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One Foot in Eden Paperback – Jan 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Picador USA; Reprint edition (Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312423055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312423056
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.5 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 767,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Will Alexander is the sheriff in a small town in southern Appalachia, and he knows that the local thug Holland Winchester has been murdered. The only thing is the sheriff can find neither the body nor someone to attest to the killing. Simply, almost

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By V. L. Harding VINE VOICE on 14 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Ron Rash sets his story among a small farming community in Appalachia South Carolina. The pace is slow but sure, like the seasons that govern their lives, his characters well defined, their way of life, hopes and fears expressed in their own words and thoughts as they tell each section of the story. Will Alexander, the Sheriff, whose father and brother still farm in the upper areas of the valley, is trying to locate a Korean war veteran, a troublemaker, recently returned and living with his widowed mother on a farm in the valley.
The mother says that he has been murdered and points the finger at a neighbouring farmer, Billy Holcombe,and the reason, he had been committing adultery with the wife.
The Sheriff's search for the body forms the first part of the book, then the wife tells her story followed by the husband's version. Finally their son's story, overshadowed by the proposed imminent flooding of the valley by Columbia Power which will bury the farms , small villages and their burial grounds.
The missing man's mother, who has formed a friendship with the son, refuses to leave her farm and this is the catharsis for the son, father and mother and an aged Sheriff to resolve the mystery before the waters cover the valley floor forever.
Wonderful writing with a sure touch in describing a way of life and the people who live it.
Another writer whose books will find a place on my bookshelf.
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By Cloggie Downunder TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
One Foot in Eden is Ron Rash's first novel. The tale is told in five voices; the setting is the Jocassee Valley in the Appalachian Mountains of South Carolina in the 1950s. It starts out as a murder mystery, but soon becomes much more. Characters that start out as simple farmers and law enforcement officers develop an unexpected depth. Underneath the main story is the current of people's lives and the threat of the dam that will flood the valley.
Sherriff Will Alexander believes that local thug and war veteran Holland Winchester has been murdered, but he has no body. He suspects that Billy Holcombe has committed the crime but has no proof. The crime and its aftermath are described successively by Will Alexander, Billy Holcombe's wife Amy, Billy, his son Isaac and Deputy Bobby Murphree. The plot twists in unpredictable ways: more than once, the outcome is quite different from what the reader might expect.
It is obvious from the rich descriptions and authentic dialogue that Rash is a native Appalachian: his love of the place and the people stands out.
This is a tale of murder; of suspicion and superstition; of guilt and of love; of infidelity and jealousy; of choosing a path in life; of fatherhood; of attachment to place and community displacement. Beautifully written, it is a pleasure to read and hard to put down.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 82 reviews
81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
Rock solid story 6 Dec. 2002
By Robert Busko - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have read hundreds of books. It seems that over time one becomes difficult to please because we've seen everything before. Similar plots, characters and settings leave us wanting and feeling unfulfilled. Not with Rash's One Foot in Eden. This book delivers. Suspenseful story, wonderful, rich characters, twisting plot, and a great location.
The story is told by the main characters, each taking their place on center stage and relating the story through their eyes. But they don't tell the same story. The story changes in new hues and tints as each character puts a new and different interpretation on the tale. Each character in turn advances the story as well. What a great way to tell a story.
And by the way, the ending is fitting and makes you want to pick up another Rash story....but there arent any.......YET.
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Utterly gripping 7 Oct. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Ron Rash is one of North Carolina's finest poets. Set in the Jocassee Valley in the southern Appalachians, One Foot in Eden is a taut, compelling story of infidelity and revenge killing that has the feel of archetypal mountain legend, a sort of "Lord Randall" updated by a psychological realist. A nifty and quite cunning murder mystery plot is parceled out to readers, Roshomon-style, from the cross-angled, and occasionally contradictory, first-person testimonies of the major players: the high sheriff, who knows murder has been done and who has done it, but can't find a body; the murderer himself; the adulterous wife for whom he kills; the bastard son of the illicit union; the deputy, a sort of Everyman, who serves as the reader's proxy and comes on, like Horatio in Act V, to wonder over the principals' unraveled fates. (There's also a witch!) For me, in some ways, the most compelling character is the Appalachian landscape, which Rash delivers tersely, with a poet's exacting eye and speech. Ultimately, One Foot in Eden is a parable about the pursuit of justice-its elusiveness at the human level, its certainty from the divine. True statement: I read the book-which is only 200 pages-- in a single sitting and couldn't (didn't) put it down.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
SURE FOOTED 2 Dec. 2002
By Tim Peeler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Rash proves to be as sure-footed with prose as he is with his poetry. In fact, EDEN does not have the feel of a first novel. Into the mix the writer pours ghostly imagery, mystery, indirect old testament allusions and the great themes of loyalty and moral retribution.
The setting is as startlingly real as in Rash's poems of Apalachia. The characters and language are authentic, and the author manages to nail all five of the narrative voices that reveal each layer of the story.
ONE FOOT IN EDEN is a fine accomplishment by a man who has already established himself in another genre. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Secrets and Lies 12 Jan. 2005
By J. Fercho - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's always a pleasure to discover a first novel with such depth and promise. Author Ron Rash does not disappoint with this lyrical Southern Gothic murder mystery that is so much more than a crime story. Told through the changing voices of the main characters this novel is rich with passion, tragedy and redemption. It's also a fine mystery that will keep you guessing throughout, as things are rarely as they first appear in this story. Ultimately, the truths of the dead will return to avenge the lies of the living. Worth seeking out. 4.5 stars.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Reader from Vista, CA 9 Feb. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Ron Rash has written a beautifully told story about desire, heartbreak, cunning, murder and justice. He's done it in simple language and in a riviting style. Broken into 5 sections, each character tells the story from their own perspective. Ron lays out each section in such as a way that the story never becomes repetitive and the book is riviting. The Apalachian language with colloquialisms is delightful, making me want to read lines over again for their color and style, as well as content.
I hope Ron Rash is currently working on a second novel because I will be looking for it every day until I can purchase it!
I gladly give this book a 5 star rating.
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