Saturday, 26 September 2015

Eve's Daughters // Review


Yearning for love and dignity, four generations of women must come to grips with the choices they've made--and those their mothers made before them. But breaking the cycle that has ensnared them over the decades will prove more difficult than they had ever imagined....


Eighty-year-old Emma Bauer has carefully guarded a dark secret for more than fifty years. But when she sees her granddaughter's marriage beginning to unravel, Emma realizes that her lies about her own marriage have poisoned those she loves most. Can she help her granddaughter break free of a legacy of wrong choices? Or will she take her secret--and her broken heart--to the grave?

With honesty and compassion, author Lynn Austin weaves a compelling story of four unforgettable women--their struggles, their crises of faith, their triumphs.


Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Sometimes I read a book that just gets so inside me that I just... I just... CAN'T. Those books touch me in a very personal way; and they generally make my cry some place. Rilla of Ingleside is one of those, and so is Eve's Daughters. This book is the kind of book I just cannot describe. It is that good. But I'll try.

So. It's AMAZING and it's compelling and you get sucked in and you can't stop reading it and your life isn't the same if you haven't read it; so there. :-P Seriously, this is one of my favouritest books ever, and I wish everyone knew of it. Also, there MUST BE A MOVIE. Lynn Austin's novels all deserve their own good movies - and not cheap-ly made ones that have actors that don't look at all like the heros in the book (I'm looking at you, Hidden Places movie.) I mean real, book-accurate, amazing scenery, sweeping music kind-of-movies.

I read this book first when I was fourteen (or was it thirteen?) I found it amazing even then, but I wasn't as impressed with it as I am now. I probably was slightly to young for the book, anyway (I'll talk about Content later on.) and I was more charmed with Lynn Austin's less complex novels, like A Proper Persuit etc. Then I re-read it again the next years, and now I've re-read it again. And now I just can't stop talking about it IT'S SO GOOD.

(Yes, I realise I've only talked about 'how it's so good' so far. Hush. I promise this review will talk about other things rather than just gushing and swooning. Hush. I'm just filled-to-the-brim with feeeeels and jealously towards Lynn Austin for being able to create such an outstanding, each-time-I-end-it-bewilders-me book. This book is amazing, and don't you DARE tell me otherwise. Don't. You. Dare.)

The book follows four generations of women. I'll talk about each of the four stories (and yes, I'll warn you when the spoilery comments arrive.) I've made a collage for each generation, just because I'm obsessed with making collages (and also because I want people to see it and make the right kind of movie. Haha.)

Louise's Story
I loooove Louise's story.

It's my second-favourite of the four, and although some people might say that 'Louise's story is pointless to the story line', I disagree. I find her story fascinating - how a young German couple go to America to start a new life. I love that it's an unusual love story - they are already married in the beginning of the story, but it was an arranged marriage, so the love story is just starting. 

Frederick is such a sweet-heart - I just love love love him to bits. And I allllmost cry when Louise finally realises she loves her husband and then they hug, dripping wet, crying with happiness. (Read it, and you'll understand why they were dripping wet. It's pretty epic.)

Louise's story is one tucked deepest into history, and, as I said, it fascinates me. I think it's absolutely adorable and I LOVE IT. (Wow, we are all very much surprised.)

Emma's Story
Oh my word, Emma's story. :-)

Emma is the second of four girls - the story starts with her as a girl; and we see her discover a secret talent of playing the piano. Emma's story is different that what we first see. Her story unfolds - Emma doesn't tell us everything when she tells the story for the first time. I can't speak in more clearer terms than that, because hey, spoilers, but Emma's story is what makes the plot so thick.

I loved Emma, although she made some very big mistakes; and I felt so sorry for her when her sister Eva died because of her. Oh my goodness, when Eva dies - it's so sad and terrible. I can feel Emma's heart tearing to pieces - goodness, it's so vivid. And then she marries Karl. I don't like Karl or Markus - they're both creeps.

Anyhow. Emma's story is not one you want to miss. It's amazingly written.

SPOILER TALK I thought Patrick and Emma's romance - y'know the one which is explained by Emma later on, and where all secrets are unfolded - was also amazing. Of course, they made a very big mistake by spending the night together on the island, but they - especially Patrick (goodness, his reaction to his realisation of his mistake is so amazingly written; it makes me so sad) - feel sorry about it, and before that business, I thought their romance was absolutely adorable and I shipped them soooo hard. I do wish Emma was more 'sorry' about it all. I thought it was very sad that she lost her faith. SPOILER TALK ENDED

Grace's Story
GRACE'S STORY. Oh my goodness. This is my favourite; definitely.

Grace's Story is amazing. Especially when you re-read it, because you KNOW. You know who people really are and then the things they say and do just cut into your heart and make you cry. So I highly recommend you guys to re-read this book. It's the kind of book where re-reads are ten times better than first reads. When I read it this time, I cried and cried over Grace's story. It made me so emotional; gahhhh.

I LOVE Pastor O'Duggan. Can we just stand still a minute and appreciate him? Because he's totally the best guy EVER. I love so much about him - I wish he was real so badly. I love how he helped Grace and supported her and told her classmates not to tease her.

And then Stephen. He has his faults, but I love that he and Grace still love each other so much at the end of the book, when they are like, 50-something years old. Their love story was adorable, although I could have done we slightly few kisses, thanks.

SPOILER TALK Ohhh. When Grace asks him, 'Will you be my father?' and then he starts to cry and ohhh it's so sad. Oh, and when Grace asks him he he will walk her down the aisle without realising that he's actually really truly her father. Oh, I cried and cried and cried, folks. I was sitting there with tears in my eyes for about ten minutes after I finished the book. SPOILER TALK ENDED.

Suzanne's Story
Ahem.

I don't like Suzanne's story that much. (Therefore the unenthusiastic collage of three squares rather than six.) So many things bother me about Suzanne's story. Number one: Suzanne annoys me Quite a Lot. She's so rebellious and she could have done things in a much more... calmer way. Maybe it's just because she and I are so different that I can't enjoy her character that much. Number two: Jeff. Ugh, sorry, guys-who-love-Jeff, but he drives me CRAZY. He's a hippie with long hair and a beard and he wears necklaces and baggy trousers. Ughhh. It just makes me squirm. Also, he's a creep. Number three: Wayyyy. Too many kisses.

No, I don't really like Suzanne's Story. But it's not very long, and it's not an excuse not to buy this book. ;-P

SPOILER TALK I love that she was Irish all the way, though. Haha. SPOILER TALK ENDED.


Content Talk:
I would recommend this for mature readers - but I think that people who aren't mature enough also won't really appreciate or enjoy the book anyway, so. There are quite a few kisses - especially in Suzanne's story (seriously, you will roll your eyes, haha) - and a big part of the plot is envolved around a baby born out of the wedlock. (There are no graphic descriptions, however, and everything is so well written from a Christian point of view.) Emma divorces her husband because he wants to abort her baby.

But anyway.

This book is amazing and you must read it. PLEASE. And if you've read it, I'm ready to have a long conversation with you in the comment box. :-) Lynn Austin's books are all amazing, but I think this one is my favourite. I have so many feelings about this book - it's brilliant and yeah. I LOOOVE IT.

19 comments:

  1. Man. That really does sound like an amazing book--and I'm so glad you enjoyed it so much! It's always the best when you find a story that you just LOVE TO PIECES and it makes you cry and feel all happy and all that sort of thing :)

    One random question: Is the guy named Patrick Irish? Because I'm Irish (well, a little anyways) and I love me my Irish characters to BITS. :-)

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  2. I know, Jessica! Yes! The guy named Patrick is Irish. Oh, so you read the spoilers, did you? Shame on you! :-P

    ~ Naomi

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  3. Wow, that sounds like a really powerful book - no wonder it gripped you!

    Pastor O'Duggan sounds sweet - I like that protective kind of guy . . .

    Suzanne. Ugh. I hate rebels in stories, I know just how you feel.

    P.S. I read the spoilers too! :P

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  4. Sounds like a brilliant book!! I love stories that spand over several generations.. I must add this to my to read list (which is far too long as it is)

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  5. Ho! If you didn't want me to read the spoilers you shouldn't ought to have published them in the first place ;)

    But yeah. Irish people are cool :) One of my heroes in my current novel (yes, I have TWO heroes, not one) is Irish-American and I really, really love him. His name's Fran Brady and he's super-handsome and also really likeable and good-natured and mischievous, but kind of "intense" at the same time. He's a lot of fun to write :-)

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  6. Well. Gee whiz. WHERE IS THIS BOOK?!?! I think I must needs read this. Seriously, it looks amazing!!! Wonderful review, and I loved the collages!:D

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  7. No way! I was about to order this off Amazon for an early Christmas present for myself. It sounds amazing! =D This and Wonderland Creek are fast becoming my fav books@!

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  8. I've kind of exhausted everything I might say about this book, so I don't really have anything more except I MUST READ IT.

    Oh yeah, and Brad Pitt. ;-D

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  9. Goodness, has NO-ONE read this??!!!! People, change your ways! :-D

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  10. Oh, Naomi! This book was AWFUL! (I'm teasing! I'm teasing! I just had to say that because you dared me not to! :) I know, I'm naughty.)

    Seriously, though, I have read this book...at least most of it, but it was awhile ago so I can't remember many of the details. I don't remember Louise's story very well, at all, but it sounds so sweet. Haha! I like you're little remark at the end of your talk about her story..."I think it's absolutely adorable and I LOVE IT. (Wow, we are all very much surprised.)" Heehee. That made me smile. :)

    Emma's Story: I think I remember a little bit more about this one...but not much. You know, I'm not even sure if I read the whole thing...I might have been skimming it. Your comment about wishing that Emma had been more 'sorry' made me think that that might have been one of the reasons I wasn't totally thrilled with this book. Perhaps I thought there wasn't quite enough repentance...as if their sin was a little glossed over. But I'd have to read it again to make sure...

    Grace's Story: Yes, it's so sweet how she finds a father figure in her life...and all the time he IS her father! That's so happy and so heartbreaking at the same time! And the fact that he gets to walk her down the isle! *sob!* So sweet!

    Suzanne's Story: Haha! Your enthusiasm for Suzanne is overwhelming! :) I can't say much about her one way or the other because I hardly remember anything...but I hear you about the large amounts of kissing. I think that would annoy me, too. Kissing is just not interesting to read about. Who cares, really? And too much of it is just too much.

    Wow. I guess I really need to read this book again. My grandma has it, and I'm probably going to visit her today, so maybe I'll borrow it. :) By the way, this was a beautiful post! Your collages are gorgeous! (Maybe with the exception of Suzanne's. Haha!) Thanks for sharing, Naomi! This review was very well written!

    ~Miss March

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  11. So what I had to say was too long for one comment, so here goes for comment number 1 (with number 2 to follow)...

    Oh my goodness!!!! I'm so glad you did a review on this, because I was curious about what you thought of this book! It IS amazing, isn't it? Ahh, I love it so much! I still think that either Fire by Night or Hidden Places is my favorite, but Eve's Daughters...well, it's right up there at the top of the list too!!! Oh. My. Word. I cried at the part where Grace asked Father O'Duggan if she could call him Daddy...especially the second time reading it, since I really knew what was going on there. Ahhhhhhhh!!! I LOVE how Lynn Austin keeps the reader SO in suspense with Emma's story...it's so deep and so mysterious and so...amazing. No words are adequate enough to describe it.

    I admit though...I was rather nervous as I read through your post, wondering what you would say about Suzanne's story...and I'm glad you said what you did, because I really didn't enjoy it either. In fact _- *cringe* -- I skipped it the second time I read, just because it wasn't quiiiiiite interesting enough to hold my attention...especially when the other parts of the book were SO GOOD!

    Louise's Story: The first read through this book, I thought her story was too depressing. The second time around I was more prepared, and I loved it a lot. For some reason the way she calls Friedrich "Fritz" makes me smile. I love it when couples have nicknames for each other. Especially because my family does a LOT of nicknames. I think Louise's bitterness was so REAL...which was part of why I didn't like the book when I first read it, because it touched my heart TOO deeply. Crazy, but Lynn Austin is one of the only authors who can do that. I also loved how Lynn Austin portrayed Louise's children when they were young...the way they talked (and sang) especially. :) "Our help-er He-e, a-mid the flood...of more tall hills pre-mail-ing..." So cute!

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  12. And comment number 2...

    Emma's story: Her's would be my favorite out of all of them, except the part in Gracie's about Father O'Duggan. Haha, I was okay with Markus, but NOT with Karl! I hated Karl so much! He is so COLD and...ick! The character development of Emma was well done...how she went from being a "child of the sunbeam" to using her piano as her "ticket out of Bremen" to the secret relationship with Patrick. She changed in realistic ways (even if not all those ways were GOOD). And the whole story with Karl and the abortion. Scary, painful, realistic. Not a fun story, but still an intense read. I also liked how she never married after she divorced Karl. I have a lot of respect for her for that...especially with the wonderful Father O'Duggan in the picture. Emma and Patrick were both so brave deciding that they would never see each other again...but then circumstances kept bringing them back together after all, in spite of everything.

    Grace's Story: So many wonderful scenes and characters. I like Mick and Black Jack and O'Brien. I love how they're portrayed from a child's point of view. "O'Brien was very smart, and though I rarely saw him in the kitchen with the chef, he was always talking on the phone about the deals he was cooking." Also, one part that tears my heart out is when Father O'Duggan takes Gracie to his mother, and he takes off his hat to show her without words the similarity between him and his daughter. And then how he walks her down the aisle on her wedding day! AND HOW HE LETS HER WEAR HIS PAJAMAS TO THE PARTY?!?!?!?! Yes. Just yes. And then Stephen. I really liked Stephen, even later on when he wasn't understanding why she kept wanting to work at the pregnancy center.

    And Suzanne's story...bleh. Yes, too much kissing. And hippie? No way. I was kind of glad when he shaved off his beard and cut his hair, once he was older. Then I could imagine him actually looking nice. I did love how he made Suzanne's boyfriend mad though. "Sooze? Oh, Irish! Tell me you're not going to spend the rest of your gorgeous life with a man who calls you Sooze"! But other than that, I'm not much for hippies.

    Ah, yes. And that's not even half of what I love about this book, but that will have to do for now. ;)

    So have you read all of Lynn Austin's books? Which ones are your favorites (besides this one, ha!)?

    ~<>~Katie~<>~

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  13. Miss March! YAY FINALLY SOMEONE WHO HAS READ IT. Or at least in the past, haha. You should definitely give it a re-read! You might appreciate it more the second read. I know I did. :-D
    Emma does feel sorry, of course, but more like at the end. It's Patrick O'Duggan who feels REALLY sorry immediately. His repentance is so well written it makes me cryyyyyy.
    Thank you sooo much, Miss March, for a lovely comment (again!)

    Katie, YAYYYY. TWO LONG COMMENTS ON EVE'S DAUGHTERS. Let me settle and re-read them. :-D
    I know. Lynn Austin writes SO. BLOOMIN. WELL. Every time I re-read it I have the 'suspense' feeling and I keep on turning the pages. How does she do this?
    I knoww. Louise and Frederich are sooo cute. I just love their nicknames and story and EVERYTHING.
    I KNOW RIGHT. Emma's story is so POWERFUL. So gripping. GAHHHHHHHH. Yes, I love that they never married.
    AND YES. WHEN GRACE GOES AND WEAR HIS PYJAMAS AND WHEN HE SAYS, 'LOOK!!!' AND YESSSS. Oh my word. Basically ALL the Grace-O'Duggan scenes tear me up like maaaaaaaad. I really liked Stephen too. He's kind AND handsome AND clever. Good mix, that. :-)
    Haha, glad to hear you're with me on Suzanne's story. Snorrrt. (I agree, though, I found it hilarious when he laughed at the 'Sooze' nickname. Although *I* felt like saying, 'Seriously Suzanne? You're going to spend the rest of your life with a man who calls you 'Irish?' Hahahaha.)
    Yes! I HAVE read all Lynn Austin's books! (Well, all her fiction works.) My two favourites are Eve's Daughters and Hidden Places. Both are soooo good. I also love the Refiner's Fire Series - especially book too. (TED. I LOVE TED.) And then we have the fun ones - Wonderland Creek and a Proper Pursuit. Oh and allllll the others.
    Yeah, I love them all. :-)

    ~ Naomi

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  14. No, I hain't read it. I haven't got the TIME, darlin' :D

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  15. Oh my, this book sounds so good I'm putting it on hold right now.
    I just think it's so cool that she wove 4 generations into one story! I can't wait to read it!! :D

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  16. Oh, and P.S. your collages are gorgeous. :)

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  17. Oh, I love, LOVE reading reviews of my favourite books! I love the feeling of having something in common with the author (you)-- how much we both gush over this book and enjoy all the feels that come with it! ;-)
    (That being said, I DO disagree with you on nearly all your personal opinions on it. Haha. We're, like, really different, have you noticed?);-p
    Mainly I just wanted to ask you what you meant when you said, "I do wish Emma was more 'sorry' about it all. I thought it was very said that she lost her faith." You mean you don't understand? It HAD to be that way, or the whole novel wouldn't have happened. My perspective on the whole book is that God knows how to take our screwed-up, dirty lives and turn them into something beautiful and emotionally moving. Humanity is both so disgustingly sinful and so breathtakingly-- real. I actually think it was just fine that Emma wasn't "sorry". Goodness know, I wouldn't have been.
    Ya know what I mean?

    Thanks for reading! I look forward to (hopefully) reading your reply! :-)

    ~ Mary

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  18. Natalie, You will LOVE it! And thanks!!

    Mary, Thank you! You're so sweet!
    Well, of course I agree - that's what made the story so amazing. Yes, I love that what you said: "God knows how to take our screwed-up, dirty lives and turn them into something beautiful and emotionally moving." I agree with that completely. :-D (Hear, hear, and all that.)
    I just wish Emma went to God faster and realised that sleeping with a man outside of marriage is wrong. But, as you said, that's what makes the plot. It's just a little something that made me a teensy bit, 'oh-dear.' Do you see what I mean? Yessss?
    And we're allowed to be different! It's fun! :-)

    ~ Naomi

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  19. I really need to go to bed, because it's getting rather late here, but I just wanted to pop in and say, "I finished it!" And you were right, I liked it better the second time through. (I really think I must have skimmed it last time, though, because I didn't remember Louise's story at all.)

    Thanks for reviewing this book because I probably wouldn't have picked it up again if you hadn't. And I really enjoyed reading it. Of course, there are always a few little things that I don't particularly like, but overall it was really good! It had me close to tears on more than one occasion. (Like when Father O'Duggan picks Grace up and pleads with his mother to "look at the child!" Oh, ouch! That part was so well written!)

    Just a comment on Jeff and Suzanne's story. I didn't really like Jeff at the beginning, but I did warm up to him a bit as the story went on. He was such a positive person even when her family was snubbing him, and I felt so bad for him when they got stuck in the riot. But, yeah, there were some things I didn't like about him, too. As to the kissing...I think all the different couples had their fair share of that. Heehee. I didn't really notice Jeff and Suzanne kissing any more than the others.

    Well, I must go. It's so hard to convey in writing how much I liked the book, and how it made me feel. All I can say is, it was GOOD. Very good. Thanks for recommending it!

    ~Miss March

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