*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: A Magic Book opens the heart & expands the mind…
2012. Little Eden, London, England.
The beautiful sanctuary town of Little Eden is under threat. Human greed, selfishness and disregard are about to turn the last 1,000 years to dust. Robert Bartlett-Hart must make a choice.
With the help of his friends (plus plenty of tea and cake), Robert learns that there is more at stake than just Little Eden.
Something lies at the heart of the Abbey; something that stands between mankind and Armageddon. The friends must navigate past lives, other dimensions, and even Heaven itself, to find a way to save Little Eden and themselves.
Will Little Eden survive to usher in a new age, or will humanity perish with it?
Little Eden is a difficult book to categorise, as it has elements of mystery and horror, but these aren’t the main focus of the story. The main focus is the exploration of all sorts of different aspects of spirituality and the moral qualities that come from adherence or rejection of human spiritual needs.
The plot begins with a funeral. The deceased was a greatly beloved and important member of the area of London called ‘Little Eden’, which was created by the founding family to be a sanctuary from the rat race of urban humanity. Within Little Eden’s protective embrace, the citizens run old-fashioned businesses and adhere to old-fashioned community values. Well, most of them do.
The death of Lilly sparks a bitter feud, as some of her descendants want to preserve Little Eden’s principles while the others wish to sell the land to the highest bidder and cash in on the windfall. At least, that’s what is happening as far as the surface world sees. Lilly’s nieces, Sophie and Lucy, see a bit further than most and fear that there are darker, ghostlier motives lurking beneath: jealousy at old betrayals and a plot to prevent the ascension of mankind to a higher plane of existence.
There is a lot of paranormal, occult and spiritual information contained within this outline: ghosts and spirit guides; psychic visions; reincarnation; karma; hypnotherapy; holistic treatments; crystal powers; past-life regression; ‘Star’ children (like Indigo children); dragon-lines (leylines); flower rescue remedies; guided meditations; psychic attacks and prayers to ‘the Goddess’ are the elements I noted, but I may have missed some! Some of these practices and beliefs are explained in the text, and others are just mentioned in passing, but it is clear that the author knows her subject thoroughly. As a nice added bonus, the author has even added a selection of recipes to the back of the book, courtesy of Mrs B!
This is one of the very few books that I have read that has a main character with a chronic illness – specifically, chronic fatigue, which I also suffer from – and the representation is excellent: a realistic portrayal of, not just the physical effects, but the effects on a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing, and on their relationships, career prospects, etc. It really does make a difference to see your own struggles represented in the fiction you are reading.
The only quibble I have with this book is that there were often narrative interjections directly from the narrator to the reader, offering chunks of exposition or commentary on events. These passages felt unnecessary and intrusive, reminding me that I was reading a book and interrupting my immersion in the characters and plot.
Otherwise, this is a fascinating and unique story. The immediate plot is somewhat resolved by the end of the book, but the wider questions of the survival of Little Eden and of the evolution of humanity remain open ready for the next instalment in the series. There are clearly still huge challenges ahead, but the temporary solution offers hope that Robert, Sophie and the Star Children may eventually prevail. The most important takeaway here is to focus on the positive and release the negative – a useful lesson for everyone to remember.
The candles suddenly flashed and began to burn brighter. The subterranean room became effervescent with an unnatural light that seemed to sparkle and hum. Sophie shuddered again and closed her eyes.
“Who can you see?” Lucy whispered.
Sophie regained her composure, and opening her eyes she looked around the glittering room. The others watched and waited. They saw her smile slightly and then frown, as if trying to focus on something. She began to laugh a little and then grinned. She nodded, “It’s okay folks! It’s not a ghost – it’s a spirit guide.”
“Well!” Lucy said, still petrified. “That’s okay then!”
“But, who is it?” Robert asked.
Sophie smiled and replied, “It’s just Alienor Bartholomew come to visit us, or depending what time frame you are in, it’s also Aunt Lilly!
– KT King, Little Eden
Little Eden is available on Amazon right now!