Eden Lake by Jane Roper

Title:  Eden Lake

Author:  Jane Roper

Genre:  Fiction

Synopsis:  (from Goodreads) When the visionary director of a nontraditional children’s summer camp in Maine dies unexpectedly, his adult children are left to sort out the future of the camp and, in so doing, their own lives. Family dynamics and long-buried secrets, love affairs, and the day-to-day antics of Eden Lake’s campers intertwine and overlap during the course of the summer in this engaging debut novel.

My brief take:  Eden Lake is a novel about a summer camp in Maine and the family who run it.  The camp was founded in 1969 on the ideal of spreading peace and love.  As the years passed the founders Clay and Carol, parents of the main characters, found that life gets messy and people can change.

“…sometimes that the two of you, you and Dad, could be such idealists – the way you created this place and wanted to change the world – and at the same time be so …”

“So human?”

“Yeah,” Abe said. “Yeah, I guess that’s right.”

“I’m sorry,” his mother said. “I hope you can forgive us.”

“I can,” he said. “I mean, I will. Eventually.”

Set in the ’90s Eden Lake is not exactly a light-hearted read. It addresses the effects adults’ actions can have on children – specifically the adult children of the camp owners.

There are also some laugh-out-loud moments.If you’ve ever gone to a summer camp you may find that reading Eden Lake will make you feel nostalgia for those good old days. It brought back a few good memories for me.

Source:  I bought it.

15 thoughts on “Eden Lake by Jane Roper

  1. This reminded me of Susan Wiggs’s Lakeshore Chronicles series set in upperstate NY – an excellent series, btw. Glad it took you down memory lane in a good way!


  2. Summer camp in Maine sounds like a nice concept and good summer read if you’re looking for something with more of an edge than light hearted. I picture summer camp in Maine as lighter fare and not heavy:)


  3. We don’t have camps like this (at least not when I was a child). Parents never send children for fear of one thing or another!!! but they do sound like fun.


  4. The synopsis of this one sounds really great, and I love that it is set at a camp. Haven’t heard much about this book, but it does look interesting and like something that I might like to read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it with us!


  5. Hi Mary — thanks so much for the lovely review. I’m glad the book brought back some fond memories for you. Writing it was certainly an opportunity for me to re-live some of my own Maine / camp memories from childhood. I truly appreciate your spreading the word!

    Hope you enjoy the rest of the summer,


  6. Summer camp… my goodness the adventures we had. Will have to strike this onto my list now. I’d be interested in seeing how the adult children will take the challenges of running the camp now.

    Loved your review. Of course that goes without saying 🙂


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