Ackerman pens an unbelievably moving novella: his ode to wartime, family, friendship, pain, fear, and death. When Eden Malcom comes home from his tour of duty, burned beyond recognition, sightless, and voiceless, his wife Mary must choose his next path. As the marriage of Eden and Mary is revealed, her decision wavers as he waits in pain and silence. Ackerman's insight into a tiny slice of a life no one would ever want is heartbreaking and profound in equal measure. Told with a searing yet bleak style, Ackerman nails this story with absolute perfection. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From the National Book Award-shortlisted author of Dark at the Crossing comes a powerful, taut novel of unsettling insight, tracing the intersection of three lives shattered by war.
Since Eden returned home from Iraq severely burned and in a coma, his wife Mary's life has unraveled. She spends her days camped out on the sofa in his hospital room, waiting for his inevitable death, while their daughter, Andy, is raised by her grandmother. But after Eden suffers a stroke on Christmas Day, his consciousness is rearranged, flickering alive. As he finds a way to communicate with Mary, a difficult truth about both their marriage and their trust in each other gradually comes to the surface. In the end, Mary is asked to make a decision about Eden's life, one he can't make for himself. A riveting, deeply felt meditation on sympathy and brutality, love and fear, loyalty and betrayal, Waiting for Eden is a tour de force.
From the National Book Award finalist, a breathtakingly spare and shattering new novel that traces the intersection of three star-crossed lives.
Eden Malcom lies in a bed, unable to move or to speak, imprisoned in his own mind. His wife Mary spends every day on the sofa in his hospital room. He has never even met their young daughter. And he will never again see the friend and fellow soldier who didn't make it back home--and who narrates the novel. But on Christmas, the one day Mary is not at his bedside, Eden's re-ordered consciousness comes flickering alive. As he begins to find a way to communicate, some troubling truths about his marriage--and about his life before he went to war--come to the surface. Is Eden the same man he once was: a husband, a friend, a father-to-be? What makes a life worth living? A piercingly insightful, deeply felt meditation on loyalty and betrayal, love and fear, Waiting for Eden is a tour de force of profound humanity.
Elliot Ackerman on PowellsBooks.Blog
I had already been covering the wars in Syria and Iraq for a couple of years when I found myself in London over a weekend with my girlfriend, Lea, whom everyone calls Chui. We’d decided to wander the National Portrait Gallery on an uneventful Saturday afternoon...