Author: Pete Hautman
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
ARC provided by publisher
This is a book that could be confused for dystopia at first glance. Jacob lives in the community of Nodd, home to the people known as the Grace. Their prophet, who has a penchant for young wives, says that the Grace will be spared when the rest of the world is destroyed. The fences and guns are there to protect the Grace from the impending evil outside.
But Jacob actually lives on a ranch in Montana and life within a cult is the only life he remembers. When Tobias and his family join the Grace, very much against Tobias' will, Jacob begins to question their strict rules and the punishments that follow if they're broken.
Jacob also meets Lynna, a Worldly girl who lives on the ranch nearby. Lynna wants to know about Jacob and the Grace and Jacob finds her simple questions more and more difficult to answer.
There's also a wolf loose, a wolf that is a less-than-subtle metaphor for Jacob's doubts. But Peter Hautman does an excellent job of presenting Jacob as a real person, one that slowly comes to the realization that he must think for himself.
I would recommend Eden West to readers who enjoyed Blankets by Craig Thompson or The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman.
Eden West by Pete Hautman Book Trailer: