like it."
--Molly Gloss, author of Falling from Horses

"Eden Mine is one of the rarest of novels: it's a page-turning thriller, yes, but its twists and turns are the result of complex characters making difficult, heartbreaking choices. The novel illuminates both contemporary political tensions and older, deeper ones, particularly the tragedies that can arise when we assume an easy understanding of what's right, what's wrong--and what qualifies as justice."
--Christopher Coake, author of You Came Back


Praise for S. M. Hulse

"Evokes the Montana landscape in lyrical, vivid prose."
--Nick Romeo, The Boston Globe

"One of the few novelists working today . . . capable of portraying religion as a natural, integral element of characters' lives--the way it is for most Americans . . . A surprisingly wise young writer."
--Ron Charles, The Washington Post

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