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St. Martin's Griffin
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9780312323646352 Pages
Barnes & Noble
As touching as it is humorous, The Garden of Eden is a parable for our time with a powerful and ultimately redemptive ending that speaks to oft underappreciated virtues such as loyalty (sticking with those you love even when they screw up royally), tolerance, and forgiveness. It's also about the values that keep America together---the simple solutions ordinary people find to keep their small communities strong.
Trooper Sam Neely is fresh out of the State Police academy and finds himself assigned to the dullest backwater town he's never heard of. Things heat up quickly in Eden, U.S.A., however, when Ed Harris, the banker, finds his wife in bed with his best friend, Hayden Elkins. Ed picks up a shotgun, escorts them both to the door, and tells friend Hayden, "Guess what? She's yours!"
"I've got a wife, Ed," says Hayden.
"Now you have two. . . ."
Forced to take his paramour to live under his own roof (after all, they had only intended to share an afternoon of delight, not to leave their spouses), Hayden suddenly finds himself the butt of every joke in town.
That's where things start to spin out of control.
Before long, Elijah Murphy, the town drunk, and the snooping widow next door, to whom he'd exposed himself, are falling in love; sleazy Sheriff's Deputy Delmar Clay is about to get a butt-full of birdshot for the pictures he's been snapping of young couples getting hot and heavy in parked cars; and the Barrow Boys are out of jail and looking for trouble. Soon, Neely finds that managing the crises in the sticks is a full-time job, and it takes a whole community---from the compassionate local magistrate to the new female preacher---to keep things from exploding big-city style.